Monday, October 13, 2014

Drama Club

At Elena's school, any 4th or 5th grade student can join the Drama Club.  They meet twice a week after school and perform a play (it will be in February).

Jason and I thought this would be a great opportunity for Elena.  It would give her a social, fun outlet to do with her peers, and hopefully make strong friendships and build confidence.  I asked E if she was interested.  She said no.

So, I waited a few days.  Jason mentioned it at dinner, hoping Elena was more open to the idea.  Nope.

At PT, Theresa mentioned it, and that several of E's friends were planning on joining.  Elena said she didn't think she wanted to do it...but she started wondering if it sounded fun.  By the end of the session, Elena decided she wanted to join Drama Club.

I had already arranged her after-school schedule, figuring Drama Club wasn't happening; now that she wanted in (and I support that idea), something had to move or be removed from her week.  I cringed b/c that regular event was her weekly private physical therapy appointment.  Next month, her schedule will open up a bit and we'll be able to arrange a new PT regimen--but until then, appointments will be less regular.

The first two days of Drama Club were auditions for their production, the musical version of Alice In Wonderland.  I accidentally deleted an email with preparation instructions and song practice, so Elena and I were in the dark as to what auditioning actually meant.  Each day Elena came home super happy and said auditions went well.  After the second day, there was a parent meeting.  The director made sure for us to remind our children that not everyone can get the part they want.  She advised the parents on how to deal with disappointment, and sent a sheet around for the kids to put down the part(s) they most wanted--just in case a child really wanted a small part, or wanted a backstage role, or something to that effect (in general, all the girls wanted Alice or the Queen of Hearts and all the boys wanted the Mad Hatter or the Caterpillar).  Roles were to be posted (sent by email) two days later.

We spent the next few days just doing our thing, hoping that Elena wouldn't obsess over what role she'd get (she didn't) or if she was nervous (she wasn't).  I kept checking my email, mostly because I was curious what role the director felt that Elena would best fit (naturally, she's the only impaired person in the club).

Roles came out just before midnight Friday.

Elena is Alice.


Margot said...

WHOA!!! GO ELENA!!! You will make a beautiful Alice! Actually Elena has the delicate features and blonde hair that remind me of the Alice in the Disney version of "Alice in Wonderland". I am thrilled she got the lead!! So proud!! I have SDCP like Elena and started acting at 12. I consider it to be one of the best things I have ever done. It taught me a lot about my body. It also taught me how to take heathy risk,try new things, and problem solve in the moment which I know are things you want for Elena. I have to wonder how the school drama class will incorporate her crutches and balance needs into the play. I was usually given rules where I could sit or hold on to something when I was around her age. I also make independent films like these Drama Sighted
and Only Those Who Limp Allowed which have disabled actors in them. I usually have to improvise certain things to accommodate the actors needs. You can read my other posts on the same film blog if the school wants some insight into productions with disabled characters. Playing the lead is a lot of responsibility and there may be times when she is frustrated or when her tight muscles will rebel against her for doing a new movement in character. Encourage her to stick with it. However I imagine since this is a 4th grade play things will be kept more simple so it will be MUCH easier than the stuff I have done. I imagine any real frustration will be minimal, if any. Elena will love it!!!! There is an email address on my film blog if you would like to contact me. I would love it if you wrote blog post updates about her experience in the show! Break a leg Elena!!! I wish I could see you perform in person!!! btw as long as you get back to the PT I don't think cutting down will hurt in the long run.

Just the Tip said...

Ahhhhh!!!!! I cried a little, that's so amazing! !!!!

Anonymous said...


Unknown said...

That is freaking AWESOME!! I get the cringe moment when you have to balance therapy with being a kid. I struggle with that with my daughter. She needs the PT/OT/SPT but she also needs to be a kid. Good for you for finding that balance to let your girl shine.

Unknown said...

Congratulations Elena! You'll make a great Alice. I can't wait to see the play. Mr. Johnson

Amy said...

Oh wow! This is awesome. Go Elena! You rock, busy girl!

Peter Slade said...

Fricking yeah . . . Anna will be so jealous!

Anonymous said...

So excited for Elena and your whole family... makes me want to move and send our kids to school wherever you live!

Unknown said...

Although children might have a condition that doesn't allow them to do all of the things they want to do in school, there should be ways that they can participate in clubs and special events. It makes them feel as though they are a part of the student body and can increase the self-confidence.

Clinton Bashir @ U.S. HealthWorks Spokane Valley