POETRY INTO PERFORMANCE
Autumn came and went,
like a train passing through the town.
The trees have lost their leaves like loose change,
and now the winter wind blows white.
This segment of a poem was written by three 5th grade girls from the small, rural Berkshire town of Savoy, Massachusetts. Winter is very long there, and the anticipation of snow and the ensuing cold provides rich images for poetry.
In our poetry into performance workshops, we aim to open each student's senses to the world around them; help them express what they see, hear and feel in vivid images; encourage the exploration of varying perspectives; and help them find their own writing styles.
The thematic focus of the workshop can be absolutely anything.
The workshop begins with theater exercises to heighten sensory awareness. A brief poetry reading follows, exposing students to a variety of poetic approaches and styles. The group will then "brainstorm" about a chosen theme, and the writing begins. A whirlwind of creative images, associations and descriptions are offered by the students and written on the board. The most vivid selections are chosen, rearranged, repeated or echoed, and a group poem is born.
Collaborative skills are encouraged through group writing projects, and individual creative visions are developed through solo assignments. Various styles of poetry can be explored, including Free Style, Prose Poem, Haiku, Acrostic, Pictograms, Cinquain, List, I Wish and Definition Poems.
Once the poems are written, we take to our feet. We explore dramatic reading techniques and creative movement choices to help emphasize or interpret the written word. We explore, reflect, revise, rehearse and then, finally, perform.
Poetry into Performance helps reluctant readers and writers find their voice. It is interdisciplinary in nature, integrating theater arts with creative writing, English language arts, and often, social studies, science or math.
For more information, contact Celine at (413) 534-3789.