How to prepare the show?
Our plays have been written especially for pupils learning French and English as a foreign language. We advise you the following plays:
- Junior cycle play: pupils aged 11 to 14
- Senior cycle play: pupils aged 15 and upwards and adults
The main difference between the two shows is the plot, as we know students aged 11-14 do not have the same concerns interests as students aged 15 and upwards or adults.
The actors speak very clearly and the play is written in such a way that there is a lot of repetition. This emphasizes the keywords for the understanding of a situation. There is also a lot of visual action, which allows students to follow the story even if they may not have understood all the dialogue.
You can download and print the preparation material directly from our website. The teacher should distribute the different documents we have prepared (summary, vocabulary, students parts...) to the students and we recommend looking at these documents in class. Particular attention should be placed on the pronunciation and the meaning of words and phrases. It will indeed be a great help for students to be as familiar as possible with the vocabulary of the play. The more the teachers prepare the students before the show the better the students will understand. With our preparation material the students will be able to follow the plot of the story, enjoy the show and improve their understanding.
The Volunteers, aka Student actors
It is necessary that all student roles are filled. From one school to another, the casting of these students varies: sometimes there are not enough volunteers and the teacher must designate actors, and often there are too many volunteers, the teachers must then choose who will have a part in the play with the actors. This can take various forms, for example, why not organize a form of audition? These roles must be defined before we come to facilitate the smooth running of the preparations for these students. It is not necessary that they should know their role by heart and they can keep their script with them on stage.
The actors are all native speakers. As our actors work every day in schools, they all have experience of communicating with teenagers who do not have the same mother tongue. It is not necessary that the student actors are students who are the most comfortable in that language. We work with all students, regardless of their level.
What do the student actors do?
On the day of the performance, the actors spend about 30 minutes rehearsing with the student actors prior to the show. They rehearse their small scene together and explain how they could perform the role of their character to make it more "real". They also explain where and how students should position themselves on stage, when they come on stage ... and most importantly, the actors make the students feel confident, because we know it can be a daunting experience for teenagers to perform in front of their classmates, but it is also an exhilarating experience!!
During the performance, the student actors are placed in the first row of the audience, in order of their appearance on stage. Thus, when their turn comes, they can easily get on stage, play their role, and then return to their seats to continue to enjoy the show.
We adapt ourselves to the school’s facilities. We can perform in any open space large enough to set our stage (roughly 6 x 4 m) such as a gymnasium, a canteen, a large classroom, a school hall, etc…
Please note, we always prefer, especially in a small room, to perform in a space of a greater width rather than length so that no student is too far away from the stage.
A small room to be used as a changing room is required close to the “stage”.
For the setting of the stage we require:
- 4 chairs
- access to a minimum of 3 electric sockets (we have extension leads) for our lights and sound system
Timetable for a show
H - 70 min: the team (4 actors and one tour manager) arrive and set up for the show.
H - 40 min: our actors meet your student actors (rehearsal time and a warm up.)
H - 5 min: the audience arrives (under the surveillance of the teachers and/or supervisors)
H: PERFORMANCE STARTS
H + 60 min: The show is over.
If there are two consecutive performances, please allow for a 20-minute break between the end of the first show and the moment where the actors meet the second group of student actors.
At the end of each show there will be an opportunity for the audience to ask the actors some questions. Feel free to prepare your students beforehand with some questions they would like to ask!