Friday, August 7, 2009


January, 2009

I managed to get the "Twelfth Night" script down to 25 pages, including the narration and Shakespeare's text. Now, to begin reading aloud and learning the story.

The kids are excited to receive a script with their name handwritten on the binder, thanks to Rachel (she's stickin' with us) and Lyndon (our stage manager) carefully putting labels on each script.

It'll take a full three weeks of meetings to get through the entire play, but that's okay because I let everyone read different parts in order to hear them all as I face casting decisions. It's also a chance for many to play major parts when it won't necessarily fall out that way.

"Okay, as we read, have your pencils ready to circle any words you either do not understand or know how to pronounce. You will each have a chance to work with me privately to go through those."

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Henry?"

"You mean we get out of class?"

"Yes, you each get one 'Get Out of Jail, Free' card to work with me."

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Lizzie?"

She's a third-grader and a tiny pip of a girl who cannot stop smiling.

"What does that mean? About jail and stuff?"

"I'm being silly, Lizzie. It just means that I'll find you one day and we'll have some time together in the library to go over your circled words. Sound good?"

And the screams start:


"Pick me! Me! Me!"

"When, Ms. Ryane?"

"Like tomorrow or what?!"

Here's my advice to anyone considering volunteering in a school. Get to know, respect and befriend the professionals: the teachers. They have the tips. They know the kids. They can talk you down from a tree — and I guarantee you'll be up one.

Example: Sydney, the fourth-grade teacher, said this:


"What do you mean?"

"Just start counting. When mayhem is unleashed, count. Ten, nine, eight...."

"And what happens?"

"You'll see. And if you're short on time, start at five."

Magic. Amazing. I simply start counting and quiet, orderly conduct takes over.

So, here we go: Ten, nine, eight, seven...ahhh, quiet. Begin.

If I was a girl in the Elizibethin time I would think I would wounder....

It’s a little late in they afternoon and I'm helping my mom with lunch while dad madeges our bills, and my brother is at school probely being beaten. My brother isn't the sharpest dagger in the box, but then I don't know witch is so unfair, I mean why can't I learn anything, I mean if I can learn sowing & cooking I should be able to learn anything else.

What I think about the first half of the play is that it is taking an intresting turn, because Viola loves a guy who thinks shes a guy and he likes another guy.
—Polly, 5th grade

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