Making the Impossible Possible: At the start of session 6, our Warriors (ages 5-13) were challenged with a seemingly impossible task: to act, direct, and produce their very own play, composed by themselves. Not only were they to hone basic acting skills, memorize their lines, and work on things like voice and projection, reacting, blocking (stage orientation), body language, emotional expression, etc. But they were also tasked with holding auditions, casting, directing, producing, designing sets, creating costumes, selling tickets, marketing, and just about everything else that goes into producing a play. Without a single smooth rehearsal, including their final dress rehearsal on stage before the big performance, with such a wide age gap among themselves, with short attention spans, tremendously diverse personalities, tensions rising, and over $1200 of costs to cover, the production seemed more and more like an inevitable yet equally valuable lesson in dealing with failure.
And then it happened.
On Tuesday, May 15th, at the Palace Theatre in Grapevine, the Warriors of The Humanist Academy made the impossible possible: they delivered a breathtaking performance, leaving their audience captivated beyond words. One parent said, “It was incredible, I had goosebumps throughout just about every scene.” Other parents said, “I am at a loss for words. I’m speechless. I had no idea how they could do such a thing… I was amazed at how professional they were on stage…” Their Warriors Song finale was met with a standing ovation from the crowd and they delivered a performance to remember for a lifetime. Once again they rose to the occasion and proved to the world emphatically that children are far more capable than we can ever imagine.
Interdisciplinary and Life-Oriented Education: This quest was a great example of interdisciplinary integration: it was robust with core skills and life skills application. It was not possible without the sincere application of reading, writing, math, art, self-governance, peer-to-peer collaboration, grit, patience, courage, and so much more. This quest had Warriors who were previously hesitant to read, developing better fluency by reading their lines incessantly for memorization or narration. Warriors who were generally shy, came out of there shells, auditioned for parts, and performed in front of hundreds of people. Elementary and Middle School Warriors had to write multiple drafts for of their scripts and the editing process continued through the final days of the quest. In so many ways they dared to be creative: bringing life and personality to their roles, composing a mad-scientist theme to connect the scenes, designing sets and backdrops, creating props, costumes, etc. It was an amazing integration of art as well. They also learned the fundamentals of entrepreneurship and applied math first hand. They analyzed their costs, created a budget, and came up with a strategy to market the play, sold tickets, and generated revenue. One Warrior even tried to get on a local radio station! Not only that, but they ended up covering their costs and making a $120 profit to be kept in a “Hero Fund” for their collective use.
Most importantly, they learned life lessons in teamwork and confidence: when a group of dedicated and sincere individuals come together, no matter how monumental the task may be, nothing is impossible.