Another Hummingbird Day has come and gone. The stations were created by the students over the last two days, a quiz for the parents was typed up and printed out, experiments were set up in the courtyard and a buffet appeared in the kitchen. A village of cardboard castles sprang up in the garden, and the slideshow (finished just in time – thank you smiling moon!) ran on a loop in the arts and crafts room, along with two short films the students had made in one of their projects. The parents trickled in fashionably late and were slowly prodded into the courtyard for the opening ceremony and show.
The highlights of the day were the two theater plays.
A young drama teacher has worked with the kids for the past few weeks. She started by letting them decide on a character they wanted to play and then let them improvise. She slowly brought different characters together and had them improvise role plays. Little stories developed and these were slowly interwoven into a single play.
So, today, we saw a fairy princess get kidnapped by a vampire. Her sister and a friend set off with their dogs to find her. They are helped by mysteriously friendly bat who leads them to a castle. The kidnapped sister – who is now a vampire too – attacks them, but the dogs join the fight, making it go on long enough for vampire sister to have a change of heart. Mysteriously, it all works out.
Before the older group of kids was set to take the stage, the drama teacher made a little speech. She informed the audience that the kids had decided to explore darker themes this year – social problems and violence and drugs and death. She suggested to parents with children under six years old that they decide whether the kids should stay. In any case, they should be prepared to help the young ones work through what they were about to see.
“Well, this is going to be interesting!” I thought to myself, with the afterthought: “And what a great plug for the school!”
It actually wasn’t that bad. They turned their stories into a murder mystery in which a rich, tyrannical, drug-purchasing, non-paying, extortionist of fortune tellers slash theater owner is killed. The crime is reenacted three times – each time with a few more details included – and then the audience was asked to help to identify the perp.
Was it . . . the dealer, the private detective, the black sheep or the boss? Or maybe it was contract killer, the stylist, the actress or the body guard? Then again, it might have been the singer, the pretty boy or the fortune teller.
If you guessed any of these, you were wrong. It was the witch who needed the drugs for her potion to turn her two friends from dogs back into human form. Once most the bad guys and some detectives died in a shootout – she finally got her hands on the stuff. Another happy end!