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.

Concert One, Friday May 15

Interactive Play

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.

For example:

  1. ..while they were traveling they had to move through a pool of peanut butter!
  2. …while they were traveling they became giant dinosaurs!
  3. …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!

 

Craft Activity

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Response Questions

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 rebeccah@porchlightmusictheatre.org!


Concert Two, Friday May 22

Writing Activity

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?

Use the worksheet below or Download the PDF to complete your missing scene. Don’t forget to share with us on Facebook and Instagram!


Design Activities

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?

Use the worksheet below or Download the PDF to design your costume. Don’t forget to share with us on Facebook and Instagram!

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 rebeccah@porchlightmusictheatre.org!


Concert Three, Friday May 29

Interactive Play

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.

For example:

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!

Craft Activity

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.

Response Questions

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 rebeccah@porchlightmusictheatre.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 rebeccah@porchlightmusictheatre.org or share them to our social media pages on Facebook or Twitter

Freaky Friday Study Guide

 

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

Show Synopsis: 

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.

Characters: 

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

Themes: 

  • 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: 

How ‘West Side Story’ Was Reborn – article on reimagining West Side Story 
20 Benchmark Musicals in Broadway History – for a history of 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 rebeccah@porchlightmusictheatre.org. Have a question for a designer, actor, director, or musician? Let us know and we’ll get you an answer!

Discussion: 

  • 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?