Read the KC Experience: From Brainstorm to Production
CONFIDENCE BUILDING The Kids Creative teacher helps build a strong ensemble through group building games and activities. They establish a group culture with rules and expectations for behavior that focus on peaceful actions. The students' ideas are always encouraged and accepted, the rule of our brainstorm sessions, "All ideas are good" invites students to share their most creative thoughts and respect and listen to the ideas of others in the group. Students can add on to the ideas of others through "yes, and..."
For example, in our first brainstorm session, the children share ideas for a story and eventually create "Hot Dog Mountain." 5-year-old Ty explains a new group of characters, the Empro Dragons, which is a great idea! 8-year-old Julia decides to add on to that idea: "Yes, and...it is raining hot dogs." As more and more ideas are shared, a play is born.
COMMUNITY The children work together on all areas of story development, from collaborating brainstorms to creating an outline and a script to learning and performing the original music created for their play by The Dirty Sock Funtime Band.
So what's happening on Hot Dog Mountain? The cloud-dwelling Empro-Dragons have stopped the hot dog rain, leaving the Hot Dog Mountain people without anything to eat. This scene sets up our first song, "I'm Hungry."
CREATIVE CONFLICT RESOLUTION The students are encouraged to use their imaginations to discover non-violent alternatives to conflict: How will the Hot Dog Mountain people respond to this predicament? Shoot lasers or build a cannon? These types of responses are common on TV and in real life. While they are accepted, we challenge the students to think outside the box. But what if we could solve the conflict in a more imaginative way? Let's see...
Evelyn, age 7, decides that her character, Crazy Brain Eyeball, can bounce up to the clouds on her purple mohawk hairdo and offer a bargain to the Empro-Dragons. If the dragons agree to let the food fall, the Hot Dog Mountain people will teach the Empro Dragons how to "Hot Dog" to other planets.
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EMPOWERMENT Our students are given the freedom to think for themselves, problem solve, and respect each other's ideas. They know that they cannot fail...ever.
The Empro Dragons would love to "Hot Dog" to the neighboring planet. Wait--the neighboring planet does not have a name yet--what will the planet be called? Shy Create-A-Play student, Maya says meekly, "I don't know."
Instead of dismissing Maya, the Create-A-Play teacher turns the response into an idea: "That’s a great idea! So, 'Planet I Don't Know' it is!"
There is never a wrong answer at Create-A-Play! Maya's mother told us that she has seen a marked improvement in Maya's confidence and sociability due to her experience in the Kids Creative Create-A-Play program.
ACCOMPLISHMENT A finished product: The students have worked hard to make their ideas reality, designing sets from their own artwork, creating costumes and learning the music for their play. Improvisation, acting and performance skills are developed though games and exercises and are part of the collaborative creative process. The students perform the play on the last day of the program for their friends and family and take home a CD of their music.
While we believe the process to be extremely important we also value the benefit of a polished product that the students can be proud of. This is also an opportunity for families to experience and see what it is that we do!
PROFESSIONALISM Highly trained, experienced teachers and arts professionals provide the essential arts education that is now being drastically cut from school curricula. Our teaching staff are excellent role models and co-collaborators with the students.
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