Artistic Work - Drama Drama for Homeschoolers  Adventure in Norse Land Taught & Directed by Eileen Frechette & Vicki Mansoor Winter 2006 These photographs are in celebration of our second annual drama block! Our drama work is structured to nourish the child's natural ability to play and experience joy.  Care is given to find appropriate content for the varying needs and abilities of our young participants. This year children's ages ranged from five through eleven.  The main theme was from a Norse Myth children's play about the lively adventures of the Norse Gods.  In the play the Sif the wife of Thor has her hair stolen by Loki the half-brother of Oden.  The play takes us through the adventures of how this is rectified and then celebrated. We began by telling the story to the children to help them get a sense for the whole narrative.  Then we moved into group exercises in movement and recitation.  Students were given an opportunity to learn the parts of all the characters appropriate to their interests and capabilities. We even wove additional poetic recitation, song and rhythmic movement into the original play for the younger students.  Through this creative process children found their meaningful place in the group, supported each other, and experienced empathy. With enthusiasm and anticipation the children 'lived into' the story and contributed imaginatively to the script and props: one child wrote lines for the play's last scene while others transformed a wood-burning stove into a dwarf's forge, wigs of natural dyed yarn were made for the characters Loki and Sif, children stripped apple branches stripped of bark to transform then into simple percussive hammers for the dwarfs, and beautiful drawings were bound into the play's program. On the night of the performance, as often occurs, something special happened as the young performers entered the intimate theatre space. It had to do with the mutual giving and receiving of this moment.  Parents and friends offered their most reverent attention as the children shared the fruits of the past weeks' labor.  The children were more upright.  They were less self-conscious, even when they made mistakes.  They were spontaneous, and everything came together as it had not before.  At the end of our play one of our younger students said to Eileen, "Wasn't it wonderful?"  It was! Drama as a social collaborative art is a living process in which various elements come together.  Working in this way with children towards the culmination of something special within a trusted community has tremendous value.  The lessons and effects will last a long time. - Photographs by Ed Gutfreund
Work for the hands to do... Homeadow Song Farm