Story Theatre

Along with Acting II, I’m taking Children’s Theatre this semester. I signed up for the class for two main reasons:

  1. I had heard amazing things about the professor from other theatre students
  2. The class fulfills the only other strict requirement for my minor; after this, all that’s left are electives.

So far, the class is a blast. The professor is incredible, and his many years of experience teaching acting and children’s theatre are evident every time he opens his mouth. He always has some sort of insight into an exercise or in-class performance.

Right now we’re focusing on story theatre, which has so far consisted of taking children’s poetry and turning it into short, staged performances that would be appropriate to perform for or with children. Paul (our professor) wants us to emphasize innocence and simplicity and to try and maintain a sense of purity in our work; we’re not to over think it, or to try and make it into a joke. I love something he said about innocence a few classes ago: “Innocence does not mean ‘not sophisticated;’ it means ‘not cynical.'”

Our assignment for tonight’s class is to take another poem and turn it into a solo performance. Paul gave us several poems to choose from, and one of them I fell in love with as soon as I read it:

“What are Heavy?” by Christina Rossetti

What are heavy? Sea-sand and sorrow;

What are brief? Today and tomorrow;

What are frail? Spring blossoms and youth;

What are deep? The ocean and truth.

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