Here's one wonderful tip that came from Amy in Laguna Hills, CA, on how to create an inexpensive backdrop for any play:
Tack down a canvas or plastic painter's drop cloth onto a wall (you may need to cut or glue it to make the perfect size). Choose a picture or photo that will serve as the basic template for the background.
Print this image on a transparency and project it onto the drop cloth using an overhead projector. Then roughly sketch out the picture in black marker. You've got yourself a backdrop!
Now let your class get creative. The kids can paint the large areas of the backdrop first, and then add details, glitter or other embellishments after it dries. You can do this at a fun after-school "paint party," or you can pull small groups of children out to work on the backdrop while other kids are practicing their scenes or songs.
Once you're done, you simply hang your backdrop from any existing stage interior, curtain or wall. It's really cheap, really fun, and best of all, you simply roll it up and put it away when you are finished!
Thank you very much, Amy, for the great idea.
I welcome all of you to send your tips and best practices my way so I can pass them on to other teachers.
Have a great day!