Priceless Eight Week Homeschool Field Trip

by Su
(Spartanburg, SC, USA)

My Kids in Make-up

My Kids in Make-up

Firstly, my camera shows the wrong date, this was taken about 15th April 2011. Our family has been lucky enough to be involved in several shows at the very beautiful David Reid Theatre in The Chapman Cultural Center, Spartanburg, SC.

Individuals can respond to notices of auditions based on age, issued by both The Spartanburg Little Theatre and the Spartanburg Youth Theatre. There is no cost to audition, no cost to take part, and the entire experience teaches so many skills that I can only begin to list them.

Apart from learning performance and voice skills, possibly even some dance moves and a song or two, children get immersed in the history and tradition of theatre and get to experience responsibility for undertaking their roles respectfully because their roles underpin those of others to create the entire show experience.

They learn to take direction, and criticism in a constructive way, build confidence, gain experience in public speaking, and so much more. The children get the opportunity to use stage-make-up, build and paint aspects of the set, they learn how to operate the lighting system, the sound system, and begin to learn the skills of the many other backstage and crewing roles involved.

During our last show we became very involved in costuming using our imaginations to find ways to create the visions of the Director, to say nothing of becoming proficient hand-stitchers and glue-gun operators! Selected cast members also have the opportunity to appear on television to promote the show - quite an experience in itself!

The rehearsal process takes some diligent dedication and you must turn up reliably according to
the schedule for several weeks before the production opens. There are many laughs and many friends are made during these times.

The opening of the first show comes with some trepidation but confidence quickly takes over and before you know it the performance experience is at an end and you are in the reception area of the theatre in full costume and make-up at the final 'meet and greet' with the public. This is a time when members of the audience, friends, family, actors and crew can mingle, take photos, get autographs, congratulate and thank one another, etc, and this is the occasion on which I have observed that those involved seem to derive the most pleasure.

Once out of costume, everybody involved in the show must assist in some way with tidying up the theatre to make-way for the next show. Costumes must be organized and hung-up, all props, make-up, wigs, and anything else used in the show must be accounted for and returned to storage areas, and any relevant 'set' must be dismantled. There is usually a party after the show where friendships can be cemented and contact details exchanged.

If Spartanburg isn't your town, there are many other theatres scattered around the country offering similar opportunities and I urge you to seek them out. I consider this experience priceless, yet it cost us nothing apart from the gas to get there, time and dedication - in my opinion, a small price to pay for all that is learned along the way.

Wow! What an awesome learning experience, Su! Thanks for sharing this opportunity with other homeschooling families. Blessings, Heather :)

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