For several years, my husband and I were theater teachers at Lake Nokomis Community School, Keewaydin Campus, in South Minneapolis. Our performers were in grades 3-8 – and really, were so much more than performers.
Our program gave them the opportunity to decide what their play was about, what genre they wanted to write in, and how serious they wanted it to be (it was never very serious). They would fill out character profile worksheets to create their role, perform improv for their own dialogue, decide on and make their own costumes and sets, then rehearse it all. I acted as one of the directors AND their graphic designer/illustrator…even though they also drew the rough sketches of what they wanted from me.
So, without further ado…here’s some of the work I did for my toughest (and best) clients ever!
Here we have ‘Much Ado About Mars’, because they really wanted to do Shakespeare, but it was a little too mature for the littlest. The older kids decided it was a professional slight instead of personal. Brilliant!
The poster I mostly designed myself, but the kids chose the photo. Good choice! For their mission badge, they didn’t really go for the same feel, but they really stood out against the white shirts they chose for G.E.M.S. (Galactic Exploration & Mining Services) uniforms!
Next, we did ‘Our Island’. The kids took ‘Our Town’, made it a little funny and a lot of fun, and set it on a Fantasy Island. Keeping with the minimalist ideals of ‘Our Town’, they made a bare-boned set and kept the graphics to a minimum…except the chinchilla ‘wanted’ posters…maybe don’t ask.
While we actually did three other plays, this one had the most graphics. This time the kids decided on the ‘USS Space Botel’ (space boat/hotel). Unlike ‘Our Island’, this one had many graphics. It had advertisements for the space botel, signage for the ship, uniform insignia and tags, just to name a few. All of this supported a play set in space, based on Murder on the Orient Express, but again, the kids weren’t old enough for such mature content, so instead of murder, our victims become out of phase with our dimension, and so are there but not, almost like a ghost.
And here’s your proof that you should never underestimate kids.