Wrapping Up Session 3: What I’ve Learned

It’s hard to believe how fast six weeks has gone by.  LYTE Summer 2010 is now finished!  I survived!

The playwright, Len Cuthbert, wasn’t able to come to the actual show today, but he was able to attend the dress rehearsal, and I’m really pleased to say that he very much enjoyed the show.  I’m really happy about that!  One of the challenges of this session was that the script was written for 18 characters, with 5 boys and 13 girls.  I had a cast of 10 actors, 1 boy and 9 girls.  So we had to do some creative adapting, and it was very successful.  The kids were integral to the development of the production, as they helped a lot to really shape their characters and really make them interesting people, rather than just characters.

As always, this is what I’ve learned:

  • With the Session 3 kids, since they were aged 13 to 16, it was a totally different situation than with the younger kids.  I felt like I had to work harder to win them over.
  • I don’t miss being a young teen AT ALL.  They’re under so much pressure from each other and mostly from themselves, to fit in and be popular.  They have to listen to the right music, wear the right clothes, say the right thing.  It’s hard.
  • What works for younger kids did NOT work for the teens.  I will admit that in the second week, I was finally pushed to my limits and had a blowup at the kids, who were goofing around and being silly.  Admittedly it was not my finest moment.  But we worked it out, with a lot of talking it out and asking the teens’ opinions and thoughts about different topics.  I picked their brains about certain topics, such as what kinds of plays they’d want to perform.  Their answers ran the gamut from Romeo & Juliet-type stories, to 80’s hair musicals, to stories about Cinderella and Tinkerbell!  It really made me realize that it’s got to be hard for these teens: they’re too old for certain things and too young for others.  They’re stuck between a rock and a hard spot.
  • Music is everything.
  • I never want to have to lug a drum kit, two guitars and a bass guitar up and down two flights of stairs ever again.
  • Really, truly proofread the programme before you approve it (ugh).
  • It really is amazing that we were able to produce three shows in six weeks!

It’s bittersweet.  I’m sad that LYTE is finished for the summer, but I’m looking forward to whatever comes up next!  I’m open to all possibilities!

Speaking of… I can officially announce that I will be directing the upcoming Out of Sight Productions show in February, No Traveller Returns!  I’m really excited!

(Although it’s going to be weird not having to throw together a show in 2 weeks!)

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