In Andrea McCormick’s Shakespeare: The Musical residency, students will take a play from Shakespeare and incorporate it with music and dance. Students will be encouraged to analyze selections from the script, find the rhythmic patterns in the writing, and work them into song as either a melody or rap, with movement or dance. As an added reinforcement of comprehension, students will be asked to rewrite selections from the script in current English to create a new, abridged musical version of the play.
This assembly program shows the range of Hughes’ styles and themes through poetry, song, and movement. The students will perform the poems, helping the students discover their own dreams, how those dreams can be deferred and how, ultimately, they can be fulfilled. The principal texts are from “The Dream Keeper” and other poems, illustrated by Brian Pickney. Additional texts include poems by Gwendolyn Brooks, Sam Allen, and Eloise Greenfield, as well as song lyrics by Sam Cook and Curtis Mayfield.
A writing workshop includes two to three writing prompts based upon Langston’s poems “Dream,” “Poem,” and “Motto.” The workshop can be offered as a stand-alone workshop, or a post-assembly workshop.
Reading and writing plays is motivating to students of all abilities. Writing and performing your own play not only gives students experience with dialogue and action but also develops reading and writing fluency and confidence. Play writing also helps students break out of the habit of writing fast summaries of their stories instead of real “showing writing,” including scene and character development. Students will learn how character and conflict interact to create drama in a short play. LEI will lead students through the writing process, from developing a main character and dramatic conflict, through complicating the conflict with other obstacles, to resolving the play as a tragedy or comedy. Students will learn the basic elements of play writing including dialogue and stage directions and may perform their play at the end of the project.
Lake Erie Ink also offers play writing adaptation workshops of fairy tales, folk tales, and myths or can create a customized program to provide experience and understanding of a variety of fictional genres.
Students are invited to sing, mime, chant, and then analyze how characters, setting, and the beginning-middle-end of stories relate to the whole. With handcrafted puppets, guitar, sound effects and movement, students explore a West Indian folktale, a wide mouth frog adventure and echo songs rich in rhythm and rhyme.
Dramatic Activities to Facilitate the Pre-Writing Process: This workshop provides theatrical tools to help all kinds of learners write. Examine ways to physicalize literary structure, bring it to life, and translate that physicality onto the page with graphic organizers to help students play, then write!
This workshop is designed to improve non-verbal communication skills. Students participate in exercises that increase the use of body language and facial expressions when communicating thoughts and feelings through gesture, mime, and improvisation techniques.