The show must go on! Drama activities for kids to do at home during the lockdown
In a bid to help share information during the lockdown in Exeter, we are inviting people to contribute helpful articles on Exploring Exeter. Jake Celecia from local Theatre school Anthos Arts has some brilliant ideas for drama activities to keep the kids busy in lockdown.
During this unprecedented time, where most children are unable to go to school and attend their usual clubs/activities it warms the heart that so many local theatre companies are stepping up to support them at home. Having been isolating for a few weeks now and craving a creative project, I’ve found that there are some wonderful free activities out there from a number of companies, including our own. I have been compiling a (hopefully) helpful list for those seeking a creative outlet for their little ones. These are things which can be completed by anyone, from those who love Drama to those just looking for a fun way to pass the time.
Fellow alumni and local artists Paddleboat Theatre Company have launched a series of activities based on their latest production ‘Claire Hollingworth: The Scoop of the Century,’ about reporter Claire Hollingworth who reported on the invasion of Poland in World War II. For those unfamiliar with the company, Paddleboat’s work is rooted in the curriculum and is a great way to get some creative History lessons into your week. Alongside each of ‘Claire’s Tasks,’ which encourage children to take on the role of a journalist, is a snippet of the show to enjoy! The team have also provided a lesson plan for each task to support parents and carers. The full list of tasks from Claire can be found on their website.
The wonderfully funny Le Navet Bete have also taken to the digital stage; providing some of their hilarious performances for families to enjoy online. Recordings of their ‘Wizard of Oz’, ‘Dick Tracy’ and ‘Aladdin’ shows are available on Youtube (simply search ‘Le Navet Bete’). Meanwhile, the company have adapted some of their school workshops into online videos which can aid in schooling from home. These resources can also be found online via their website.
Local company Theatre Alibi has also been delivering some fantastic activities to get up to at home with their ‘Alibi Exchange.’ Alongside this are their family performances of ‘I Believe in Unicorns’ and ‘Tablemates,’ which are available to watch digitally under the ‘Things for Now’ section of their website. New activities are continually added, and work submitted will be used to create something new.
Finally, we at Anthos Arts haven’t been sitting idle either. Since the lockdown, we have launched ‘Home-Challenges’, free imaginative Drama activities for children to engage with at home, ranging from creative writing, puppet making, costume design and more. A new challenge is released each week, with certificates being given for submitted work and even more digital Drama activities on the way! All this is available on our website under ‘Drama at Home.’
One of the things I have always loved about Exeter (and Devon) is the wealth of artists and companies creating work and it is so uplifting to know that everyone is pitching in to help families get through the hardships of a country on lockdown. From digital performances to educational activities, I think the message is loud and clear: no virus will stop the arts! To quote Dr Ian Malcolm; “theatre always finds a way.” (I’m sure that’s the line, right?)
Some other things that I have found I’m thankful for:
• That we live in an age where Zoom, Skype and other things exist that allow us see other people despite all that is happening around us. We have been using it to keep in touch with our youth groups.
• That so much theatre has been made available online. Most notable is the National Theatre, which has been streaming a new show each week. Their Treasure Island is a personal favourite show and it was incredible to see it again (from the living room, no less). It is quite possible I’ve seen more shows in the last three weeks than I have in months.
• The existence of biscuits.
About the author: Jake Celecia
Jake graduated with a BA Hons in Drama from the University of Exeter, having moved to the city initially in 2012 to attend. Having grown up in London, he never imagined leaving until he got to experience the beautiful Devon countryside and its wonderful people and has not looked back since. A strong passion for performing arts and working with children, Jake co-runs Anthos Arts, a local non-profit arts organisation, delivering Drama to children of all ages in the city.
Also a qualified Early Years Practitioner, Jake has had a variety of interesting and exciting jobs alongside Anthos, but is currently part of the team at the Exeter Northcott Theatre, where he gets to see his fill of exciting shows and meet some fabulous people.
Photos supplied by Anthos Arts.