Children’s Stage Adventures Comes to AES

By Lura Jackson

 

The students of Alexander Elementary School [AES] are in the midst of experiencing the wonder of theater this week, courtesy of Children’s Stage Adventures. The company, which specializes in producing professionally guided theatrical plays with youth around New England, is working with AES to put on a performance of “Cry Wolf” this Friday.

This is the first time that Children’s Stage Adventures has come to AES, and the duo conducting the rehearsals and training – Morgan Swan and Eric Monzel – share that they are “beyond thrilled” to be here. The production will involve the entire school, with Swan and Monzel working with small groups every single day to fine tune different portions of the show.

“During each rehearsal, we will be taking a small group and teaching them their songs, dances, blocking on stage, and script work,” Swan explained. “By Thursday, the whole play will be assembled!” The students will rehearse together as a group, with each rehearsal introducing new concepts to the performance, including a pianist, set, props, and costumes. On Friday, two performances of the play will be held: a dress rehearsal at 1:00 p.m., and a full performance open to the public at 6:00 p.m. Adults and high school students may attend for $3 each, while tickets for children will be $1; the funds raised will offset costs.

In addition to the play itself, Swan and Monzel will be working with the students on separate theater-based workshops designed to bring out their inner performers. Each 45-minute workshop will “teach students skills that we use every day as actors that they can utilize in their day-to-day activities,” Monzel said. The workshops incorporate creative movement, dramatics, and concentration activities.

Gaining familiarity with the performing arts is a benefit that extends beyond the stage in many ways, Swan and Monzel explained. The different techniques and methods that are taught allows for a new avenue of developing a growth mindset, as opposed to core learning subjects which can make the brain more rigid. It also allows for an alternative outlet for emotional expression. “This type of interaction allows for students to branch out of studious activities or sporting events and gain a new level of self-confidence, accomplishment, and community that comes with being a part of a forty- to fifty-member production,” Swan said.

To learn more about Children’s Stage Adventures, visit childrensstageadventures.org.