Fifth graders from Chester Charter School for the Arts (CCSA) enjoyed a field trip hosted by the Andrew L. Hicks, Jr. Foundation to People’s Light and Theatre Company in Frazer for a Day In the Arts. The event was a senior project for Olivia DeCastro and Mia Leopold, two seniors at Henderson High School. The team worked hand in hand with Beverly Rigby, the theater teacher at CCSA. The girls gathered five of their friends who are involved in theater at Henderson and the seven of them created dance and movement workshops as well as a drama workshop for the kids to participate in during the day. Everything centered around a play the kids are learning at school called “Hairspray”.
The children arrived at People’s Light at 10:15am and were welcomed into a dress rehearsal room where they were introduced to their instructors and given an outline of the day. Then they were divided into three different groups. Each group had the chance to rotate through three different stations. The first was taught by Greta Shanley, who warmed the kids up with a name/dance move game and then a series of stretching exercises. After that Greta taught the students a dance which went to one of the songs from “Hairspray”.
The second rotation was taught by Colleen Driscoll. She also had the kids on their feet and moving around teaching them some new dance moves. They worked hard to keep up with her choreography and she ended her session with a fun game of freeze dance.
Katie Sanders and Lexi Walsh (who created a Day In The Arts as their senior project last year when they were just juniors) ran the drama piece of the day. Their workshop began with a game of Party Guests where each child had to knock on a door to enter a party and then would have to silently act out which guest they were. The host or hostess would have to guess who they were based on their body theatrics and their facial expressions. The kids also played a game of “Janitor” following the janitor around without being seen. Once the janitor turned to face them, the kids would have to freeze as if they were statues.
After all three rotations were complete, the kids enjoyed a wonderful lunch of Chick-Fil-A sandwiches, a bag of popcorn, clementines, rice krispy treats and some sweet tea or water. The lunch was necessary since the kids had burned so many calories that morning. It was a great time of relaxing and fun.
In the afternoon the kids focused on just one of the three disciplines, either drama or one of the two dance classes. The kids carefully went over their lines, focused on where they were to stand on stage, their theatrics, facial expressions and voice projections. Other groups worked tirelessly on their dance choreography, movement and working in unison.
At the end of the day the kids all had the chance to perform their pieces and when they weren’t performing, they were part of the audience. The adults who chaperoned were amazed at the quality of acting and dancing and how well the three scenes came together. It was a really worthwhile day. Some children discovered a real love for the theater and everyone appreciated this form of self-expression.
Chester Charter School for the Arts
Wendy Babel at People’s Light and Theatre Company
Krapf Bus Company