I was extremely nervous but very excited we met at the venue by 9.45 am. we entered the hall at 10am, dressed up and then did rehearsals warm up sessions before the children arrived.
it was a fully participatory performance, the children where as excited as we where and they engaged and participated easily. having liselle Narratoring the story guide and controlled the performance because the children were extremely excited
my highlight is how the children engaged and responded to the performance, when we got in small groups where asked to create still images depicting the moral of the story
Below is our script of the whole performance.
Brief Context: by lisselle
This one-hour Drama-In-Education (DiE) participative performance workshop, The Tortoise and The Hare developed by BA (Hons.) Drama, Applied Theatre & Performance Level 6 students with tutor guidance. The workshop is aimed at children in Year 1 and Year 2 and is adapted from the Half Moon Young People’s Theatre archived bilingual play from 1984. We are delighted to be working in partnership with the Half Moon YPT for this project as it has enabled out Level 5 students at UEL to gain an insight and professional experience into DiE in Tower Hamlets. Our overall aim for the workshop is to use participative, whole group in-role and Facilitator-In-Role techniques traditionally used in Theatre In Education (TiE) to encourage the children to use their own experiences, critical reflection to explore issues surrounding friendship, empathy and difference.
Pre-workshop activity suggestions for school:
The story takes place in a forest and centers around four friends; elephant, fox, hare, and tortoise. It would be wonderful if the class teacher could lead a craft activity with the children before Tuesday 15th March that involved one or a few of the following:
- Each child makes a simple mask that represents either an elephant, a fox, a tortoise or a hare
- Each child or in pairs make a Forest picture / painting.
- It would also be brilliant if the children could think of some forest / rain forest sounds that they might hear if they were in a forest?
- Finally, could the children wear name tags on their tops?
Resources for workshop:
- Possible Props for each animal (e.g. Fluffy duster for fox; Long tube for elephant? Ears for rabbit or face paint; tortoise shell for tortoise; (bring my yellow wings the sun (?)
- Name tags for the children.
- Costume for the UEL students to include block colours – legging and tops.
- Small PA system and music from original Hare and Tortoise play.
THE ANIMALS AND THEIR CHARACTERISTICS:
- Elephant (Tiam & Rose): peacemaker and tries to support and encourage tortoise, courageous, supportive, empathetic, big friendly giant, clumsy, wrinkly, heavy, slow, confident, wise, humble
- Tortoise (Ash, Prima): good at numbers, slow, shy, willing to learn, reserved, naïve, confused, insecure,
- Hare (Mercedes, Diana): careless, comes across as over-confident, trickster, big-headed, arrogant, attention-seeking, insecure, jealous, competitive, feels isolated, neglected, belittling, low-self-esteem, teasing, big baby.
Fox: (Abdul, Amber) Teasing, sly, Sliding, Elegant, Sneaky, Hard to get, fast, stops and hides and sneakily looks around; nasty, enjoys causing trouble, stirring things (why is she like this?), shady,
Outline of the DiE Participative Performance Workshop:
PART 1: Meeting the animals
- In a circle standing welcome and introduce ourselves and explain that we are here to tell a story but we need your help. Say our names.
- Diana introduces and leads the CHANT with NAMES. (4 names at a time which we repeat).
- Liselle – Our story takes place in a forest – a magical forest where the animals play and talk. Can you create the sounds of the forest – what might we hear? A short soundscape of the forest.
- Have you ever seen a hare leap? Or a tortoise eat? Have you ever met a strong elephant sleeping or a sneaky, sly fox playing? Come with me into our magical forest where the animals eat, sleep and play – The sun is setting – lets meet some of the animal families –
- Cue for each group of animals to perform the rehearsed eating, sleeping and playing to pre-recorded music and making eye-contact and holding hands with the children.
- Let’s meet the different families – what are they like – what can we tell about them? PLAY INSTRUMENTAL MUSIC.
- What did you see? What did you find out about these forest animals?
- It’s a usual morning and the ‘baby’ animals are rising after a long sleep ready to play. (One by one they enter the circle, the fox, then tortoise, then elephant then hare. They greet each other in DIFFERENT LANGUAGES AND IN DIFFERENT PLAYFUL WAYS. They greet the children who they interact with as animals.
- They share different ideas of what to do until the Hare comes up with ‘Let’s dig a hole’. The foxes order everyone to start digging and they all including the children sing the Chant quietly. Fox then says, ’let’s stop for a rest’. Everyone FREEZE. Then after 3 counts the 2 hares fall into the hole – slow motion until on the ground.
- The fox then suggests that the elephant use her trunk and then the elephants ask the children to help and to hold on to pull out the hares. The succeed and everyone cheers.
- The tortoise congratulates the elephant and says what a wonderful, brave job she did to help the hare. The elephant is getting a lot of attention, and the Hare doesn’t like this.
- The hares step in and says, ‘I could have pulled myself out of the hole by myself – I didn’t need anyone’s help – especially not the elephant or those little animals. Infact look at your little wrinkly legs tortoise – you would never have got out of the hole if you had fallen in. Infact look at my long strong legs, and your little wrinkly legs (repeat). We dare you to a race – ha ha we will win. The tortoise says, ‘Ok – I’ll race you’.
PART 2: The Race
The Race. The two animals stand side by side ready for the race – and they set off to the music from the original play. The hares race round (but actually move in slow motion) and the tortoises hardly move at all. The hares arrive half way and start chilling and relaxing with the children and making fun of the slow tortoise. Both hares eventually decide to have a wee rest.
Meanwhile the tortoise has lost all of her confidence and she really doubts herself – especially as she passes the hare – she think she will awake and win. The children with the help of the elephants encourage her to keep going. This really helps her and the tortoises and several of the children manage to make it to the finish line before the hare does. The hare awakes just before the tortoise wins.(Big cheering.)
PART 3: Creative Reflection
Children reflecting upon the drama:In groups of threes (with each student with a group of three children) the children have to decide on what the animals in the story might learn from what happened? Can they show this in a ‘photograph’ with their bodies and decide on a caption / a title.
This might (for example) be….
Stand up for your friends / respect others and appreciate difference.