We are up to our necks in rehearsals for our Grade 6 musical, Once on this Island, but I had to share the role of technology in making the musical run smoothly. Honestly, I don’t know how we ever did a musical without it. Here’s what we’ve been doing so far:
YouTube now provides us with access to other schools/theatre groups who have performed the same musical. The Director (my husband Miles) and the backstage crew have trawled the web for the best examples of choreography for each song, and we have ‘borrowed’ the bits we like to supplement what was already in our minds. It has saved a lot of time, and we can watch the videos as many times as we need to get a particular set of moves down.
Every Grade 6 student has a role to play in this musical, and we simply couldn’t do it with our backstage crew. A couple of them have created video trailers for the show to promote interest, and one student is producing weekly videos for our school newsletter to keep the community informed of our progress. These have proven to be engaging and above all, entertaining, for the grade 6 students and our school community. We have used iMovie extensively for this purpose.
Our talented backstage crew are also helping out with filming rehearsals, and assisting our Digital Media Specialist in manning the cameras for the actual performances.
The backstage crew have created surveys using Google Forms to source costumes, and have used Google Docs extensively to organise and share resources. A spreadsheet was created with a cast list and costuming needs, as well as documents with videos for choreography (including how to learn to waltz for one particular scene), images for face painting ideas, and a list of props needed for each scene. The shared editing feature has been invaluable for backstage organisation.
Students have produced tickets and posters for the show using Pages, which have helped publicize it around our school.
I am proud of the way students are taking ownership throughout the show, including taking on the roles of stage managers, lighting, sound and PR. This is what we want our Middle School students to be doing, and technology is helping them along the way.