Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Family Arts Weekend

Last Thursday Nightowl and I headed out on a mother-daughter adventure. We had signed up for the Family Arts Weekend at Taproot Farm in rural Ohio. We learned of this event via the Barbara Dewey newsletter (Waldorf Without Walls).

We started our trip with a side visit to our wonderful friends in Columbus. Nightowl got to play with her same age pal, Francie, and I got a late, late, late night chat with kindred spirit Nikki. We took the girls to see a production of the musical Annie and spent the rest of our time chilling and visiting and recollecting how much we all adore one another. It was a true love fest.

We arrived at Taproot Farm on Friday evening, unpacked our bags in the farmhouse (we got to stay in the Cinderella Room) and headed off to meet the six other families and play theater games. Over the next 24-plus hours we created original characters, built relationships between said characters, came up with a plot, created costumes, and staged a play. During our "free" time we learned how to wet-on-wet paint, make origami, participated in KP duty and creating communal meals, played theater games and sat around chatting and enjoying each others' company.

It was an amazing experience. Aside from what we created (which was pretty cool) the organic nature of the event is what I found most inspiring. All participants from aged 4 to much older, were able to be involved in all activites. The kids, and the adults, were included in the creation of their characters, which led to the creation of relationships, which led to the creation of the story, which led to the creation of the play. It was empowering. Everyone felt heard, and everyone seemed invested in the story.

Nightowl had a great time. In our final play her character was Carlos, the flying fairy. Working communally was very, very good for her. My character was Ref, the bashful newt. Working communally was very, very good for me.

I also came away with lots of wonderful new ideas for incorporating more dramatics into our everyday lessons - drama queens rule! I even learned to do wet-on-wet painting - a true miracle. Overall: a wonderful time had by all. (I've lots of photos from the weekend and plan to publish them somehow, sometime - when it's not nearly midnight.)

Flush right photos:
1 - View of the pond at Taproot Farm.
2 - Barbara demonstrates wet-on-wet painting
3 - My miracle painting.


Anonymous said...

It seems you all had a gala time. Real good ya! Keep it up

Sara said...

Wow! It sounds like such an awesome, inspiring time! I can't wait to hear and see more about it!

Preschool at Home said...

My little one is too young for such a program. I saw it advertised at Waldorf Without Walls and filed it away. Now I know that it is worth visiting when the time is right. Thanks for the fun look into your weekend.

big mama said...

Oh, wow, that looks like my kind of weekend. Must look into it. I really like your blog, have come across it from Sara's, now I have to remember to add it to my blogroll one of these days...

If you feel up to it, I'd love to read more on how to incorporate dramatics into your schoolwork. I'm planning a "storytelling" block with my first grader, and I'm thinking stories, creating scenes, acting stuff out etc.

THanks for sharing!

Aleisha said...

Hi! Nice to meet you! I've seen your comments on Sara's blog as well. I hope to add more about the dramatics soon! Thanks for stopping by.