Last week my group gathered and again I fought off the urge to jump right into the biblical story. Part of the reason was I want some technology to compliment what we’re doing in this process and we just haven’t been prepared to launch it because of the room set-up.
So instead of launching into Creation as I plan to do I decided to have the group take a second preparation approach. I asked two of the youth, Barton and Rachel, to choose teams of 7. They would become the Director of their teams. The “Barton Players” spent 10 minutes preparing to share an acted out summary of his favorite story.
The “Rachel Players” would share the same story by listening carefully, observing the other actors, and adding some of their own twists after the “Barton Players” performed. It was hilarious to say the least. The group really jumped into the story of Willy Wonka. It was a way of reinforcing the summarizing of the story when the Rachel Players imitated the performance.
After both groups performed we all sat around talking about the differences in presentation of the story. Using the “Barton Players” performance as the point of reference everyone was able to say what the “Rachel Players” got wrong or added to the story. The kids corrected each other when one would say something that wasn’t quite accurate. The actors also jump in and shared why they made certain story telling choices. For instance, the “Rachel Players” adopted many mannerisms and performances from the “Barton Players” and even the chronology of the story told but they decided to tell the “old” version versus telling the “new” version that the Barton Players performed.
Also, I asked other questions such as:
1) How could one of the characters change the story?
2) What makes this story good?
3) What was different in the retelling?
Lastly, I took a moment to share that we can do with the biblical stories. We can explore them and wrestle with them in interesting ways similar to what we’ve done with popular stories.
Again, Echo the Story is a great resource. I’m really glad I’ve spent a couple weeks doing some preliminary preparation. Tonight, we’ll jump into a biblical story and see how it goes!