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End of year production newby!!

Discussion in 'Primary' started by nellspencer, Jun 25, 2017.

  1. nellspencer

    nellspencer New commenter

    I know it's Sunday night, which means for most of us it's time spent lovingly doing work for next week (and what I really should be doing!), but I was hoping someone could give me a little advice!

    I am putting on the summer production with 40ish year 3-6 children. It's the Lemonade Kid.

    I have two weeks until the performance. How much time should I be spending on rehearsals from now?
    I've taught for 11 years and been part of a team putting on productions every year, but I've never had to do it myself before!!!

    Oh, and Ofsted are due before the end of term too!
  2. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    Have you started rehearsals yet?
    What did you do when you were doing it as a team?
  3. nellspencer

    nellspencer New commenter

    I really can't remember! I was told where and when to have children available for rehearsing and told which days were for whole cast run throughs.

    This year it's a new school for me and a new teaching staff (only the head and deputy have been at the school longer than this current year).
  4. modgepodge

    modgepodge Established commenter

    If you haven't yet started rehearsals...I'd assume you will spend the next 2 weeks solidly rehearsing!! I put on a production in 3 weeks with y4 before. It was great, but we rehearsed every single day.

    If you can get someone o 'babysit' the people you aren't rehearsing with at any given ti,e that makes things a LOT easier, then you can just focus on the kids on stage.
  5. alexanderosman

    alexanderosman Occasional commenter

    I agree with modgepodge, it's very late to start now for two weeks' time so I would think you would need to use a considerable part of every day. You will need to send out costume lists and requests for props tomorrow.
    I'm assuming you've at least allocated parts?
  6. MsNiChearuil

    MsNiChearuil New commenter

    You need to:
    -Tmetable in use of the hall with other teachers. Grab the hall timetable and beg/steal/borrow slots then emails this around and say something along the lines of "I'm using these I hope that suits if I don't hear back I'll assume it does".
    -Sit down with the other teachers and TAs and organise what to do and when. Allocate jobs e.g. costume retrieval/set prep. if the kids need to make any part of their costume timetable it in now. ****** has generic animal head headband resources etc.Any songs should be being rehearsed every morning in-class. Maybe start grabbing main characters for a few minutes at small break to practise lines. Dances in class before hometime.
    -Give the adults the jobs they will be doing on the day and have them practise these too, e.g. lighting, music, during rehearsals.
    -Sit witht he other teachers, cut the script into X amount of lines (we did ten per class in Y2) and decide who'll say what. If necessary halve characters, e.g. two owls rather than one etc. It's easier to chunk the script into however many classes so that the lines can be practised with continuity in-class too.
    -Distribute lines to the able children and MAAAAKE them learn them ASAP on pain of losing their role. I would say just give your more confident kids lines now, it's a bit late for encouraging reticent dramatists.
    -Accept that you will be the eejit at the back f teh hall mouthing lines and doing the dance moves. Get comfortable in the role and learn the lines/moves yourself.
    -Decide on when the children get up/sit down/get on/off stage and STICK TO IT. Too many cooks butting in during rehearsal will addle you and confuse the children.

    The next two weeks will be stressful but there's a great sense of achievement after you put on your first production. Good luck!
    digoryvenn likes this.
  7. 20drew01

    20drew01 New commenter

    As above, six weeks is a push two weeks could lead to madness...
  8. digoryvenn

    digoryvenn Lead commenter

    The advice above is excellent. The Lemonade Kid is a great musical. The songs are catchy and easy to learn but you MUST practise every day.
    Two weeks isn't very long to stage a musical.
    Good luck!
  9. hammie

    hammie Lead commenter

    regarding back drops, go the modern way, no painting of scenes. Get a few tech savvy children to put together a powerpoint for the back grounds. they can then add labels such as scene names etc. Get other children involved on making props (probably you have a TA who is genius at that!)
    With such a short lead time, try to get another projector to project script and song lyrics onto the back wall, high. Then the children can concentrate on singing and saying the lines while looking up which helps the audience as well as them.
    if the children can choose a song or two that they already know and like, so much the better!
    Most of all, keep it positive. The number of (usually senior) teachers I've seen bawling kids out for not singing, all music making is so much better when it is actively fun! The bit about too many cooks is spot on, again senior teacher/dep heads are usually the ones who feel able to swan in, butt in and wander off leaving everyone deflated

    If there is more than one teacher in charge, divi up the jobs clearly. I always take the techy stuff and getting the singing going. But keep well out of stage direction, lines etc etc.
    One thing to bear in mind, get some jobs for the annoying children. If you can give a job to the one who cannot sit still you will be quids in. I usually put them in charge of opening the side door, etc but make sure they come on stage for one of the numbers, usually the finale. Again your biggest problem will not be getting the to do the job but getting other adults to leave them alone to do it!

    have great fun and break a leg!
  10. nellspencer

    nellspencer New commenter

    Thanks all, some fantastic advice!! It was just me doing the lot, but I have been allowed a TA to use for most of my rehearsal time and she has been fantastic making props. Back drops I have made on a powerpoint show and that seems to be working. Lights hopefully go up tomorrow so we can have a go with those.

    I had a couple of weeks notice to get big parts out and a few songs started, and costumes are easy (check shirts and jeans etc) so most have already sorted those.
    The two who refuse to sing/do anything have jobs (their parents even say I can't make them do anything), but I am considering the KS1 classes borrowing them for a couple of big rehearsals - there are often only two adults in the hall with all 40 children (making sure everything is running on and off stage) and I don't have enough eyes to watch those two as well!!

    I'll let you know this time next week how the first real performance went!!!!

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