There is a lot that goes into a performance. Acting, of course, scripts, memorization, and for Jenks Middle School drama students, towels, foam footballs and a lot of imagination were the key components.
A crew of students put on a “muppet” show for Jenks kindergartners this week, and the production was one the JMS students created from start to finish.
“We made our muppets,” said eighth-grader Izzy Barton, “We had to know what type of animals we were making first. Then we took a Nerf football cut it in half and used towels to make our heads, and then from there we made our bodies and detailed what we were going to make.”
After the muppets were done, they then had to learn how to operate their creations.
“You have to learn how to work seven hands with two,” eighth-grader Fallon Cochlin said. “You work the puppets hands with one hand and the its mouth with the other. Pronunciation and enunciation is also a huge part, getting you voice to match with the muppets mouth.”
The drama students were also responsible for building the script for their production, a process that Barton said took several months.
“We spent weeks and weeks making the puppets and after making ours, we had to make a script,” Barton said. “We took a children's book and then we made a script from it. We added words and monologues, and it turned out really cool.”
The puppeteers held performances Monday and Tuesday, with a morning and afternoon show each day.
“To the kindergartners, this looks really real and they like interacting with us, so interaction is a huge part of that,” Cochlin said.
The students admit putting together a show is no easy task, but said they learned a lot by doing it on their own.
“We are learning responsibility. It is just us; if we mess up it is on us,” Cochlin said. “There was a time for about two weeks that we were stuck in the rehearsal process without our teacher, because she was in China, so that was a huge responsibility on us to work without her.”
While the middle school students were learning responsibility, they were also teaching valuable lessons to their audience.
“Just like storybook, each one of our plays has a lesson to teach the kids, while at the same time having fun,” Barton said.
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