Friday, October 30, 2009

Spring Break

April, 2009

Teachers tell me the school year goes as follows:

    September: healthy
    November: sick
    winter break: recover
    February: healthy
    March: sick
    spring break: recover
    May: healthy
    June: see barn door
    July: coma

It's all about the cycle and by April I was ready for spring break.

"So long, my little friends...see ya in a couple!"

I was off to New Orleans for some seafood, music, lots of walking and an eye-popping, heartbreaking mess....Three-and-a-half years after Katrina and many places still seemed underwater. Forget having a Shakespeare Club, I saw public schools shut up like ghost towns, with weeds poking up through cement play areas, wind whistling through and not a child in sight.

And yet, a Nawlins spirit sang out upon the sip of a sticky Sazerac:

"We're still here, we're comin' back, and taste this!"

Walking through the French Quarter, it occurred to me that Mardi Gras beads would make a great addition to our production of "Twelfth Night." If I could track down some cheapies it would snazz up the citizens of Illyria and pay tribute to the unique city of New Orleans.

My plan, however, proved to be a tricky business. Even though Mardi Gras had passed and everywhere I looked the "throws," as they're known, were hanging off balconies or swinging on the branches of magnolias and live oaks, the shops charged three to four dollars a string. I needed twenty strings and that was too pricey.

Walking into Greg's Antiques in the Quarter I thought, "Sweet idea...oh well."

I wandered by aged window frames, peeling fireplace mantles and black cast-iron fences and fantasized about what a swell writer I would surely be if I only lived in New Orleans. Caught up in my daydreams, I nearly tripped over a barrel of colorful necklaces. Tons of the things. I scooped my hands through them like a 17th-century pirate with stolen booty.

I asked a young woman at the register how much the beads cost.

She tipped her head, gave it a thought and answered, "A buck each."

I wrangled her down to fifty cents each and figured I could make that work on our budget. I chose twenty strings.

Pulling out my wallet, I noticed a man sitting near the cashier's desk. The saleslady explained the price she'd quoted and he laughed.

I piped up that they were for some little kids back in Los Angeles doing a play.

He waved me off and said, "Take 'em. No charge."


Then he said, "No, wait."

Together, the store owner and saleslady gathered strings and strings of beads. They opened drawers and pulled out more. They filled plastic bags with turquoise, green, purple and pink shiny baubles and sent me out the door weighted down in New Orleans' generosity.

I think we've got to hold up our end of the bargain and return the spirit.

Dear Dad,

I got caught in a terrible storm. I fear Sebastian is dead sense when we got separated I'm on this island called "Illeria". I fell in love with this guy called "Orsino" and a women "Olivia" fell in ♥ with me because she thinks I'm a man!

Hope thy is well!
Alice, 5th grade

school photo by Painting with Fire

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Hard News: The Reading Thing

"I was asleep before," Julia told me in Spanish. "Before, there was no sun for me. Now I feel más despierta," more awake, she said.

LA Times columnist Hector Tobar tells the story of Julia Rodriguez, a 34-year-old garment worker and mother of three learning to read for the first time.

She went to classes, found the study overwhelming and wanted to quit. Her ten-year-old son wouldn't let her.

Bravo, Hector Tobar, for writing the story.

Bravo, Julia — now you can read how you are an inspiration to the rest of us.

Literacy brings immigrants closer to full participation in life (Hector Tobar, LA Times)

photo by Liz O. Baylen/LA Times

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

What If They Don't Laugh?

April, 2009

"Hey, Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Geneva?"

"What if they don't laugh?"

This is the nightmare of actors, directors and writers staging comedies. It's a legit question. "What if they don't laugh?"

Geneva is an intimidating girl. Geneva can be a bully. Geneva has two xs and she has good reason to be worried. I'm not laughing.

We take a meeting in my "office."

"Geneva, I need your help...well, your advice, really."

She sits up, serious, as we face each other on the bench.

"Say I have a member of the club who kinda bugs the other kids. Sticks a foot out to trip another actor, or steals another actor's pencil or doesn't do the journal work...or, I don't know...just acts like they don't care much about the play and stuff."

Geneva carefully considers what I'm saying about this imaginary baddie.

"So, here's my problem....Say this club member has two xs and really has earned the third, which know...kicked out....I'm not sure what to do because I like this actor and I saw real potential last year when they played a small part but...I'm stuck because I have to think what's best for everyone, not just this person."

Geneva nods and gives it some thought.

"Well, Ms. Ryane, I think you should give this person another chance."

"Really? That's what you would do?"


"Hmmm. That's interesting. Like, say, if this was you...that's what you'd want me to do?"

Light bulb.

"Ms. Ryane?"


"Do you mean this person is me?"

I give a puzzled look.

"What do you mean, Geneva? Does this sound like you?"

"Yeah...I guess," she whispers.

"Hmmm. Interesting. Well, if it sounds like you, then I'm going to take your advice. Let's give it another go. Deal?"

We shook on it.

Flash ahead to this autumn. I was walking across the campus when a small first-grade girl ran up to me.

"Ms. Ryane?"


"Geneva told me to tell you 'Hi!' "

"Are you Geneva's sister?"

"She's my cousin."

"You tell Geneva that Ms. Ryane sends her a hug and says she misses her."

Geneva has five brothers and sisters. Mom is out of the picture and Dad is overwhelmed. Geneva was sent to live with an aunt.

Geneva has just cause to be angry. But she stuck with us and never earned that third x. And when she performed, she was funny.

And everybody laughed.

I would like to have a life of Peace and Purpose and I would help people for charity or help with special needs.

And I would live a life of peace and be able to pay rent, get a good house and a good carier.
—Geneva, 5th grade

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Recess: He Is King Lear

When the mind's free,
The body's delicate.
King Lear Act III, Scene IV

Last month I posted a story about my dad. How he'd been discovered on his bathroom floor after lying there for two days. How doctors diagnosed him with an infection and he spiraled deeper into his Alzheimer's dementia. How the family had been told his future was in a "care home" and that he would not be returning to his fifteenth-floor high-rise apartment where he lives on his own.

And I wrote how my dad was no King Lear, aside from insisting on living his life on his terms no matter how precarious we might find his choices.

Ahh...the stubbornness is all.

O! let me not be mad, not mad, sweet heaven;
Keep me in temper; I would not be mad!
King Lear Act I Scene V

Turns out my dad had picked up a robust case of E. coli, perhaps from the greasy mall food he'd been eating. After two months of hospital food, which he deemed delicious, by the way, his strength came back. In his weakened state, Dad had complimented the nurses, thinking they were waitresses and cooks.

After the consistent care of these professionals, my dad's brain function recovered to a state of periodic confusion instead of continual dementia.

Who is it that can tell me who I am?
King Lear Act I, Scene IV

My brother brought me a video of Dad in the hospital. There he was, out of his walker and on to a cane. Out of a disoriented stare and into a book. Able to track the plays of a quarterback on his beloved football team. Because he was aware that I would see the video, he looked into the camera and gave me a "Hello, Mel!" as a gift.

How sharper than a serpent's tooth it is
To have a thankless child!
King Lear Act I, Scene IV

So, my dad went back home to his apartment, to live on his own. Twice a day professional caregivers came by to help and provide food.

Until it all stopped. He told them not to come anymore. There will be no food delivery, because he doesn't want it. He'll shuffle back to the mall. When I expressed dismay and insisted he needs support, he answered with the coolness of a bluffer in a high-stakes game: "Thank you for your concern, Mel."

You see me here, you gods, a poor old man,
As full of grief as age; wretched in both!
King Lear Act II, Scene IV

My dad is well cast as King Lear. I, however, am hopelessly miscast as the gentle, resilient daughter, Cordelia. I'm failing, floundering and edgy.

And so it goes. Until the next phone call. Until the next fall. Until....

The worst is not,
So long as we can say, 'This is the worst.'
King Lear Act IV, Scene I

Monday, October 26, 2009


April, 2009

While we're studying and rehearsing a play for performance, I like to introduce other Shakespearean plots to the kids. It's a gateway for a future production, an opportunity to examine themes...and a cheap contrivance for me to take center stage and act out a story.

By April, they had written in their journals about love and power. It was now time to take a look at that most dangerous of themes: Revenge.

How many of us grapple with this appetizing idea? How many of us toss and turn a night away conniving and smiling in the dark as we imagine the yummy consequences? Oh, that sweet ambrosia: Revenge.

"Hamlet," I announce to the young thespians seated in a semi-circle in Room 39.

"We did that!" shouts Luis.

"I was Horatio!" calls Geoffrey.

"Then let's see what you remember," I answer.

And the boys slump. No one likes a pop quiz.

"Hamlet's dad died. Hamlet's mom quickly married Hamlet's Uncle Claudius. Hamlet met with the ghost of his dad and learned the truth: His dad was murdered with poison in the ear by Uncle Claudius."

"Yeech!" says Geneva.

"Big yeech, big time. What is the theme of this play? What does Hamlet want? Remember our three themes: Love, Power and Revenge. What do you think Hamlet wants?"

"He wants to kill that guy!" shouts Ethan.

"Yup. He wants to get back at that uncle so he wants...."

I wait. They stare. I wait.

"He wants...."

Lifting the voice, as if that will help.

"To kill that guy!"

"Right, Calvin...we've established that....But what's that called?"

"Revenge," Kate says quietly, as the girls sometimes speak when the boys bounce up and down around them.

"Exactly, Kate. This is revenge and sometimes we all want that. To get back at someone if we've been hurt, right?"

Bums wiggle on seats.

"But here's the thing: it doesn't really work. It feels like getting back would work, but it doesn't really work and Shakespeare shows us that. In the play 'Hamlet,' everyone ends up unhappy or dead."

" in really dead?" asks Nathan.

"Sadly, yes. Get your journals and let's write about a time when you wanted revenge. Sometimes the best way to get it is to write it down."

Or to imagine it. Played out. In a really good way. A delicious ouch that has them begging for relief, screaming "I'm so sorry!" and promising the moon...but I digress.

CHILDREN'S WRITES: Journal Entries
Once I wanted revenge on Kenneth because he broke one of my toys. It was a fossiled dinosaur. It was made out of bones. With sharp teeth, a foot big, and it was a T-Rex. But it was an accident. He sat on it.
—Luis, 5th grade

I would love to get revenge on my sister. She get me in trouble, pulls my hair and plays with or takes my things without asking. I wish with all my heart to get revenge before I die!
Alice, 5th grade

I want revenge on Erik when he got me in troble in something I didn't do!
—Harry, 4th grade

Once I wanted revenge with my best friend Denise. She was not my friend at the time but now we are best friends. I wanted revenge by calling her names back. She called me names I didn’t like. That's when I wanted revenge.
—Carla, 4th grade

Friday, October 23, 2009

Nathan: Rich, Rich, Rich

March, 2009

Nathan, as Orsino, languishes on a green rag rug I've brought from home.

If music be the food of love, play on
Give me excess of it, that, surfeiting,
The appetite may sicken, and so die.
That strain again! It had a dying fall.

Will you go hunt, my lord?

What, Curio?

The hart.

Why, so I do, the noblest I have.
O, when my eyes did see Olivia first;
Methought she purged the air of pestilence.

Orsino's servants pop in and out with fun ideas for the afternoon. They attempt to end his obsessing about Lady Olivia, the attractive neighbor, who doesn't care a whit about him. Apparently, his musicians play the same song over and over. The scene ends with Orsino taking to his bed, where he plans to continue torturing himself with Olivia's rejections.

Eight-year-old Nathan has taken hold of this role with a firm grip. He swings his arm skyward and cries out: If music be the food of love, play on....

Then, like any actor in rehearsal, he stops and looks to his director for some clarification.

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"Am I rich?"

"Yes, you're rich. As Duke, you pretty much run Illyria and here you are in...well, I think a good-sized house...with servants and so on."

"Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"I like this...lying on my rug with a pillow and musicians playing for me....I really like this."

"Yup, it's pretty great. Are you ready to go on and finish the scene now that we've established your wealth situation?"

"Yeah. I guess...." He lolls back onto his pillow and lets his arm float down to the floor. He gazes at the tacky portable schoolroom ceiling as if studying gold leaf and bouncing cherubs.

"Okay, everyone ready...Beth and Darby...instruments?"

"One second, Ms. Ryane?"

"Yes, Nathan?"

"What do you think I eat anyway?"

"Whatever you want is my guess. Grapes, chicken, cakes...stuff like that."

"Yeah...probably ice cream whenever I want it, right?" and he leans back with a banquet of delights passing over his head as in a cartoon bubble.

What amazes me is how very patient the girl servants are as they stand around waiting for Orsino to finish up in fantasyland.

"Let's start again from the top...ready?"

"If music be the food of love, play on...."

At three years old, Nathan told his mom when he grew up he wanted "to be King."

Crown the boy. He's there.


I am Orsino I have pillows to sit sit on, musicians that play for me, and many advisers. I am very rich.!
—Nathan, 3rd grade

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Hard News: LOL

"I do not desire you to please me; I do desire you to sing. Come, more; another stanzo: call you 'em stanzos?"
-As You Like It

Bumbling about on the internet I happened upon a funny blog: In Bill's Humble Opinion.

The premise is William Shakespeare bumbling about various modern music venues spouting his thoughts, exclusively from his own writing because it seems he's run out of original thought.

I recommend a look for a laugh.

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Beth: Looking What?

I was at the school the other day to pick up a new schedule and settle where The Shakespeare Club would meet for Year Five. In the schoolyard, after leaving the office, I heard, "Hey, Ms. Ryane."

It was 4:30 p.m., after-school hours, a time when many children stay to participate in enrichment classes or complete homework in supervised settings. These are usually kids who can't go home to empty houses because of working parents or guardians.

When I heard my name, I looked around and found Beth.

Beth, now a fifth-grader, had been a musician in "Twelfth Night."

"I wanna be in Shakespeare Club again," she said.

"Well, you'll have to audition, Beth, like everyone else," I replied and then noticed that on this October afternoon, as an autumn chill started to gather, Beth was soaking wet.

"What happened? Why are you so wet, Beth?"

"Oh, fooling around."

She carried two full bottles of water so I imagined she was in a water war.

"When are you going home?" I asked.

"Around five, I guess."

"Who picks you up, Beth? How do you get home?"

"Well, usually my mom but I think she broke her leg. I guess I'll walk home. I don't think anyone's coming."

"What do you mean broke her just today? And where do you live, by the way?"

"Over by know...over there."

"Over there" was a long way. Almost a mile and I was on my bicycle and couldn't take her.

"Did you call home to see who's coming to get you?"

"I don't know when she broke it but she has a cast on and my dad's phone broke and we don't have a phone in the house and I don't know where my mom's phone is and my grandma doesn't have a phone and she doesn't speak English anyway and I don't speak, you know."

She rattled off this confused information and all I could think of was Beth walking home in sunset, her skinny legs trapped inside tight, sopping-wet black jeans, her hair hanging in drenched tendrils down to her shoulders and...well, forget swine flu...she was on her way to pneumonia.

Beth missed many meetings last year and her teacher consistently warned me not to count on Beth even making it to performances.

I sat next to Beth in the lunch area one day and asked, "Where were you for yesterday's Shakespeare Club?"


"What do you mean?"

"Home problems."

Beth never smiles. She shrugs a lot. Her family landed in court many times last year and maybe taking a nine-year-old along looks good.

Beth is the most cynical human being I have ever met. She beats any cynical adult, and I've known a few of those.

As I studied her dripping wet composure, I had the thought that she might be perfect for Lady Macbeth, coming up in Year Five, but I don't know if I could count on her making rehearsals.

And if I don't know what I can count on, how the heck is Beth supposed to count on anything or anyone? Thus the cynicism. She's learned way too much. She's far too right for a play like "Macbeth."

The meaning of lonely is being somewere without people talking to you, not being with you, and most of the time when you are lonely you are sad.!
—Emilia, 4th grade (Year Two)

traffic photo from Flickr user cswa913102

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Recess: Tagged Up

At our school the lunch room is open-air. We're in Southern California and, of course, it makes sense for the kids to eat outside, under a covered area, at tables with attached metal benches.

Unless we have torrential rain, when they stay inside their classrooms and teachers don't really get the break they need.

Unless we're in the throes of major wildfires, when smoke fills the air, ash rains down and the sun burns red through a sepia-toned light.

Unless any human threat were to advance on the schoolyard, and a lockdown were imposed. This has not happened during my time on the campus, but it has at another school nearby.

A few years ago a local artist offered her services to paint murals on the walls surrounding the lunch area. She started with light sketches and moved on to black outlines before painting with bright colors.

On seeing the painted black outlines, a six-year-old boy ran to the principal, yelling, "We've been tagged...over there...our school is tagged!"

She patiently took him by the hand, walked him to the drawings and explained that what was actually happening in our schoolyard was a lovely thing called mural art, not renegade graffiti.

While we now acknowledge that graffiti is often stirring and artistic, I hope our neighborhood artist was able to broaden the boy's definition of what art can be.

I don't know if that child was relieved or disappointed that we hadn't been tagged, but I do know that his lunches became brighter, with a cow, and baskets of fruits and vegetables, and children reading on a bucolic meadow to look at.

Monday, October 19, 2009

Luis: Cooped Up

April, 2009

Luis and I continued meeting once a week to work on his journal writing. His spelling improved incrementally, but more importantly his courage at putting words to page increased — at least while I was sitting beside him in the school library. In the club meetings on his own, he'd cringe, "By myself I have to write something? Come on."

Step by step, row by row, I can only plant the seeds and hope for the right amount of rainfall and just enough sun.

"I think it's time to write about your character, Luis. Make a shopping list of things you know about Sir Andrew Aguecheek....You can find out those things by reading what he says about himself and by what other characters say about him. Got it?"

This is when Luis likes to lay his head down on the table and pretend to nap.

"Open your script and tell me something you know."

This is when Luis likes to growl in protest.

"One thing...tell me one thing about Andrew."

"Mmmm. He likes bear-baiting."

"Correct. Write that down." And he does.

We discover that Andrew is rich (he probably lives in a mansion), in love with Olivia, likes to dance, studies languages but can't really speak any other than English, that he's tall and handsome — at least both he and Sir Toby think so:

I pull some books off the shelves and we study pictures of mansions and discuss what his favorite rooms might be and how he might have them painted.

"And...and, Ms. Ryane...I am a great eater of beef!"

"That's right. What d'you think: McDonald's or In-N-Out?"

"Mmmm. In-N-Out."

"And fencing...I like swords, right?"

Luis makes a shopping list and is ready to write his Sir Andrew biography.

"Keep in mind, Luis, that you can also make things up about yourself if you think it might help your story and your acting."

"Hmmm." He mulls that over and nibbles almonds and cranberries, his regular writer's snack.

"Pencil up. Sit straight. Go for it."

He starts to write his story and has me look every so often.

"That's interesting that you live in Cooper Mansion with your horse named Cooper. Where did that come from?"

"I don't know. I just like that name."

He's writing...he's writing...he's getting it down.

My name is Sir Andrew Aguecheek and I live in a Mansion with very big bushes and the name of this big Mansion is the Cooper Mansion. I have a huge black ball room where I practice fencing and dancing. I like to think of my self as a handsome young man. I am also tall, rich, and I speak 4 different languages, well I think I do. I cook for my self. I like to make broiled chicken with some hot sauce and some red wine. After I like to read funny books and play music on the viol-de-gamboys. I like going on my black horse named Cooper to see lady Olivia. And my favorite thing is bear-baiting in a cage because I like to entertain people.
—Luis, 5th grade

Friday, October 16, 2009

It Gets a Little Wordy

March, 2009

What do you read, my lord?

Words, words, words.
Hamlet Act II, Scene II

When the children in The Shakespeare Club are given their scripts and we read through the play, I ask them to circle words they either do not understand or do not know how to pronounce.

When I work with them privately, we look at their circled words and address the problems.

And some days I get lazy.

SIR TOBY(loudly)
We are — politicians;
Malvolio's a — Peg O'Ramsey; and
Three merry men we be!
Am I not consanguineous? Am I not of her blood?
Tilly-vally! 'Lady'!

William Shakespeare made up a lot of words that we use in regular speech today. So, shoot me when I supposed that "consanguineous" was one of his more fanciful concoctions and brushed it aside two times with two different kids before saying, "Hey, while we're here in the library, let's get a dictionary and just check if it's in there."

con⋅san⋅guin⋅e⋅ous adj. having the same ancestry or descent; related by blood

Sir Toby's line right after he uses "consanguineous" gives the definition.

"Oh, gee...would you look at that?"

I had to go into the next club meeting and fess up that I'd misled some people and was entirely incorrect when I tossed the word aside as an example of Sir Toby being silly.

I'm a believer in owning mistakes, but let me tell you, doing this in front of twenty-one little kids is face-burning agony.

"Oooooo, Ms, Ryane!"

"Ohhhh, you were so wrong!"

"Ms. blew that one!"

It's party-down when I make an error. It's a festival when I admit it. Imagine confetti pouring from the ceiling and cannons get the idea.

"Consanguinity," a legal term, originated from 1595-1695. Shakespeare wrote "Twelfth Night" in 1601 and his use of the word might further indicate that he had some lawyerly education.

My ignorance would indicate that I do not.

Amazed before my critics and accusers, I was no longer pale-faced but blushing as they castigated my laughable, baseless, flawed, worthless and zany lapse.

I should be bumped downstairs to a bedroom, a gloomy worm-hole of accommodation, with a blanket and flea-bitten puppy-dog like a lonely bandit ranting in torture and championed for assassination*.

(*A few of the 2,000 words William Shakespeare made up.)

Shakespeare is fun. I like it because Shakespears words are so so pretty. I also like the plays romeo and Juliet, Hamlet, and Misdummers Night dream. Shakespeares words are so butiful and pretty did I mention that already. I joined the Shakespeare Club for two years because the shakespeare club sonded very fun.

—April, 4th grade

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Hard News: If Shakespeare Had a Puppy

Much was written by Shakespeare and much has been written about much so that you might think we actually know stuff.

Not really. Most of what we know about the Bard is based on conjecture and supposition. Fertile ground for fantasy, as the following review for a new play about Shakespeare's domestic life and his ambition will attest.

What if he had a puppy? And said puppy got him to London, where he started acting, writing poems, plays and became the darling of QEII?

Get this plot to Disney, I say!

Shakespeare's Dog a wacky, tail-wagging treat (Calgary Herald)

Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Amaya's Shoe

April, 2009

Amaya was a fourth-grader I had to turn down this year simply because I had too many kids.

"Amaya, your audition was very good and I want you to try again next year because you'll have a terrific chance of being in The Shakespeare Club."

She gave a small smile and accepted the news. I could see the disappointment and it was one of those awful moments in my undertaking. To be honest, the ups and downs with these children as I go through the process and then later as I write down the stories...there isn't enough Prozac on Planet Earth, let's put it that way.

Amaya did, however, linger outside Room 39 every Wednesday afternoon like a lost kitten. She wouldn't say a word; she would just look at me.

"Would you like to come in and watch, Amaya?"

She'd nod and scamper in to sit in a corner and silently watch rehearsal. When it came to snack time I made sure there was an extra treat for Amaya.

"Ms. Ryane, can I be in The Shakespeare Club?" she asked one afternoon as I was cleaning up.

"Not this year, Amaya, but remember you're going to try again next year, okay?"


One afternoon I stopped in to Room 39, right after lunch, as Sydney was about to start her afternoon session. I was there to pick up some journals and noticed Amaya tucked behind the door.

"Hey there, what are you...?" I stopped when I saw the tears rolling down her cheeks. I knelt beside her.

"Amaya, what is it? What's happened?"

The cacophony of kids, boisterous and loud, as they arrived after lunch, allowed us privacy behind the door.

She held up her shoe, a flimsy emerald green slip-on with almost the entire sole unglued and falling away. Amaya was dressed that day in a shimmery green skirt and top. Her shoes matched her outfit. Someone had tried hard.

My heart clutched for Amaya. I instantly knew this feeling. At her age, I'd been dressed in what my mom called "Sally Anne's clothes." Shoes that became too small had holes cut for my toes to grow through. The schoolyard humiliation of such attire can be unbearable for a kid.

I caught Sydney's attention and signaled that Amaya and I were leaving the room for a minute.

"Come with me, my sweet. We're going to get you fixed up."

Right next door in the art studio we found Diane, the art teacher, between classes and showed her the problem. Amaya tucked her bare foot around her ankle and held my hand tight.

Diane used tape, glue and staples to fix Cinderella's slipper.

"This happens to real actors, you know, Amaya," I whispered to her. "Sometimes their costumes get damaged and need repairs. See you Wednesday, okay?"

I learned that I can do anything I like I can be anyone I want I learned that I can do Shakspear.

Well when I was performing in Shakspear I was nerves and scared my fingernails were sweting and I when I all the students I was scared. I didn’t think I could do the hole play and when I sid my part my legs were shaking and I though was not gowing to live.

Well when I was scared up there I just went for it and did my best I was proud if my self when I did my lines.
—Maria, 5th grade