Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Update on Stage Play Acting Classes for Children with Autism

A full year has passed and some of our young actors in Stage Play Acting Classes have completed two, ten week sessions of weekly acting classes.  Now, some of our students are mid-way through a third set of acting classes and here is what I see happening:

  1. Our young actors are able to shift roles in our short scripts, playing different parts, as you can see in the clip above.
  2. In the clip above, the actor is expected to come up with his own reason for being "mad" and this certainly captured the imagination of every single young actor!  They provided plausible reasons for being angry, with some reasons being relevant to their own lives and others being highly imaginative.
  3. For basic emotions, most of our actors are able to pretend the emotion with the appropriate facial expression and body language although sometimes a child is so tickled with his or her own idea that laughter prevails and many of our actors are visibly excited to be on stage and so they get silly or flap their hands or sometimes suddenly run off the stage.  For many of our students, this is great progress because both talking and showing emotions intentionally was/is hard!
  4. We still need to use very short scripts.  Timing for social interactions is a huge challenge.  One child is trying to communicate with another and the other child is not paying attention and then when he does, the first child is no longer communicating or paying attention.  Yikes!  Children who could not perform alone on stage or perform with another child actor are now routinely doing short scenes alone and with another child, though, and seem to enjoy it all very much.  I hope that the practice is helping children learn the timing of conversations.  If it is this hard with scripts, I imagine we will be working at this for quite a while.
  5. Kids love coming to acting classes!

No comments: