The Aletheia Children’s Wing of The WordPlayers is currently underway with our first program. We have partnered with the Boys & Girls Club of Oak Ridge to provide an after-school drama program for a selection of their kids. We meet on Wednesdays and Fridays from 4-5:30pm. The ages range from 10 to 15 and we have been averaging around twelve students each day.
It has been a blast introducing theatre concepts and ideas, while also building on the experiences some of the students have had at school and extra curricular theatre activities. They love an opportunity to express their creativity and energy in a supportive environment like this one. Usually we get requests to play some of the theatre games we have tried in the program before but the kids also take to the new games quickly and are hungry to try to master them.
While making sure the students are having fun and engaging with the games is important, we also introduce different facets of drama and the theatre to them. For example, last week was all about the theme of directing & blocking. We had a guest speaker come in and talk to the kids about directing and answer questions that the kids had.
It’s very encouraging to come in on a Wednesday or Friday and talk a little with the Boys & Girls Club staff and hear them tell us how excited the kids are about our program (and how enthused the staff is about us keeping their kids entertained and participating for an hour and a half)! The students can’t wait to start working on a short play which, if everything works out, we want to perform for a Boys & Girls Club board dinner in the winter!
This has been such a rewarding experience for me, personally, already. To see these kids, who are usually ones with behavior issues in school, get to express themselves in new fun ways is something I look forward to every time. Thank you all for your prayers and support for our program and we’ll keep you updated with how it’s coming along!