From 5:30 p.m. to 6:30 p.m. every Wednesday from now until August 28, Scoles has set up shop in the Patterson Library, offering affordable rates at $30 a child and $25 discounts for siblings.
Scoles’ class, designed for six to 12-year-olds, not only offers a stylized teaching method that encourages mental and physical exercises by utilizing theatrical tactics, but illustrates the importance of public speaking at a young age.
“There is a need for this,” said Scoles Wednesday evening. “There needs to be a place where the kids can come, make mistakes and learn from them so they feel more confident in the future.”
Although the students were shy at first, Scoles was able to coax them into performing beyond their own expectations. Scoles engaged with the students directly, offering tips and historical lessons to the youthful observers who waited patiently before each exercise.
More impressive, however, was Scoles’ methods in keeping the children occupied by asking their personal opinions on each small performance or exercise, and asking them how the scene or phrase could be better performed. It wasn’t long before the students were becoming just as vocal as their instructor.
During these session, Scoles handed out Shakespearean quotes from several of his sonnets to get the children involved with esteemed literary classics before they’ve reached junior high school. She let the children know that it was okay to be afraid of the funny words, and recalled that Shakespeare often made up a variety of words to match his specific rhyming pattern.
“Most people didn’t know that Shakespeare made up the word ‘alligator,’” Scoles said to her class Wednesday evening.
After receiving a few examples, the children broke away into solitary sections of the library and began practicing their lines, often asking for help with a word, or their meaning. Once they came together, they each read them off, surprised at their own feat.
“It is good for their education to tackle something like Shakespeare at a young age,” said Scoles.
The exercises intermingled independent and collaborative studies, which allowed the children to flourish on their own and in a team setting.
Scoles stated that she was interested in directing ‘A Midsummer Night’s Dream’ for the designated age group, as it pertains to magic, fairies and comedic sequences. The play has also been noted as one of Shakespeare’s most popular work for its fantastical nature, and a general favorite among the youth.
Although auditions for the show are designated to begin in February 2014, Scoles is hopeful that her training will allow the students to become accustomed to the language before auditioning.
Additional classes for 13-year-olds and up are pending, and may be directed by Kathryn Loughman, a long time student and director in Patterson for the Repertory Theatre in the near future.
For more information, call Tori Lee Scoles: 499-9363
Contact Brooke Borba at 892-6187, ext. 24, or firstname.lastname@example.org