Monday, December 6, 2010

It's a Bug's Life After All

The kids finished their gourmet dinner and we had time to kill before their final performance at six o'clock. This last show is the toughest because parents, grandparents, uncles, aunts and neighbors attend. It's the grown-ups' show and it was impossible not to notice an edgy nervousness in the cast.

As hard as it was for the actors to act in front of their classmates, it was nothing like trying to impress the adults. These children are still of an age where they hold their parents in high regard and want to blow their socks off.

Throughout the day, it became apparent that the work of Oliver, as Macbeth, simply could not be ignored. As the kids grouped together with me, Rachel and their stage manager, Celia for notes, it was Oliver who took our words most to heart and blossomed petal by petal for each performance. In doing this, he led others to improve and grow as well.

"Okay, wipe your faces and sit up. We're going to have a movie now," I addressed them in the library, where we had just dined.

"What movie, Ms. Ryane?"

"You'll see," I answered and crossed the room to the television and DVD player.

Then I heard a rustling behind me and half-turned to catch Lizzie whispering to a group of girls and the boys closing in on the hubbub. What now?

They all froze as I studied them. I turned back to prepare the movie and they started the chatter again. What the heck was going on?

I stuck the DVD into its slot and faced them.

"Um, Ms. Ryane," Lizzie started.


"We have something...I mean we have to do something first." She looked around to her gang before launching into song.

"Happy Birthday to you...."

It was the day after my birthday and they had remembered. It was one of the sweetest moments of the day. Lizzie handed me a homemade card of purple construction paper. Inside were their signatures, big and small, printed or scrawled in newly-learned cursive.

I thanked them for their thoughtfulness and reminded them of the only gift I wanted. "Your fine work onstage is my gift. Thank you."

I switched the movie on.

"A Bug's Life." I chose this film because there are actors in it. Traveling actors, and these kids know the story of a young William Shakespeare's introduction to the theatre. He caught the "bug" when actors in horse-drawn carts came to his town of Stratford to share their magic.

As the kids laughed and listened and watched the movie, I pored over their messages in the birthday card.

I hope we have a good show! Love, Oliver

Perfect. A boy with his priorities in order.

One day me and my friend and my dad road our bikes around the block then we found a tile house everything was made of tile. I really wanted to go in so I rang the doorbell and the people who lived in it were artist. Then I ask if I can go inside and she said yes. We went inside and it was amazing. I ask my dad if I can buy something there and he said yes. And I looked around I finally found something with was a flat bottle and the coler was blue so I got it. We got to go in the place where they make the art it is called the art room. That was one of the adventures I had.
Page, 3rd grade

photo from Flickr user joycel789

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