Through the help of Stafford PRIDE Committee and Kansas Americorps, I plan to direct a community youth play. During the school year, there are many activities for youth to be involved. However, in the summer, there is a lack of things to keep children busy. There are no drama classes or programs in the middle and high school. There is a community drama group, but it is geared mainly towards adults and has not done a production in several years. There really is no venue for students to express themselves dramatically.
I am partnering with Jeanette Hildebrand, a Stafford PRIDE member, to develop and implement this program. There will be around 15 youth involved ranging from five-years-old to twelfth grade. Several adults will also be brought in to help with costumes, hair and makeup, sets, and relaxation techniques.
In addition to simply putting on a play, I will be doing “Character Building Sessions” prior to each practice, to strengthen group unity, perfect acting skills, and build virtues like leadership and integrity. The sessions will be games and activities to demonstrate an idea and inspire thought. Each practice will last for about two hours, with the character building taking about 30 minutes of that time.
My goal is for the youth involved to be spurred on to excitement. I want them to be inspired to work towards a goal that will bring delight to the community and strengthen their individual skills. I also want them to take ownership and feel that they can be a part of something bigger in their community. Lastly, through the character building sessions, I hope that I can be a leader to those under me, in turn mentoring them into being better leaders of the children that look up to them.
The project will run through the summer with four practices a week and the final performance being on August 4th.
I know that I will gain immense knowledge through this process. I have found that I have a hard time expressing my ideas verbally. I do much better writing my thoughts down. I hope that through this process I can learn to think everything through, and communicate clearly to the others involved, before I just ramble on. I also, want to improve on my conflict resolution. I most often will avoid conflict, and I know that there may be some issues that should be dealt with. I hope I will learn to approach the conflicts and issues immediately and appropriately.