For the Summer of 2013, I thought it would be perfect for me to plan, execute, teach, and direct an English Theatre! “English in Theatre?” you may ask what does this mean?
Thinking about the “Camp Estivo” I planned, and directed last summer, I wanted to do something similar, but this time incorporating Theatre and the English language. It was perfect for me! I have a Master’s of Arts in Costume Technology, my professional experience has been in theater and costume for over 20 years, and English is my mother-tongue. Therefore I knew it was a perfect plan!
For months I researched this idea, trying to figure out if such a thing existed in Italy. I was really happy to find some information! Here are my top three finds:
1. Teatro Inglese Per Bambini, Florence, Italy.
Which contains some helpful information from a native of the United Kingdom, who is an actress and an instructor of the English language.
2. Super Simple Learning, Seattle, Washington (U.S.A).
I found some very helpful songs, and flashcards from this site!
3. Polly the Collie. (Which I now see is a part of Helen Doron education system-“Didi and Polly.) The original site no longer exists, but some of the information can be accessed via the site, Didi and Polly.
I used the above sites and a few others as a starting point for writing my lesson plans. As a part in my program I also wanted to utilize our amazing local historical theatre.
After completing my bilingual script of the Wizard of Oz. I had a meeting with our mayor to present my project. I was given free use of a room in our church for the first month and the theatre for the second month. I was so very excited!
So I set a sign-up deadline, spoke with local parents and waited. A few days before the deadline I was getting concerned, only three children had signed up!
The weekend before we were to begin, I was contacted by other parents letting me know they were planning to bring their children. On our first day, we had 19 children! Which was wonderful. But as our days continued so did our enrollment. By our second week, we had 30 plus enrollment from the age range of 3 to 10 years old.
It was wonderful but I had to revise my lesson plans, and I had to change the Wizard of Oz, (not many children in Italy are familiar with it) I had to change it to a story every Italian child would be familiar with, so for our show we would be doing Little Red Riding Hood!
My favourite part of starting on a new project is the beginning research part! For this reason I have fallen in love with Pinterest, it is great for gathering visual from around the web! I began a Wizard of Oz board, then later, Little Red Riding Hood. Click on each to take a look at my images!
My adventure and story continues…..