No program would be complete without the opportunity to create and perform. Our artist workshops provide the perfect setting for children as they participate in drama camps, puppet shows and other visual arts, dance and performance activities.
Radio workshops led by voice-over professional Beth Chaplin have become an annual event. We’ve had our first 2 experiences and can’t imagine not offering these creative, imagination provoking workshops for the children. It all starts with kids learning about old-time radio shows. Stories told without visual images. Just voices and sound effects along with using big microphones. So far they have created two of Aesop’s wonderful adventures, the story of The Tortoise and the Hare and The Lion and the Mouse. The final mixes of The Tortoise and the Hare and The Lion and the Mouse were presented in a CD format to children who participated so they can revisit their production.
Children participate in both the on- and off-stage experience, creating scenery, learning lines, practicing dances, practicing and rehearsing. Many of their performances – from Annie, The Sound of Music and The Wizard of Oz to Mary Poppins, have resulted in the very special “encores” that make everyone’s day.
Margo McCreary leads our annual 3-day Puppet Workshop at Ronald McDonald House, which culminates in a performance that is scripted and performed by the children in our program, with highly improbable (but entertaining!) story lines. Margo has also produced live outdoor puppet shows that were performed outside of Ronald McDonald House and Children’s Minnesota hospital in Minneapolis. Star Studios, Children’s Minneapolis’ closed circuit TV program, simultaneously live streamed the performances to hospital rooms on both Minneapolis and St. Paul campuses.
Silent Film Workshops
Our first Silent Film Workshop had children at Ronald McDonald House engaged for three mornings, and they learned three new words, “Lights, Camera, Action.” Their imaginations led to productions with heroes of all kinds, from Kings and Sorcerers in The Magician to our second production, Superheros on the Moon. Harmony Theatre Company led both workshops and we can’t wait to collaborate again.
Mosaic Workshops led by mosaic artist Lori Greene take the word collaboration to new heights. Children and their families will often take part in creating the mosaic background for large pieces or work on smaller sections of a large mosaic piece or both. Mosaic art is a multi-step process and it takes a lot of patience and a lot of time to complete. Because of the scope and size of the projects, children participate as time allows and Lori takes it from there. The results are full of magical details and wonder. There is so much to see and it’s always fun for the children to look for the areas they worked on. It’s even more fun to watch them look for and find their names, which are always embedded in the art.