Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Tips and Tricks for a Great Kindergarten Showcase

Well the year is very quickly winding down. Last week we were very busy preparing for our first ever Kindergarten only showcase. We combined all 7 (yes we have seven K classes) to create this wonderful performance. Each class learned two songs and either a short dance or play performance. It turned out so well. In addition to the kindergarten show, we also hosted a school-wide art show. All 1,000+ students had an art piece displayed. We used a wonderful company called Artome that shipped us custom paper, students create their art then we ship the paper back. The night of the show, they show up with all the artwork framed, they set up the show, run the show then take it down. It is such an easy /awesome show.

Well after the kindergarten show/art show here are a few things I learned.

1. Practice the little things.

Kindergarteners know very little about performance routines. They need to practice walking on and off stage, sitting, standing, transitions to their speaking places and such. I know as directors we sometimes try to skip these simple things to focus on the bigger picture. Don't do it. Kindergarteners need this practice.

2. Use older siblings as ringers

As mentioned before, Kindergartners do not adapt well to change. When someone doesn't show up it, really makes it hard for them to perform. I enlisted a couple of my older theatre students to help fill in for kids who were no show. They followed the script and when someone wasn't there they said the line. This totally lead to the show's success! 

3. Your homeroom teachers are your biggest helpers

We only had a half an hour each day to rehearse the show. We had to rely on our homeroom teachers to help out. My teachers were awesome! They rehearsed in the classroom, helped during our rehearsal and communicated with parents about the show. We could not have done it without them!

4. Help teach the parents.

 Part of your job is to help teach the parents about your job and arts integration. Parents often don't realize the work and effort that goes into seemingly simple shows. I like to talk about how students work on memorization, blocking, and body control. I also like to point out any core integration that might be occurring. For example one of the plays focused on types of clouds and what they meant. This was a great integration piece to point out.

5. Sit back and enjoy.

The best part of a Kindergarten play is that they are Kindergarteners. No one expects the kids to be perfect. If they mess up crazy bad, it doesn't matter because they are so cute!  Simply enjoy the show, this is the one show with no pressure! Parents are always happy when they see their babies perform in their first school play. Enjoy it. They are soooo cute!

What successes have you had in getting Kindergartners to perform? What other tips would you add?

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