Virtual Education Activities
Join us from wherever you are and keep those creative brains working! We wish we could see you at the theatre and in our classrooms, but until then enjoy these play from home activities and be sure to show us what you come up with!
Porchlight Friday Night: A Concert Series for the Whole Family
Created in Partnership with Chicago Youth Center, available to everyone!
We miss seeing you at the theater and in our classrooms Porchlight Music Theatre. We created this virtual concert series for you along with the accompanying work from home activities.
If you have any questions for the performers in the videos, you respond in the comments to the video on Facebook or tweet at us at @PorchlightMT.
Using J. Riley, Jr.’s performance of “Go the Distance” imagine that you and your kiddo are going on your own journey! First, clear a playing space where you can move around. Prompt your child with, “Hercules was traveling, and while they were traveling they went through ____________” — and then choose an environment to imagine they are traveling through or thing they have become.
- ..while they were traveling they had to move through a pool of peanut butter!
- …while they were traveling they became giant dinosaurs!
- …while they were traveling they got very sleepy and needed to take a nap!
Young actors then (safely!) move around using only their bodies and imaginations, not their voices, to show that they are traveling or becoming that thing!
Make your own Tiana and Naveen to watch Tia Pinson’s performance of “Almost There” with you! Grab some construction paper, markers, glue, scissors, and an empty toilet paper roll. Use the scissors to cut a face, and foot piece out of green construction paper and a tongue from a red piece of construction paper. Cover the toilet paper roll with green construction paper and attach with glue. Use markers to decorate the face and feet however you want and attach all the pieces with tape.
Do you have questions for Tia or Jerome? Maybe you want to know where they trained to be an actor, how they prepare for a show, or what their favorite ice cream flavor is? You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to email@example.com!
Sophisticated Ladies is a musical revue, meaning that it is a performance of songs without scenes or plot (unlike a musical like Annie or The Wiz, where songs and scenes tell a story). Using De’Jah’s performance of “It Don’t Mean a Thing” as inspiration, write a scene for a character that would lead to them singing this song. What do they want and how will this song help them get it?
Using Jordan’s performance of “What Would I Do If I Could Feel?” from The Wiz, design a costume for them as the Tin Man. What time period, materials, or parts of the song inspire you?
Response Questions for Jermaine, Jordan, or De’Jah
Do you have questions for De’Jah, Jordan, or Jermaine? Maybe you want to know where they trained to be an actor, how they prepare for a show, or what their favorite ice cream flavor is. You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Chloe’s performance of “Just Can’t Wait to Be King” invites us to imagine that we are some of the animals in Mufasa’s kingdom. First, clear a playing space where you can move around. Prompt your child with, “Mufasa is the king and he met his subject the ____________” — and then use your body to transform into any animal in the kingdom.
1) Mufasa is the king and he met his subject, the quick cheetah!
2) Mufasa is the king and he met his subject, the tiny ant!
3) Mufasa is the king and he met his subject, the slow elephant!
Young actors then (safely!) move around using only their bodies and imaginations, not their voices, to show that they have become an animal on the savannah!
Inspired by Byrce’s performance of “Proud of Your Boy”, create these Magic Carpet Coasters. Grab some felt, scissors, string, and any beds, feathers or gems you want to decorate with! Cut three pieces of felt, each smaller than the other. Using string and beads, make the tassels for the corner of the carpet and then use hot glue to stack the carpet pieces and attach the tassels between the layers.
Do you have questions for Chloe or Bryce? Maybe you want to know where they trained to be an actor, how they prepare for a show, or what their favorite ice cream flavor is. You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to email@example.com!
Using Juwon Tyler Perry’s performance of “Waving Through the Window” from Dear Evan Hanson, come up with dance steps, or choreography, for a portion of the song. Thinking about Ms. Flo’s choreography, why do the dancers move in a certain way and dance in a certain style?
Thinking of Bridget Adams-King singing “That Would Be Enough” from Hamilton what would the set look like if she was in a full production of play? What time period does the play take place in and what does the location need to communicate to the audience?
Response Questions for Flo
Do you have questions for Juwon, Bridget, or Ms. Flo? Maybe you want to know where they trained to be an actor, how they prepare for a show, or what their favorite ice cream flavor is. You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
When Anna Brockman sings “Reflection” from Mulan she thinks a lot about the way her reflection looks in mirrors and water doesn’t match the way she feels. At home, with a grown up or a friend, stand face to face and imagine that you’re looking in a mirror. Take turns leading slow, easy to follow movements and following each other as if you are each other’s reflections. The point isn’t to trick each other, but to help each other mirror each other. What will your reflection show?
Thinking of the song that Nik Kmiecik sang, “Remember Me” from Coco, make your own at home cardboard, superstar guitar. All you need is a cardboard box, a cardboard tube, colorful rubber bands, scissors, and markers.
Cut a hole in the center of the box and a small hole (the size of the cardboard tube) on the short side. Slide the cardboard tube into the box and glue in place. Use the rubber bands (or string) to stretch around the box and make the guitar strings. Decorate with markers or whatever flair you like and play along!
Do you have questions for Nik or Anna? Maybe you want to know where they trained to be an actor, why they chose their song, or what their favorite summer activity is. You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to email@example.com!
Costume Design Activity
Using Averis Anderson’s performance of “I’ll Cover You Reprise” from Rent, draw a costume for the character who sings this song. Think about the time period of Rent, where it takes place, who the character is, where they are at emotionally, and come up with an idea of what they might be wearing. You can use the blank costume worksheet below to help guide you as you design your costume masterpiece!
Leah Davis performance of “It Won’t Be Long Now” from In the Heights is a great example of one song containing many emotions. Let’s practice that with a quick acting exercise. Grab a sheet of paper cut into slips (or use index cards) and write down as many emotions as you can think of. Put the pieces into a hat or bowl and start the song from the beginning. After each line, draw a new emotion and use it as you sing the song. How many different emotions can you try to pack into one song?
Do you have questions for Averis Anderson, Rueben Echoles, or Leah Davis? Maybe what they do to warm up before a performance, what their go to acting activities are, or what their favorite musical is! You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Using Drew Tanabe’s performance of “Part of Your World” from The Little Mermaid, imagine all the worlds you want to be a part of! First, clear a playing space where you can move around. Prompt your child with “I wanna be where the _____ are” and then ask them to act out what they would see the people there doing and the thingy mabobs they’d encounter there! As a challenge, ask them to use just their imaginations and bodies–not their voices–to show you where they are!
I wanna be where the fishies are. I wanna see them swimming! They’ve got seaweed and fish rocks galore.
I wanna be where the birds are. I wanna see them flying! They’ve got clouds and planes galore.
I wanna be where the ants are. I wanna see them crawling! They’ve got ant hills and chips galore.
Make your own magical mirror to watch Tiffany Taylor sing “A Change in Me” from Beauty and the Beast! Using some cardboard, tin foil, glue, and whatever jewels/stickers/ markers have at home.
Start by grabbing a piece of cardboard and cutting it into a handheld mirror shape like pictured below! Then grab a square of tin foil and cut it into an oval. Then glue the tin foil oval to your cardboard. Finish up your mirror by decorating it, glue jewels or add stickers, or just draw all around it to make it your own!
Do you have questions for Tiffany Taylor or Drew Tanabe? Maybe who their favorite Disney character is, if they could have one superpower what would it be, or how they remember all of the words to their song! You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to email@example.com!
Stage Management Activity
Stage Managers are people who make sure that everything in the theater is organized and runs smoothly. They are expert communicators and take detailed notes. Using Nina’s performance of “Stupid Love” take the lyrics listed below and imagine what the lights and sound might look like in a full production. Write them down exactly when they happen in the lyrics. Does Nina move or pick anything up? Write it down! At the end, the Stage Manager uses this to “call” the show so that all of the cues happen on cue!
When I was five, I fell in love
It didn’t last
He ran from me
Literally, ran from me
And being Kenyan, He ran fast
When I was ten, in love, again
This peace corps guy
I waited for hours
Inside his tent with flowers
Which made him laugh which made me cry
By thirteen I gave up trying
I decided I would be a mathematician
‘Cause math is real
I memorized a lot of PI
Because additions and subtractions and division
Would never make me feel
So stupid with love
Like I didn’t get it
I didn’t get it, somehow
Smart with math but stupid with love
I didn’t get it
I didn’t get it, ’till now
Do you have an eraser? (I would love to)
So thank you, math, for being there
To bring me joy
And thank you, math
‘Cause now brought me this cute boy!
Is it two? (yes)
He’s like someone from T.V
He’s like that guy who give out roses to those women
His clothes, his grooming
And he’s foot away from me with swoopy hair and shiny eyes that I could swim in
He is live and in the room!
And I’m stupid with love
I wanna get it
I wanna to get it, but how?
Smart with math, but stupid with love
I wanna get it
I didn’t get it till now
Two over zero is undefined
I’m astounded and non-plussed
I am filled with calculust
Does this guy work out? He must
All sweaty at the gym
Could that image be more hot?
Let me just enjoy that thought
School was rough but now? It’s not
‘Cause now there’s him
It’s all so simple
Stupid with love
But I can get it
Watch this girl self-educate
I learned math, so I can learn love
You wanna bet it?
That I can get it?
An adaptation is a reimagining of an existing story (book, movie) into something new (musical, movie). Rent is an adaptation of the opera La Boheme that reimagines 1830’s Paris to 1990s New York City. Thinking of Koray Tarhan’s version of “One Song Glory,” what is a new setting that this song could take place. You can think about something that’s happening in your life or something happening right now in history. How can this song adapt to suit a different situation?
Do you have questions for Koray, Hai, Nina? Maybe, where they learned to sing, how they warm up their voice, or where they find inspiration for making a song their own? You can comment directly on the facebook video or send questions to firstname.lastname@example.org!
Freaky Friday Study Guide
Each of our mainstage shows will feature a school guide with classroom activities and discussion prompts. While our school groups couldn’t come to see the Chicago premiere of Disney’s Freaky Friday, we hope everyone can still enjoy the music, the story, and joy this show can bring. This guide features design, playwriting, and discussion activities to keep you busy. You can send your responses to email@example.com or share them to our social media pages on Facebook or Twitter
Virtual Freaky Friday Workshops
Workshops are offered for school and community groups coming to see our mainstage shows at the Ruth Page Center for the Arts. Pre-Show Workshops cover an intro to theatre, the themes and concepts of the show, and how we made the show they are about to see. Post-Show Workshops cover use interactive activities to reinforce comprehension of themes with a more hands on approach to making theater themselves.
You can use the resources below to create a workshop experience for your students or kids.
Virtual Pre Show Workshop
An adaptation of the classic novel and beloved films, Freaky Friday follows teenager Ellie Blake and her mother, Katherine, on the weirdest, strangest, craziest, freakiest day of their whole lives. Try as they might, Katherine and Ellie just can’t seem to understand each other: Ellie wants her mom to stop trying to change her, while Katherine wants her daughter to be the best version of herself that she can be. On a fateful Friday, the day before Katherine’s wedding, something magical occurs when mother and daughter swap bodies. Now, both will have to一literally一spend a day walking in each other’s shoes, learning about each other and the struggles each goes through and forging a new mother-daughter relationship in this hilarious, energetic, and moving musical comedy.
Katherine Blake –single parent and caterer, getting married on Saturday
Ellie Blake –Katherine’s daughter and high school Sophomore
Mike Riley– Katherine’s fiance
Adam– A Senior at Ellie’s school and architect of “the Hunt”
Savannah– Resident Queen Bee
Gretchen– A lackey of Savannah’s
Hannah– A lackey of Savannah’s
Torrey– Katherine’s personal assistant and professional organizer
Fletcher Blake– Katherine’s son and Ellie’s younger brother, a budding magician
Mrs. Time– Owns an antique shop
Ensemble– plays several roles including classmates, teachers, and wedding guests
- Empathy– Between Katherine and Ellie, Ellie and Fletcher, Adam and Fletcher, and who else? By spending the day in each other’s lives Katherine and Ellie are able to understand each other’s point of view.
- Change– As the Blakes deal with the death of their father/husband and accepting Mike as a new member of their family, many additional characters work to change their view of themselves as attempt new challenges
- Age/Aging– As Ellie and Katherine deal with the joys and frustrations of switching ages, Parker and Laurel learn to love the stage they’re at now. And then there’s the hourglass…
Articles Pertaining to Themes:
How to Be More Empathetic – article from the New York Times
When Do You Become an Adult? – article from the Atlantic
Age Differences in Age Perceptions and Developmental Transitions – article from Frontiers Psychology
Articles/Videos Pertaining to Music Theatre:
Instead of Watching the Show
We wish we could have shared our production of Freaky Friday with you. Since we cannot, here are some suggestions:
- Listen to the Original Cast Recording. It’s available on Spotify as well as Youtube.
- Watch the 1976 movie starring Jodie Foster (available to stream on Amazon Prime), the 2003 movie starring Lindsay Lohan and Jamie Lee Curis (available to stream on Amazon Prime and Disney+), or the 2018 movie musical (available on Disney+)
- Read the books the musicals are based on — Freaky Friday by Mary Rodgers, or Vice Versa: A Lesson to Fathers by F. Antsey.
Virtual Post-Show Workshop
Reflection and sharing of ideas is a vital part of the theatre going experiences. More importantly, your thoughts, opinions, and insights matter to us! Share your two cents with us via social media or to firstname.lastname@example.org. Have a question for a designer, actor, director, or musician? Let us know and we’ll get you an answer!
- How did you see the themes manifest throughout the show? Was one theme more prominent? Were there any major themes we haven’t mentioned?
- If you were to switch bodies with a parent or adult in your life, what can you imagine you might learn about them? What would they learn about you if they walked a day in your shoes?
- Why do characters in musicals sing instead of just speaking? Were there any places that you felt there should be a song and there wasn’t, or any songs that felt were in excess?
- Why is Freaky Friday about a mother and daughter who switch bodies and not a father and son?
- Were there any characters who identified with more than others– Ex. Ellie, Katherine, Savannah, Mike? Why do you think you understood them? Conversely, were there any characters you didn’t understand? Why?
Allstate is the principal sponsor of the Freaky Friday, One Act Version, for youth