Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Homeschoolers on Stage: The Three Musketeers

For the past five years, my kids have participated in a spring theater production with our homeschool group.  Each year, as the kids grow and gain experience, we seem to top our previous year’s production.  While it is a lot of work, with months of preparation, it is also very rewarding and fun.

This year’s production was The Three Musketeers.  My daughter was the female lead, Constance.  My son had two parts: Treville, the captain of the Musketeers, and Biscarat, one of the king’s guards.

Finding costumes is always a challenge and a chore each year.  This year we happened to have a talented seamstress in our group that offered to help, even though her kids weren’t even in the production.  She found some great fabric deals for some of the costumes.  Constance’s costume was super heavy! I had to do some trim and finishing work, so I wasn’t completely off the hook.
Constance and Treville

Because there were three sword fighting scenes in the production, the kids needed to learn a bit about stage combat.  One of the parents found a local group that trains the professionals and agreed to give our group some lessons and help with the choreography.  The group even rented swords (real metal, but not sharpened, obviously).
Constance didn't have a sword in the play, which disappointed my daughter!
After a training session, the instructor let the kids try on some of the props at the facility.

My daughter was a bit anxious about a stage kiss with the male lead, d’Artagnan.  I think it was more the razzing of the other kids, rather than the actual kiss.  No, they didn’t really kiss, but pretended to do so behind a hat.  She really played it up and one night the audience whooped and hollered during this part.
The shocking "kiss"!

I absolutely loved watching my youngest this year.  It is hard to believe he was a shy little thing when he was younger.  I found it a bit humorous that the 80 pound Treville was captain of the Musketeers that were twice his size.  All three boys that played the Musketeers towered over my son, which made for a humorous sight.  My son worked hard on his lines and sword fighting scene, and did an excellent job.
Guess who won the sword fight in this scene?

Children’s theater is hard work (for both parents and kids!), but very rewarding. The kids learn about more than technical acting skills, like voice projection, facial expressions, and voice inflection – they learn how to work like a team and see something through to the end.
The very talented cast!

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