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By Peter Kougias
Hometown Weekly Intern
On Wednesday, June 14, librarian Emma Caywood read a story to a group of elementary children. An hour later, after a brief rehearsal, she led the group through a performance of the story for parents and friends.Caywood read the children, “Brontorina.” This children’s book follows the story of the titular dinosaur whose dream is to dance. When Brontorina arrives at the dance academy, she is ridiculed by her peers and misunderstood for her height and size. While students see Brontorina as a problem by not being able to fit inside, the dance teacher sees otherwise. The academy soon opens an outdoor class so that anybody can dance.
After reading the story, Caywood suggested roles for the children. Each child chose who he or she wanted to play. Brontorina was a popular choice, but each role represented an integral part of the overall play.
Caywood successful fulfilled the strenuous task of putting on a show within one hour. Stress lingered in the room, but it was conquered by her great direction and willingness, excitement, and engagement from the intelligent and mature children.
Caywood took the children step-by-step, blocking the entire show. Afterwards the kids raced to make numerous props. Some made ballerina shoes by cutting out paper, tying them on to shoes, and taping bows on. Others decorated the spectacular sign for the dance academy.
Soon, children gleefully notified everybody that the parents were filing in. After they were seated, Caywood narrated the story by reading from the book. The children acted out the scenes and truly captured the mood of each scene. They were awarded by a warm applause.
Teaching the basics of blocking is a goal for Caywood, who has a BS in Theatre from Northeastern University. She says that instead of having the children memorize lines, it is all about using the space and how to interact with an audience.
This wonderful program is held once a month at the Wellesley Public Library.