Monday, August 1, 2011

Synergy Arts Camp: King of the Jungle!

This week we're gonna have some fun in the jungle - puppet style!

Puppets are a great way for shy kids to express themselves if they've got terrible stage fright.  It's also a great acting exercise to have a sense of bodily presence outside of yourself, and also learning how to focus on different elements of performance other than physical stage presence.  That, and puppets are just so darn fun.

Welcome to Synergy Arts Camp King of the Jungle Week! 

We’ll be exploring our ‘inner animals’ and learning how to ‘move’ and ‘act’ like our favourite exotic animals in the jungle – lions, monkeys and lizards, oh my!  This week, we’ll play theatre games that will focus on how we can move different parts of our body to ‘become’ these animals, give them personalities and help solve a crisis!

Our explorer is lost in the jungle after being chased by a ferocious tiger and other sneaky fiends, but with the help of a few animal friends – and the protection of the ‘king of the jungle’ himself, Brave Lion! – our explorer finds the boat on the river that leads back to a local village. 

Each animal in the jungle has a unique ability to help our explorer reach her boat and return to civilization.  Animals can do many things that our explorer cannot do, as well – breath underwater, fly in the sky and many more!  What can our animal friends do to help the explorer find the river – and how can they protect her from the predators of the wild? 

Get ready to release your inner animal – the fun’s about to begin! 

Our first day focused on theatre games that helped the kids become uninhibited with their body movements, forming them into animal shapes, taking turns walking and behaving like the animals above after we completed a writing exercise describing them.  Consider how differently you would move when you're a hovering dragonfly, or a slithering snake, or a limber monkey!

The kids will start making their puppets during the art portion today.  Because we've got a number of younger kids this week, we're sticking to the regular 'popsicle stick' puppets.  The older one will be making their puppets out of paper bags.  The lesson plans were inspired by something I found on, with more puppet projects I hope to use with future students, such as the Japanese Doll Theatre or shadow puppets.  Puppetry work is a great tool to have in an actor's kit.

After the kids get a sense of 'character' with their assigned animals, we'll go through a scenario to decide whether they'll help or hinder a lost explorer in their jungle.  That's tomorrow!

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