Beginning this school year, we introduced two morning theater classes as part of our Creative Expressions program. Our Monday class works with Primera Basico (12-13 year olds) and focuses on collaboration, team work, and imagination. Sara El-Solh, the Library Coordinator, is working with me (Elena Chernock, the Creative Expressions Program Coordinator) to adapt the story ¨Where the Wild Things Are¨ into a stage production. We will use our imaginations to create another world for the students to live and express themselves in….

a world of wild things!

The second class we work with is Diversificado (15-19 year olds). This class focuses a little more on technique and on more challenging subject matter. We started the year focusing on monologue writing. Students brainstormed reasons behind making certain choices – for instance the choice to use drugs or not – and then selected one particular reason from their list. Using that motivation, students next created a character and wrote a monologue about the character’s background and how it led up to a moment in their life when they made this particular choice. We are also currently exploring activties from Augosto Boal´s Image Theater in order to learn how to express our own internal feelings to our audiences. Every week, the students push themselves a little more, and I can’t wait to see what we come up with!

Recently, the students were lucky enough to participate in a mask-making workshop led by volunteer Judy Seal. The students loved learning how to use their bodies to express emotions that were represented on the masks. This also gave them a sense of security that they could try out new things without the vulnerability of showing their faces.

-Elena Chernock

Safe Passage Creative Expressions Program Coordinator