Creative Stories from page to stage
"Creative Stories from Page to Stage" was an idea developed in Winter of 2019 in collaboration with UCIS/St.Marks school in Kansas City, MO.
The project, supported by the Inspiration Grant presented by ARTSKC, allowed myself and fellow professional local actors to come to St. Mark Center and teach physical storytelling and story creation over the course of 5 educational workshops. The students would then create their own short stories and I would adapt each story for the stage. In this fashion, the students would be able to not only see their own stories come to life by professional Kansas City actors, but also perform alongside actors of multiple races, ages, and ethnicities.
The project would allow these young students to feel empowered, that their words mattered, and their creations and imaginations are valued. The workshops would culminate in a final production that would use the stage at UICS, feature props and set dressings by the students, feature local musicians to play music, and showcase local professional actors mixed with students to be able to perform their scripts live in front of the community as a free event. This event would be open to the general public and free for all to enjoy.
but then a global pandemic hit...
But then global pandemic hit... and a wrench was thrown into the wheels of the project. Students were sent home, theaters all over the world were shut down, and the prospects of performing physical theatre together seemed like a distant memory. But with the aid of my fellow theatre artists and the arts coordinator at St. Marks, we did what many artists were doing: we pivoted.
Our workshops transitioned to Zoom. These weekly workshops with the students explored storytelling formats, defined "characters" and "settings", and allowed us to physically move our bodies through warm ups and acting exercises. It was clear this creative outlet was needed now more than ever.
Through an exploration of physical storytelling, four groups of students wrote their own stories. They were then turned into a script ready to be presented as short radio plays featuring six professional local actors.
Our final Project
Our four stories below were developed by our mini collaborators at UCIS/St.Marks (ages 4-5) and performed by: Nicole Marie Green, Darrington Clark, Justin Barron, Allison Jones, Deanna Mazdra, and Andy Perkins. Many of the lines were taken directly from our workshops and placed within our scripts.
As you listen with your child consider the following activities:
1. Listen once through.
2. Discuss their favorite parts and characters.
3. Identify the beginning, middle, and end of the story.
4. Imagine where the characters are. Have your child draw a picture of what they see.
5. Act out the story along with the recording using your bodies and imaginations!