Friday, July 25, 2008

Tales of Thunder, Tales of Wonder

Today was our performance at Lubber Run Park for Creative Cauldron's Arts Adventure Camp. This performance was the culmination of three weeks work by 4 different groups of children from the youngest (The Claps), led by Lauren Williams, the next to youngest (The Peals), led by me, The next to oldest (The Rolls), led by Matt Conner, and the oldest (The Rumbles), led by Oran Sandel.
Our theme was Tales of Thunder, Tales of Wonder, and each class was assigned a particular culture (African, Native American, Cambodian, and Norse Mythology) and were to explore those culture's myths of the origins of thunder.
The youngest did the Cambodian folk tale of Thunder and Lightning about a giant and a goddess competing for a magic ball in the skies.
My class did the Native American myth of the Thunderbird, whose mighty wings caused thunder when they flapped.
Matt's class did the West Nigerian tale of "Masterman", which explains thunder by foolish men and women competing to be the best and strongest, and the competition that ensues is the racket you hear in the sky.
Oran's class did a modern take on Thor's legend called Thor Then and Thor Now.
All of these shows were written by the campers themselves. We took their plot ideas, their dialogue ideas and shaped them into a show.

(Lauren and the camp)

My class wrote a tale of a Native American tribe that was suffering from a drought. It had grown so hot that the Parent Thunderbirds up in the hills were too hot, tired and lazy to move. Since they had not flapped their wings, there had been no thunder.
Down in the village, the children of the tribe were trying to think of something to do to help.
They decided to go up to the hills and ask the Thunderbirds for help, but run into the baby Thunderbirds halfway. The baby Thunderbirds tell them of their plight, and the children are flown up to the nest to try to get the adult Thunderbirds up and moving.
They try 3 ways: First they try fireworks, but soon realize they aren't allowed to play with fire, so they can't light them.
Second they try to tickle them, but they are not ticklish.
Third, they develop a dance that is so fun to do, you can't help but join in: The Thunderbird Dance (to the tune of the Chicken Dance).
As the parents watch the fun and join in the dance, when they flap their wings, thunder crashes and a great storm brings rain to the land, ending the drought. The whole tribe as well as the Thunderbirds celebrate and dance in the rain together as our story ends.
I was so proud of them, and they did an awesome job.
Here are some other shots from today's show. Enjoy!

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