For this performance, where we took a children’s book and “dramatized it,” my role in the development process was mainly giving new ideas and engaging within the performance. I took on the part of Knight 2 in this story, a frightened knight who is scared of the “dragon” that is only in their heads. Through looking at the feedback the audience gave, the response was relatively positive. The children were fully engaged with our dramatic reading performance and gave some reactions to the show. During the show, I felt some tension between the kindergarten kids since we had such a big age difference. They might’ve been overwhelmed by the fact that there were high schoolers in their library. I could also tell that the kids weren’t entirely comfortable meeting many strangers coming in at once, but they still enjoyed the show as they were engaged. Children at this age cannot express their engagement as well as adults who will respond reactively. We could tell that they were interested in our performance even though they didn’t give us as much response. Their eyes were focused entirely throughout the show. As a performer in this piece, I felt confident with our performance to the ES kids. Another stressful area about this project was that it was designed to perform in an unfamiliar environment. The stage we performed on wasn’t conventional; it had stairs attached to it, uneven stairs, other holes on the floor and walls. We also only got 15 minutes to be in that area to practice our scene, so we weren’t familiar with it. To solve that problem, we took out our phones, uploaded them onto an iPad, and talked as a team where each person would be standing on stage. That gave us a clearer image of what it was going to be like on stage. This gave me experience in being able to adapt quickly to newer environments. Another experience that has been gained was being able to express each and every line with enunciation and projection on stage, also including body language and facial expressions. This is especially important when you are performing to a younger audience.

To keep their attention, the entire performance has to be engaging through your words and actions. Since we didn’t have many lines because it was a children’s book, each line had to be expressed with great emotion. For example, “Well, the kind forewarned. Their tails stab the dark like thorns”. When I was delivering this line, I had eye contact with the audience like I was telling something serious, bent down my body, and rose the sword to emphasize the scariness of the “dragon.” I especially enunciated on “t” “d” “k” and “the” in this sentence so the kids can hear what I am saying, even if they don’t understand the words, they can sense the emotion. After the entire show, I heard many people talking about their points of view on the performance. Not everyone was in the same group for this activity, so it was pretty interesting to listen to some groups being more positive and some not so much about their performance. In my perspective, I loved everyone’s performance, and I was actively listening to everyone’s show.

I observed some kids’ responses to their performances, and I could tell they loved everyone’s show. Some leading topics that we talked about during the discussion were audience, senses, and practice. The main reason for the audience was that we expected them to be much more enthusiastic with responses about the performance but what we didn’t know was that because they were so young, they may have been a bit shy to express their engagement. That made most of us self-conscious about our performance even though they were constantly engaged expressed by their language. Reflection on our performance, we thought about including senses other than sight into our routine. We had drums used for marching and other sound effects. That could’ve been a reason for some excitement in the audience. What most of us did not know about this performance was that it was designed to be done in a short amount of time in an unfamiliar environment which made more practice harder for us. Some groups were even missing some people who made practice even harder for them. 

  • Planning (Planning each practice before you come to practice. This may be talking with your ensemble and )
  • Practice Practice Practice! (If you don’t think you have enough time during class, practice on your own time! Practicing more before a performance can always make yourself more confident before going onstage!)
  • Reflect (Reflecting after each performance as a group and by yourself is the primary way for more successful performances in the future!)