Just yesterday I was speaking with a second grade teacher who has done many of our plays over the last several years. She told me they always perform in their classroom, which is great—I think that’s usually the best choice.
And then she popped up and said, “We have a microphone we use.”
What?! You really don't need to mess with microphones—especially for a classroom performance!
Since many of you are preparing for end-of-the-year performances, this seems like a great time to review tips on making your children loud and clear. These come from Chris Elliott, a first grade teacher at La Mariposa School in Camarillo, CA. I’ve seen her plays for years, and the kids are always audible, they’re funny, and they’re all about telling the story to the audience.
One of the jokes I have with the kids is that I want them to go into their bedroom with the door shut and be loud enough that their parents can hear them in the kitchen. That always brings a whole lot of laughter, and they think it’s really funny, but it lets them know they can use their voice.
And yes, I certainly exaggerate with a great big loud voice around playtime. When we are practicing I’ll say, "I want to hear louder!" Then we get into the screams, and I talk about the difference between loud and screaming.
So voice is part of it. The other part is simply knowing that kids can do it.
In rehearsal I stand near the back wall of the room, and I say, "Be louder. Com on kids, I can’t hear you!" They have the sense that they need to project all the way through the audience.
Good luck with your plays!