Understanding, analyzing and interpreting story elements is a significant part of the elementary language arts curriculum. While learning the components of narrative, and thinking from the perspective of the reader and the writer, Lightning Strike Kids Opera Company must know these elements on a profound level in order to create an original story. Characters, setting, plot, conflict, resolution, etc. The students must also know the theatrical elements that bring a story to life on stage. For soon, they will apply, audition and be hired for jobs as lighting designers, set designers, costume and make-up designers, actors, writers, composers, public relations officers, production and stage managers.
As an introduction to set design, the task . . . to design, as a small group, a specific scene from the story of a song we have been singing since school began. O lé lé. Students must come to consensus on the scene, design it and then construct a set from their design using an assortment of materials scattered about the floor.
They set to work immediately, communicating and collaborating to accomplish their collective goal. As is customary, I would have imagined great difficulty agreeing on a scene and even more disagreement in design and construction. I was surprised. Most came to consensus quickly and moved on through their creative process. They had limited time to “raise the set” and were eager to share their decision making process. They listened attentively as all groups divulged their design secrets. As a result of the creative experience, many were intrigued with the job of set design.
Company members collaborate to construct a set for O lé lé.