Thursday, October 30, 2008

Activity: Pirate Wants a Ship

As part of every production, our Drama School develops a number of games and activities related to the show for use in workshops and residencies. Many of them are very specific to creative drama classes, but others work in any setting, and some of those we post here for you to enjoy.

As part of our Bluenose curriculum, we have this variant on musical chairs with a pirate theme.

Pirate Wants a Ship

Have players sit in chairs in a circle, with one chair-less person, the Pirate, in the middle. The object of the Pirate is to get a chair, the Ship; the objective of everyone else is to not let this happen, while frequently switching chairs with other people.

At the start of the game, the Pirate approaches any player and says "Pirate wants a ship." That player has the choice of two replies:
1) "Go ask my neighbor!" Then the Pirate must move on and ask someone else.
2) "Aaaargh!" At this, everyone gets up and switches places, and the Pirate tries to steal a seat.

While this is happening, anyone can switch chairs at any time. The players seated in the circle try to make eye contact with each other and silently agree to switch without being caught by the Pirate.

If the Pirate steals a chair during the switch, the player left standing without a chair becomes the new Pirate.

Once you've played this way for a bit, you can add these options to make the game a little trickier. Give the Pirate three more options for what they can choose to say:
1) "The wind blows right!" All players must try to move on seat to their right.
2) "The wind blows left!" All players must try to move on seat to their left.
3) "Tidal wave!" All players must run to the middle of the circle like a wave, and then must find a seat.

Monday, October 27, 2008

What's the big idea?

We're in our second full week of Bluenose, and teachers and classes in particular love the show. We asked the teachers that attended the first week for feedback, and were overwhelmed with the response.

Particularly interesting was this letter from Cindy Numata, a second-grade teacher at Lowell Elementary School:

Our class LOVED this play!

Brandon Simmons and Hana Lass in Bluenose. Photo by Chris Bennion.

In our reading, we are trying to identify the "big ideas" or "author's lessons." Before the play, I told them that the play was about pirates, but we should also be looking for the "big ideas." When we got back from the show, I had the students write that "the play was about pirates, but on a deeper level, it was about: ______________________. "

Here are things the students came up with and that I kept track of on a class chart.

* Someone might be different but you shouldn't be mean to them.
* Diversity is good.
* Don't be afraid of differences.
* It's OK to be different.
* You can be the boss of yourself.
* Trust yourself.
* You should make your own choices.
* Knowledge if valuable.
* The boss isn't always right.
* You don't know everything.
* You may look different, but you can find similarities.
* You should learn different things.
* Don't be a know-it-all.

Fantastic ideas, all. Thanks to Ms. Numata's class for sharing.

Bluenose runs through December 14th, 2008 in SCT's Eve Alvord Theatre.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Opening Night!

It's opening night of Bluenose, and things are jumping around here. Opening nights are always fun and it is incredibly satisfying to get a show you've worked so hard on to stage.

Tim Hyland as pirate captain Ratt. Photo by Chris Bennion.

Come on down and check out this rollicking pirate tale. And, if you need a little convincing, check out the Seattle P-I preview. Many, many positive reviews to follow, I'm sure.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Yo-ho, yo-ho, a pirate's life for me

We are mere days from opening night of Bluenose, the first official show of our Mainstage Season. And tonight is the final tech dress rehearsal, meaning that my favorite photographer, Chris Bennion, will be joining me this evening for a photo shoot of the production.

What I most enjoy about working with Chris is that he gets theatre, really understands how much fun it is to work in this business. That, and the fact that he is always looking to capture the impromptu moments that happen around our shoots.

For example, Chris was quick enough with his camera to catch Bluenose director Allison Narver hanging off the rigging demonstrating her best Errol Flynn pose.

I love these kinds of candid images because they really capture the behind-the-scenes spirit here at SCT. And because I love Allison's fierce pirate captain hat.

Bluenose opens October 17th and runs through December 14th in SCT's Eve Alvord Theatre.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Thank you TeenTix!

We kicked of the run of Night of the Living Dead in style last week with our TeenTix preview event. Attendees got decked out in zombie make-up and absolutely rocked the house - the gasped, laughed and screamed their way through the zombie carnage.

Many thanks to everyone that came to the event, and to TeenTix for helping us set up the event.

BTW, the reviews are out, and everybody loves the zombies! (Go to "2008 Special Perfs" in the drop-down menu.)