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1 Thank you for participating in Western Canada Theatre’s matinee programming! We would like you and your students to get the most out of your experience with us. Included in this package is some inside information exclusive to teachers and students, discussion questions, classroom activities, and online resources. We hope you find them useful before and after seeing the show. Please take a few minutes to review appropriate theatre etiquette with your students. While clapping and laughing are most appropriate for the theatre, whispering, talking, and excessive movement during the show is distracting to others in the audience and our actors on stage. Audience members are encouraged to get comfortable, remove coats, use the washroom and turn all electronic devices OFF before a show begins. Please remind your students that texting is not allowed during the show. Remembering theatre etiquette makes the show more enjoyable for everyone! 2 A Study Guide
Production Personnel ............................................................................................................. 4 Western Canada Theatre Staff ................................................................................................ 4 40 Years at Western Canada Theatre!......................................................................................5 Behind the Scenes .................................................................................................................. 6 Author: PL Travers…………….………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….….…6 Original Music and Lyrics: Richard and Robert Sherman..………………………………………………………………….……….7 Book: Julian Fellows…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….……..7 Synopsis…………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………..…8 Characters………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………………….10 Mary Poppins' Vocabulary Lesson………………………………………………………………………………………………………………12 Backstage with Head Carpenter, John Popkin………………………………………………………………………13 Activities in the Classroom .................................................................................................... 16 Activity #1: Genres of Poppins ............................................................................................................... 16 Activity #2: Status in Edwardian England ............................................................................................... 17 Activity #3: Creating Your Own Set ........................................................................................................ 20 Activity #4: The Magic of Mary .............................................................................................................. 22 Activity #5: Theatre (Dance!) In The Classroom; A Step In Time…………………………………………………………………23 Activity #6: A Post Show Discussion…………………………………………………………………………………………………………..25 Resources Used .................................................................................................................... 26 3 Production Personnel
Cast
Cailin Stadnyk Leon Willey Mark Weatherley Leah Oster Barbara Barsky Mary Poppins Bert / Bank Chairman George Banks Winnifred Banks Miss Andrews, Ms. Lark and Bird Woman Michelle Fisk Jeremy Crittenden Darren Burkett Sheanna James Micheal Querin Timothy Gledhill Ben Purych Shane Snow Jacqueline Block Kaitlyn Semple Alexander Nicoll Mrs. Brill Roberston Ay / Ensemble Neleus / Ensemble Katie Nana / Mrs. Corrie/Ensemble Admiral Boom / von Hussler/Ensemble Northbrook / Ensemble Policeman / Ensemble Park Keeper / Ensemble Miss Smythe / Ensemble Ensemble Ensemble Sarah Baughan Quentin Clark Jane Banks Michael Banks Daryl Cloran Marek Norman Julie Tomaino Cory Sincennes Louise Guinand Cayman Duncan Director Music Director Choreographer Set and Costume Designer Lighting Designer Sound Designer Greg Klohn Isabelle Ly Heather Cant Andrew St. Hilaire Skylar Nakazawa Maddy Henry Sean Malmas Christine Leroux Sound Engineer Stage Manager Assistant Director Associate Music Director Assistant Stage Manager Apprentice Stage Manager Head Dresser Wardrobe Assistant Keyboard II Percussion Creative Team
Musicians
Andrew St. Hilaire Nick Apivor 4 Western Canada Theatre Staff
Daryl Cloran Lori Marchand Artistic Director General Manager Financial Manager Associate Financial Manager Marketing and Communications Director Growth and Engagement Director Events and Administrative Assistant Education Coordinator Production Manager Associate Artistic Director Production Technical Director Sagebrush Technical Director Head of Carpentry Head of Wardrobe Head of Properties Technician Technician Scenic Painter Client and Audience Services Manager Volunteer Coordinator Guest Services Guest Services Guest Services Guest Services Guest Services Box Office Manager Box Office Staff Box Office Staff Administration Ron Thompson Marilyn Zuke Suzan Goguen Lucy Geary Ann-­‐Kathrin McLean Terri Runnalls Production Gal Minnes Heather Cant Bill Chabassol Brian St-­‐Amand John Popkin Cindy Wiebe Angela Frye Roya Mole Kiana Skelly Sondra Haglund Front of House Heather Regan Jean Choi Jessica Buchanan Allison Clow Christine Leroux Carling Ryan Phyllis Mader Box Office Jan Riggs Geraldine Penny Judy Day 5 WCT Turns 40!
It’s our 40th Season here at Western Canada Theatre and we are so glad that you are a part of it!! Western Canada Theatre was first created in 1969 by Tom Kerr as a young people’s theatre. This small group toured locally, provincially and internationally doing theatre for young people. In 1975, the company widened their mandate and became a fully professionally functioning theatre company. To date, Western Canada Theatre has done over 300 shows, welcomed thousands of artists from our community and around the globe, and has entertained over a million audience members. Each year the company continues to put on 5 mainstage shows at Sagebrush Theatre, and 2 at the Pavilion Theatre, some of which will begin here in Kamloops and tour to other great theatres in the country. Western Canada Theatre is proud to uphold the following mission statement: Western Canada Theatre will provide the Kamloops regional community with challenging
professional live theatre. The Company will entertain, educate, enrich, and interact with
the cultural mosaic of its community.
Western Canada Theatre will promote and assist the performing arts through the provision
of educational, theatrical, and artistic opportunities and services, and through the
management and operation of facilities. All of this will be accomplished with fiscal
integrity.
The company continues to produce works by Canadian as well as international playwrights. We welcome talented artists to our stage and love to present our works to the wonderful Kamloops audiences, including young people like you! Happy Birthday to us!! Note: This year you will find that each study guide will showcase one or two of our amazing staff members! Our company could not deliver the quality of performance that we do if it were not for the individuals that work so hard to help bring all the magic together. Meeting these dedicated theatre lovers will inspire your students as well as teach them a little something about the hard work that goes on behind the scenes! Turn to page 13 to meet our Head Carpenter, John Popkin! He’s hard at work on the Mary Poppins set! 6 Behind the Scenes
Mary Poppins, The Broadway Musical is based on the stories of P.L. Travers (Mary Poppins, Mary Poppins Comes Back and Mary Poppins Opens the Door) and the Walt Disney film , Mary Poppins (starring Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke). Other credits include: Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert B. Sherman Book by Julian Fellowes New Songs and Additional Music and Lyrics by George Stiles and Anthony Drewe Co-­‐Created by Cameron Mackintosh Let’s meet a couple of them! Author: P.L. Travers
P.L. Travers (1899-1996) was born on August 9, 1899, in Queensland,
Australia. Her rich fantasy life propelled her to write stories and poems
at an early age, and after a brief stint in the theater, she moved to
London, England, to pursue a literary life, hobnobbing with Irish poets
such a William Butler Yeats. The Mary Poppins tales sprang from
entertaining young visitors combined with a love of mythology.
Notoriously private and prickly, the Disney film Mary Poppins made her
immensely wealthy, but unhappy.
She planned to write Goodbye, Mary Poppins, to terminate the beloved governess, but instead heeded the outcry from both children and publishers. A musical Mary Poppins closer to Travers's original version of the character debuted on the London stage in 2004. And "supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," born from the Disney film, through a song written by the Sherman Brothers (sung by Julie Andrews and Dick Van Dyke), forever lives in the English lexicon. Awarded the Order of the British Empire in 1977, P.L. Travers lived to age 96, dying in London from the effects of an epileptic seizure, on April 23, 1996. 7 Original Music and Lyrics: Richard and Robert Sherman
Richard Morton Sherman (1928-­‐) and his brother Robert B. Sherman (1925-­‐2012) are American songwriters who specialize in musical films. According to the official Walt Disney Company website, "[the Sherman Brothers were] responsible for more motion picture musical song scores than any other songwriting team in film history." Some of the Sherman Brothers' best known songs were incorporated into live action and animation musical films including: Mary Poppins, The Jungle Book, The Many Adventures of Winnie the Pooh, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, The Slipper and the Rose, and Charlotte's Web. Their most well known work is the theme park song "It's a Small World (After All)". According to Time, this song is the most performed song of all time. In 1965, the Sherman Brothers won two Academy Awards for the film Mary Poppins (1964), which includes the songs "Feed The Birds," "Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious," and the Oscar winner, "Chim Chim Cher-­‐ee." After Mary Poppins, the Sherman Brothers won nine Academy Award nominations, two Grammy Awards, four Grammy Award nominations and 23 gold and platinum albums. Robert Sherman passed away in 2012 and Richard continues to do work in the musical theatre and film industry. Book: Julian Fellowes
Julian Alexander Kitchener-­‐Fellowes, Baron Fellowes of West Stafford, (born 17 August 1949) is an English actor, novelist, film director and screenwriter, as well as a Conservative member of the House of Lords. Fellowes is primarily known as the author of several Sunday Times best-­‐
seller novels; for the screenplay for the film Gosford Park, which won the Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay in 2004; and as the creator, writer and executive producer of the multiple award-­‐winning British television series, Downton Abbey (2010). 8 Synopsis
ACT ONE Bert, a jack-­‐of-­‐all-­‐trades, introduces us to the Banks family of Cherry Tree Lane (Prologue). The Banks children, Jane and Michael, terrorize their governess Katie Nanna while chasing a kite through the park and she resigns, leaving the house in a panic (Cherry Tree Lane). The children present their parents with their own advertisement for Nanna’s replacement (The Perfect Nanny), which their father George rips up and throws into the fireplace. As he tries to leave the house to go to work at a local bank, George is confronted by Mary Poppins, who magically appears and informs him that she has answered the advertisement that he had previously destroyed. Confused and frazzled, he leaves the hiring process in the hands of his wife Winifred. Mary Poppins accompanies the children to the nursery and, with her magical tape measure, sums up their characters, while declaring herself Practically Perfect in Every Way. Mary Poppins and the children go on an outing to the park, where they meet Bert, who is painting. They take a magical journey into the colorful painting of the park he has created (Jolly Holiday). The statues come to life and sing and dance with them. They return home to find Mr. and Mrs. Banks arguing about hiring Mary Poppins. Mrs. Banks reflects about her role as wife and mother (Being Mrs. Banks) as the children reminisce about their magical day with their new nanny. The children try to help their mother prepare for a tea party she is hosting, but they and Robertson Ay, a clumsy young servant, practically destroy the kitchen when attempting to ice a cake. Mary Poppins and the children clean the mess (A Spoonful of Sugar), but Mrs. Banks is disappointed to discover that none of her guests have chosen to attend the party. Mary Poppins and the children visit Mr. Banks at the bank (Precision and Order/A Man Has Dreams). While they are there, Mr. Banks is visited by two businessmen seeking loans. He turns down Mr. Von Hussler’s requests and grants Mr. Northbrook’s. On their way home, Mary Poppins introduces the children to the Bird Woman of St. Paul’s Cathedral and teaches them a lesson in charity (Feed the Birds). Mary Poppins and Bert then take the children to visit the magical sweets shop operated by the ancient Mrs. Corry and her two daughters, Annie and Fannie (Supercalifragilisticexpialidocious). Back at Cherry Tree Lane, Mr. and Mrs. Banks are arguing because George fears he may lose his job, based on refusing Mr. Von Hussler’s loan; Van Tussle has made a fortune overnight and the bank directors accuse him of losing a profit. Mary Poppins informs the Banks’ that this is her night off. Jane and Michael fight over a toy and Mary Poppins brings the nursery toys to life to express their displeasure at the way the children have treated them through the years (Playing the Game). The children fall asleep, and Mary Poppins joins Bert on the rooftop (Chim-­‐Chim-­‐Cher-­‐ee). She informs Bert that the wind has changed and flies away. The children and Mrs. Brill discover that Mary Poppins has gone. 9 ACT TWO Mrs. Banks has hired Miss Andrew, George’s cruel childhood nanny (also known as “The Holy Terror”) as a replacement for Mary Poppins. When he sees her, Mr. Banks runs away in fear. Dismayed at Jane and Michael’s behavior, Miss Andrew announces that the only solution is strict discipline and bad-­‐tasting medicine (Brimstone and Treacle). Jane and Michael run away into the park and Bert tries to cheer them up with a kite (Let’s Go Fly a Kite). The kite flies out of sight and they cannot pull it down from the sky. Mary Poppins descends the kite string. Mrs. Banks worries about the children’s disappearance and the state of her relationship with Mr. Banks (Being Mrs. Banks -­‐ Reprise). The children return to find the household under the tight control of Miss Andrew. Mary Poppins frees Caruso, Miss Andrew’s lark, from his cage, and the two women engage in a battle of wills (Brimstone and Treacle -­‐ Reprise). A giant birdcage appears and traps Miss Andrew, flying away into the sky. When Mr. and Mrs. Banks discover that Mary Poppins is back, Mr. Banks confesses to Mary Poppins that he may lose his job. She agrees to stay on, regardless of his ability to pay her. Mrs. Banks informs him that his job is not as important as their family. In the nursery, the children express their desire that Mary Poppins stay as long as possible (Practically Perfect -­‐ Reprise). Michael is swept up the chimney, followed by Mary Poppins and Jane. They find Bert, covered in soot, on the rooftop and he introduces them to the life of the chimney sweeps (Step in Time). George receives a summons to the bank, where he fears he will be fired. George admits it may be time to sell his mother’s china vase, which is then broken in an accident. He discovers gingerbread stars from Mrs. Corry’s shop, which he used to hide from Miss Andrew, among the shattered pieces. He blames Mary Poppins for the destruction of his life, and Bert encourages to look at his life in another way (A Man Has Dreams). The children, who have watched this encounter, say good-­‐night to their father and give him the sixpence that Mr. Northbrook gave them at the bank. As the children return to bed, Mary Poppins leaves the kite where George can see it. He picks it up and leaves for the bank. In the nursery, the children, Mrs. Banks and Mary Poppins question their future (Anything Can Happen). Mrs. Banks follows her husband and Mary Poppins flies away with the children over the rooftops of London. On his way to the bank, Mr. Banks gives the coins that Jane and Michael gave him to the Bird Woman. George learns that his actions actually saved the bank from Von Hussler’s schemes and he is given a promotion, with Mrs. Banks at his side. Mary Poppins and the children take a magical tour of the stars (Anything Can Happen -­‐ Reprise). Mary Poppins says good-­‐bye to the children one last time and flies away. Mr. and Mrs. Banks return home from the bank and pledge to become a loving family that does not need Mary Poppins to keep them in line (Finale). 10 Characters
Mary Poppins: A magical nanny who is prim, proper and practically perfect in every way. Bert: A Cockney jack-­‐of-­‐all-­‐trades (chimney sweep, painter, lamplighter, busker) who has developed a special relationship with Mary Poppins. Jane and Michael Banks: Two young children who desperately need a nanny to show them the importance of proper behavior, discipline, compassion and the power of their imaginations. George Banks: Jane and Michael’s father. A no-­‐nonsense banker who has placed his career and financial status before his family’s happiness. Winifred Banks: Jane and Michael’s mother, a former actress. She is a dedicated wife and mother who has become trapped in a lifestyle of pretending to be something she is not by fitting in to “respectable” social circles. Katie Nanna: The Banks’ nanny at the beginning of the play who is cross and unfriendly. Mrs. Brill: The Banks’ cook and housekeeper. She is perpetually put-­‐upon to pick up the slack when things go wrong around the house. Robertson Ay: The Banks’ dimwitted, clumsy servant. The Inhabitants of Cherry Tree Lane Admiral Boom: An old man with a tendency to express everything using nautical language. Miss Lark: An old woman with a lap dog, Willoughby. She and Admiral Boom have a flirtatious relationship. Park Keeper Policeman Statues in the Park Neleus: A young man with a dolphin from Greek mythology. Queen Victoria: A statue of the former Queen of England. Mrs. Corry: Ageless woman who operates a magical candy store that sells gingerbread decorated with real stars from the sky. Fannie and Annie: Mrs. Corry’s daughters. Bird Woman: A kind old woman who tends to the birds outside of St. Paul’s Cathedral. Bank Chairman: Mr. Banks’ supervisor at the bank. Herr Von Hussler: A businessman seeking a loan from Mr. Banks’ department at the bank, whose business proposal is based on profits alone. 11 Mr. John Northbrook: A businessman seeking a loan from Mr. Banks’ department at the bank, whose business proposal is based on decent, hardworking men seeking a better life. Miss Andrew: The oldest, cruelest nanny in the world. Was Mr. Banks’ nanny when he was a boy. Extremely fond of bad-­‐tasting medicine as a punishment. 12 Mary Poppins’ Vocabulary Lesson
Au Revoir: Barley Water: Blighters: Brass: Busker: Castor Oil: Halitotious: Heirloom: Impertinent: Keen: Lark: Lexicon: Nursery: Paragon: Screever: (french) “Until we meet again” a traditional herbal tea in Britain. a person who is unpleasant Excessive self-­‐assurance, impudence, “cheeky” a street entertainer, usually involving instruments a medicine that has a horrible taste and helps keep you from getting sick Bad breath an item that has been passed down through the generations of a family rude eager Something done for fun The vocabulary of a person; a dictionary a room or portion of a house for the special use of young children. a model or pattern of excellence, someone of exceptional merit An artist who draws pictures on sidewalks, earning a living from the donations of spectators and passersby. Spit-­‐Spot: hurry, “chop, chop” Talking Shop: talking about work outside of work Uncanny: having a supernatural ability 13 Backstage
With WCT, Head Carpenter, John Popkin
How long have you worked for the company? What is your current position? How did you become a part of Western Canada Theatre? I had recently been working at the Caravan Farm Theatre in Armstrong and decided to move to Kamloops in order to take a course at TRU last August. While I was at TRU, I picked up a few technician shifts at the Sagebrush theatre. After I finished my schooling, the Head Carpenter position opened up, so I decided to stay on at WCT. Where and when did your love of theatre begin? I think the first show I ever saw made a big impact on me. When I was seven years old I lived on a farm in southwestern Quebec and had never even seen a movie when my parents decided to take me to a production of ‘Annie’ at the National Arts Centre in Ottawa. I was completely enchanted and developed a huge crush on the character of Annie. I mostly forgot about that show until I got involved with the theatre club in high school in Toronto. The experiences I had and the friendships I made there firmly set me on the road to where I am now. You are currently building the set for Mary Poppins. Please take us through your process when you are given a large task like this one. It all begins when the preliminary design drawings arrive from the set designer. I sit down with the technical director and we go through a detailed process of figuring out how much it will cost to build the design, and how long. If it looks like the show will be over budget, we send it back to the designer who makes revisions. This back and forth can happen several times until we all agree on a final design. At this point, I order materials and make a plan of how I will build each piece, designing the structure based on how it will be used. Then I start building. During the build, the set designer visits from time to time so we can discuss ways of doing things better, address changes requested by the director during rehearsal and solve unforeseen problems. 14 What was the most rewarding and most challenging part of this process? My favourite part has always been solving the weird puzzles. Theatre differs from other types of building because each show is completely different and you’re always trying to accomplish things you have never done before. I get so wrapped up in these head scratchers that I often dream about them. Mary Poppins is especially interesting because of all the special effects. As you may know, Ms. Poppins has a few magical abilities and we’ve been having fun figuring out how to make it all happen. What do you find the most interesting/exciting/challenging/ and or exciting about your job at WCT? WCT is a small company with a big heart. We don’t have the resources of a big city company but that doesn’t stop us from trying to put on the best possible shows. Because of this, I’m constantly trying be more efficient and clever in how I organize the work process. And I have to say, the group here at WCT is a wonderful team to work with. It’s obvious that everyone here loves theatre, and brings a great positive feeling to the place. October 1st John hanging out on his own handiwork. The early stages of a design coming to life and the creation of a fabulous set! Well, one part of the set! There will be 14 fixtures that John will build! This one fixture is the inside of the Banks’ home. October 8th. Next stage in building, John adds more onto his set. A railing, and ceiling details are added to make this look more and more like a real home. The upstage exit on the left gives the illusion that you will walk upstairs to the bedrooms of the Banks children, but in fact, John has built a small staircase behind the main wall where the actors can easily exit downwards to be ready for their next entrance. 15 October 16th Side panels are added to the set to allow it to open up and reveal the home inside! A door and fireplace are beginning to take shape. What you do not see is that underneath and within this set lives a pneumatic castor system, a special air device that allows the set to either wheel around freely (when the scene is finished) or safely lift and lock the set into place, making it stable for actors to perform on it. John’s job isn’t just making the set look good, he must also ensure that the backstage crew and actors are safe when handling or standing on the set. A very important job! John begins these fixtures by receiving set drawings and renderings from the set designer, Cory Sincennes. These will help John with all the details and allow him to begin the process. Below is the set rendering for this specific fixture that was sent to our production team. 16 Activities in the Classroom
Activity #1 – Genres of Poppins
Curriculum Connections
Language Arts Arts Education Drama Communications Oral Language, Speaking, Listening Exploring and Creating, Drama Forms, Reading and Viewing Exploring Drama forms Comprehend and Respond, Communicate Ideas and Information Mary Poppins was a book (there were actually five books written), a film (based on the first three books), and now a Broadway musical! Each genre of entertainment has opportunities and limitations in telling the story of Mary Poppins. Split your class into three groups. One group will focus on books, another will focus on film and the third group will represent live theatre. Within their own groups, have the students brainstorm the differences and similarities of these art forms. Further, have the groups agree that their medium is the strongest in which to tell the story. Have them make a pros and cons list. The “pros” can be used as arguing points and the “cons” will help them acknowledge the shortfalls or challenges that their own genre faces. Have the class engage in a debate. Each group should begin with an opening statement as to why their medium is most appealing. Be sure to address the issue of how each genre affects the way the story is told, as well as its effect on the audience. If you have younger students, it may be easier to open the discussion rather than debate it. Ask the students why books are awesome. What makes them so great? Ask the same for films and for live theatre. Pose a questions to the class as a whole: Why are books the best medium? Why are films the most entertaining? What is the benefit of live theatre? Take a class vote to see where their loyalties lie. Ask them to defend it. Use a Disney cartoon to demonstrate the possibilities (Beauty and the Beast, Pinocchio, The Little Mermaid, The Lion King, etc). Or, go the extra mile!! Read them an excerpt from one of the Mary Poppins books, have them watch the movie and then come and see the play!! After the experience, this activity will go wonderfully!! 17 Activity #2 – Status in Edwardian England
Curriculum Connections
Arts Education Social Studies Drama Language Arts Reading and Viewing, Social and Cultural Context Identity, Society and Culture Historical and Aesthetic Context Reading and Viewing, Writing and Representing Mary Poppins is more than just a musical for children. The show explores the themes of child neglect, the family unit and class divisions. George and Winifred Banks both lack the time and want to properly care for their offspring. Instead, a nanny, Mary Poppins, is responsible. George is trapped in a Victorian era mindset. He treats his young children as if they are adults and wants them to grow up before they are ready. In the early 20th century, England was at its most powerful both politically and financially. As London’s populations grew, the struggle between class divisions heightened. This musical takes place at the end of the Edwardian era (1901-­‐1910). During this period, the United Kingdom had a rigid class structure. But due to social and economic changes, there was more opportunity for social mobility. Some of these changes can be attributed to an increased interest in socialism as well as attention to the poor and the status of women. Industrialization led to more jobs. Although the upper and middle classes experienced much wealth and prosperity, poverty ran rampant in London. The common man barely had enough to get by. In Mary Poppins, this contrast is shown between the upper and lower classes of London. George Banks, like his name suggests, is a banker who is immersed in London’s financial industry. The Banks are well off and their house is full of hired help. In this era, families of the Banks’ wealth had several servants and parents rarely raised their own children. The financially elite did not befriend those beneath them as it was very important how you portrayed yourself to others. We see this in Mary Poppins when Mrs. Banks tells her husband that they don’t need a nanny. George replies: “Don’t be absurd! Of course we need a nanny! All the best people have nannies! So the wives can do charity work and entertain. By your friends shall ye be judged.” Bert, Mary Poppins’ friend, is a chimney sweeper and musician. He has to hold down a few jobs in order to make a living. Under the care of Mary Poppins, Jane and Michael are exposed to the culture of chimney sweepers and London’s seedier residents. When first introduced to Bert, the children are shocked by his ragged appearance. Jane remarks, “well, to start with, he’s very dirty, isn’t he? Father would never approve”. 18 Jane and Michael are faced with the choice of the magical, playful world of Mary Poppins and the strict, financial world of George Banks. Mary helps the children to get to know people for who they really are, and look outside their social status. When Jane refers to the bird woman as “that horrible old woman”, Mary asks the children, “when will you learn to look past what you see?” Have your students research Edwardian England. Be sure to read about what had happened in the Victorian Era just prior to this period of time. Touch on the topics of Economy, Society and Class, Arts, Sciences and Politics (to name a few). Socioeconomic status is an economic and sociological
combined total measure of a person's work experience
and of an individual's or family's economic and social
position in relation to others, based on income, education,
and occupation.
Below are the class distinctions of the Edwardian Era, along with the occupations that the people within that status held. Working class: (men and women who performed physical labor, paid minimal daily or weekly wages, harsh working conditions in mills and factories) mill worker, factory worker, chimney sweeps. Lower middle class: head teachers, journalists, shopkeepers, maids, cooks, servants. Middle class (newly prospering-­‐ from the Industrial Revolution) doctors, lawyers, clerks, midwives, police officers, electrical engineers. Upper class: (some did not work at all, but gained money and land from inheritance) Gentleman (those mentioned above), Banker, Managers, Judges, Barrister On small slips of paper (one per student), write one job of the time period (ie. Banker, chimney sweep, midwife). Have students blindly pick one out of a hat. Each student must become this character. They will have to do some research as to what class their character was in, what type of work they did, what their family life was like (struggles and opportunities). Have them present a small speech to the class about a day in the life of their characters. This can be done in a simple manner, or more time and commitment can be put in. Have them dress is what they think their character would wear on any given day (or they can sketch it and show the class in their presentation). How did they talk? Did they use the same language as another class? Where did they live? What was their life like? Encourage students to get excited and get into their role! 19 *Note for Elementary Students This activity will work for the younger grades as well! Just work backwards! (grades 6 and 7 could tackle the above activity if you feel your class is up for it!) Have the children pick slips of paper that will assign them an occupation. Rather than research being done by the students, engage in a conversation that will describe the classes mentioned above and the occupations that are within it (working class, lower middle class, middle class and upper class). They will recognize their occupation within one of these classes. Briefly go over each class and have the students take notes when their occupation is mentioned. Ask the classes to congregate into the four different corners of the room. They will have to decide which class they belong to. Check in to be sure everyone is in the right place. Have each person share with their group who they are and why they fall into this category. If your class is keen, have groups act out how the classes would have walked (think physical labour jobs compared to managerial jobs). Then have them sketch what they think their character would have worn (taking into account how much money they made, what kind of work they did). 20 Activity #3: Creating Your Own Set
Curriculum Connections
Drama Arts Education Language Arts Visual Arts Exploration and Aesthetic Context Social and Cultural Context Oral Language, Reading and Viewing, Speaking and Listening Creative Process, Exhibition and Response, Visual Elements and Principles of Art and Design A maquette (French word for scale model, sometimes referred to by the Italian names plastico or modello) is a small scale model. An equivalent term is bozzetto, from the Italian word that means "sketch". It is used to visualize and test shapes and ideas without incurring the cost and effort of producing a full-­‐scale product. A more widely known and similar term is diorama. The difference is that a maquette comes before the full product to test it and a diorama is made of a setting that already exists. Before our Head Carpenter John can begin constructing the set, he will be given many drawings and renderings of the set from the Set Designer. The Set Designer will also create a maquette. The maquette is helpful not only to the carpenter, but also to the Director, Lighting Designer, Costume Designer, technicians and actors. It gives all of those involved in the production an opportunity to see what the stage will look like before it is actually built. It will aide in the decision making of other jobs in the rehearsal process. Have your students create a maquette. Have each student pick out a book that they love. This can be a simple short story, a famous tale, their favourite fiction novel, or even a nursery rhyme! Have them pick one location from the book and create what they think that will look like on stage. Remind them that a set will need entrances and exits, as well as set pieces that the actors would use if they were adapting the book to the stage. They should also construct set pieces or props that may be used in a scene set in that location. Let them use anything they can to create the space in a small model. You can buy supplies that can be used for several things: popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, hard construction paper, cardboard and colouring pencils. Anything special, they can bring from home. What will the scenery look like? Be sure that they put thought into the design for the scenery or the backdrop. Why did they choose those certain colours? How does the backdrop lend itself to the story? How will it represent the way the characters feels when they are in that particular environment? How does it connect to your story? Levels are also very important in set design. Having various little stages that are different heights and depths are important. They must be suitable for the actors to perform on and 21 positioned correctly so the audience will see what is going on. They will also make the set (in small and actual size) much more appealing to the eye. The students can sketch their initial plans before diving in. At this point, you can review the above questions with them before they begin to build. Finally, have the students share their work with the class. Have them quickly tell the story, putting the environment they chose into context. Each student should be able to explain why they made the decisions they did (ie: where to the exits lead to? Why those certain colours? What are the set pieces needed for? What are the actors best performing spaces?). Designs are justified and there is reason to their creation, along with a lot of creativity of course! 22 Activity # 4: The Magic of Mary Poppins
Drama Arts Education Language Arts Visual Arts Exploration and Context Visual Arts and Creative Process Oral Language, Reading and Viewing, Speaking and Listening Creative Process, Exhibition and Response, Visual Elements and Principles of Art and Design When you walk with Mary Poppins, you go to places you never dreamed of. Bert tells the children this during the song, “A Walk in the Park”. When going with Mary on a walk, the children see the dull and grey surroundings magically change into a bright and colourful landscape. Statues come alive, people are dancing. Then it all ends as quickly as it arrived. Jane and Michael Banks cannot believe what had just happened. Mary tells the children that objects around us can seem magical if we let them. One of the special things about Mary is that she brings magic wherever she goes. Beds appear out of nowhere, toys come to life, and of course, Mary Poppins flies. Anything can happen if you let it. Below are three wonderful activities to share with your class that are sure to get them dreaming big!! 1) Have students write a short story about an object they use every day. What magical properties could it hold? How might it help or harm people? Have them present it to the class in its magical form! 2) How do you think these magical effects will appear on stage? How would you create a stage trick that would make the audience feel the magic in the air? Divide into small groups to brainstorm and answer these questions. Return to a full class and share your ideas. 3) When Mary Poppins takes Bert and the children into the magical world of the paintings in the park, all of the characters leap into imagination. Have students look at landscape paintings and write a story about what it would be like to be in one of the paintings. Encourage their imaginations to run wild! These could also be shared with the class. 23 Activity #5: Theatre (Dance!) in the Classroom; “A Step in Time”
Drama Dance Arts Education Historical and Aesthetic Context Creating Dance, Elements of Dance, Presenting and Performing, Choreography Creative Process Musicals are filled with song and dance. A choreographer is a part of the backstage team that will teach the actors the choreography, or the sequence of steps and movements in the dance. Choreography comes from two Greek words: “khoros” or “dancing,” and “graphia” or writing. Therefore, choreography means dance writing—using dance to tell a story. The song “Step in Time” is a spectacular tap dance number in Mary Poppins. Ask students to learn about these introductory tap dance steps below. Allow them to do each move several times on each foot. They can even try shuffling or flapping to the side or back. If you wish to master them before you introduce them to your students, an excellent tutorial can be found at www.takelessons.com or www.redhotrhythm.com. Brush: (one beat) bring foot backwards and brush ball of foot on floor Flap: (two beats) move foot frontwards allowing the ball of the foot to brush along the floor, then immediately tap toe of the same foot Heal: (one beat) push down heal Shuffle: (two beats) brush foot frontwards, then backwards on the floor Ball Change: (two beats) a partial weight transfer on the ball of a foot (placed e.g., behind), followed by a step on the other foot. Below is a short routine. Prior to each step, the foot that should be used (right or left) is within the brackets. Weight is very important in tap. It will take some time to understand where a person’s body weight has to be in order for the steps to seem comfortable. Be patient with yourself and the students. Tap dancing, even in its simplest form, is very challenging! (R) Flap (L) heal (R) heal (L) brush (R) heal (L) Shuffle (L) ball (R) change Repeat beginning with the opposite foot. 24 Have your students create their own short dance including the above dance steps. Group them into 3’s or 4’s. When it is perfected, stand the whole class up and have them teach the others. Want to see the Broadway Number? Check out You Tube – A Step In Time Mary Poppins, for a great video of their hard work. Imagine choreographing that! 25 Activity #6: Post-Show Discussion
Drama Communications Music Language Arts 26 Defining, Recognizing and Analysing, Reflection, Discussion and Critical Analysis Comprehend and Respond, Engagement and Personal Response Context Oral Language, Speaking and Listening 1. Discuss the play with your class. What did they like, what did they find challenging? Why? Ask for specifics to generate a more intense conversation. 2. Would you have liked a nanny like Mary Poppins? How would it feel to have a nanny raise you instead of your parents or grandparents? What kind of effect do you think that would have on your relationship with them now? 3. Mary Poppins tells Mrs. Banks that “Anything Can Happen If You Let It”. What did she mean by that? Discuss whether or not that statement is true, or under what conditions it is true. 4. Do you believe in magic? Why or why not? 5. What was your favourite song and why? How did it lend itself to the play? 6. What are some of the lessons that Mary Poppins tries to teach Jane and Michael? Resources Used
Disney and Cameron Mackintosh’s, Mary Poppins: The Broadway Musical. Cameron Mackintosh with Original Music and Lyrics by Richard M. Sherman and Robert Sherman. Musical Theatre International, 2010. www.allmusic.com/artist/richard-­‐m-­‐sherman www.bcirp.com www.dictionary.reference.com www.disney.com www.redhotrythm.com.au www.takelessons.com www.wikipedia.org www.youtube.com 27