Readers Theater, Spring 2021

Schools around here go nuts for academic competition. Every spring J1 students, 13-year-olds, spend eight weeks preparing their eight person readers theater play which teachers used to gauge interest and scout talent for the citywide competition coming in the fall.

1/8 of a cast. #NotAtAllShy

I’ve helped out with us in some capacity for the last six or seven years, but I’ve never had a vested interest in the script like I have this year. Win or lose, the authors get paid the same, sure, but I want the kids to sound fantastic so that they’ll sound their best and my words will too.

At first we thought there would be time to write a new script purpose-built for screening students for the audition pipeline, but what would that look like and which among us has time to write that? Meh, let’s just use Corona Cantata again. Wheee!

Had our first meeting with the kids yesterday. Their home room teacher selected them based on secret algorithms which I guess I don’t need to know. From what we witnessed at the table read, and it seemed like there had been some kind of mistake, but by the end of our first full-blown rehearsal on Scene 1 today at nap time, the mumbling had all but completely disappeared and my exhortations that everything is bigger on stage were landing in all the right spots. The unison bits were still a train wreck, but the kind of wreck you get when the cars at least are on the same track.

I’m a teacher who has so much going for me right now just by living on an island that has all but defeated a global pandemic, it’s easy to forget the hardships my colleagues around the world are enduring. I often feel overwhelmed and under appreciated at work, but my last two lunch breaks have been so rewarding that I really had no choice but to open up my phone and blog about it.

So yeah, more to come.

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