Apprenticeship Workshop: Observation and “Detailed Details”

by Emma McDonald, Company One Apprentice

 

Observation is something almost all people are capable of. In preparation for the Apprentice’s next event, they have been observing the people and world around them through a series of activities and exercises. These have included describing daily what they see on their the way to work, a mental and physical visualization exercise of a familiar place (bedrooms), and a step by step description of how to make toast. By digging into receptors of the mind, people are able to better differentiate the world around them, eventually becoming more empiric. In addition to observing what they are able to see with their own eyes around Boston, the Apprentices have also looked at a myriad of different photos, exploring different themes and feelings and challenging themselves to record their observations as thoroughly and with as many details as possible. During one exercise, each Apprentice chose a photo, and then had to describe it in four ways: what they saw, how they felt, the smells it reminded them of, and choosing or creating a song to represent the chosen picture.

Below are examples of their work!

 

APP3Emma’s narrative about a photo of a New York City skyline sunset:

A summer sunset in a big city, far from any neutrality. The warm, copper-like horizon breaks off into a juxtaposed, cool metallic line. The strategically placed iconic buildings have one side facing the sun, which illuminates said side and leaves the other in almost complete darkness. The windows twinkle like the stars you see in upstate Vermont, some are brighter than others, but they all hold at least one wish. The clouds are intertwined with the buildings that are grand in stature, both having racing opacities as each minute passes. The water off in the distance is calm, unlike the chaos happening below the sunset. The stretch of buildings could continue forever but is stopped by the darkness of night ready to fall from space itself. The shadows cast by the colossal structures overpower the smaller buildings and even the people who cannot even be compared by size. The top points of each building stretch as much as they can to the sky, desperately trying to not be forgotten.

 

Erique’s feelings regarding a well organized photo of a man typing:

APP2Memories of me sitting in my room, lights are off, except for the firefly lights that are always on, so there is a distinct red and yellow lighting. I would be laying back on a pile of pillows, laptop on my lap. Chips or Oreos in a paper plate sitting on the comforter. And me staring at my laptop, either on Facebook, Instagram, or watching Netflix. My phone in my pocket and really just chilling. Or a memory of me still with lights off and firefly lights on, But instead the laptop would sit on the bed and I would be rearranging furniture in my room while also cleaning. Listening to Alessia Cara Album, or the Neighborhood, or  Lianne La Havas’ song Elusive. Again though feeling of being warm and in my space, just chilling. Maybe a friend might FaceTime me or something. Memories of doing my junior thesis up until 3 am, with the TV on just to keep me awake, or loud music. Memories of me forgetting I had homework and then remembering at 12. Nights of 5 page Bio Homework

 

The smells Kennisha associates with a tropical, beautiful beach:APP

There seem to be a gentle breeze as the trees seem to be swaying and dancing slowly to it. The waves seem to be caressing every pieces of dry sand it touches. The waves seem to be so soft and quiet that it could rock a baby to sleep. The breeze is beckoning the waves ashore but instead of going ashore, it forms a blanket of water over the already wet sand. It reminds me of when I went to the beach with my mom and our church when I was little. I was so excited on that day. It was a beautiful sunny day with barely any clouds in the sky just like in the picture. I remember smelling the salt water when I got off the bus. You could almost taste the salt from the water as the warm breeze was blowing.

 

Eric’s rap he wrote about a photo of birthday cupcakes:

APP4

Happy birthday, yo it’s yo’ birthday rap up for yo’ birthday. It’s the one day of the, of the year where it’s all about you. Make sure to make that live. Hard stay up, yo.

Did I hear it’s yo’ birthday? Make it count because the one day (day) of the year where everyone wants to make your day, but this just made your day.

It’s that day again,  yo, because it’s yo’ birthday. So get that money, live it up, don’t stop trying. Don’t let nobody bring you down.

It’s not only make money Friday, but it’s yo’ birthday, so it’s make money big today.

‘Ight I feel like we been through it all. Hell and though fire and water. Broke money though it all.

I am happy. Say you’re not only the best person to me in the world. You are funniest, smartest person in the world. When we first met I didn’t like you at all, but now it’s like your  are my life. Have a good birthday. Live it up.

A Day at the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club

On Saturday January 16th, the Company One Apprentices ventured into the Dorchester Boys and Girls Club and hosted an eye-catching, political and socially innovative event that focused on the groundbreaking news that covered the year 2015.

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The foundation of the event was the play AN OCTOROON by Branden Jacobs-Jenkins, which will be Company One’s 2nd play of its 17th season. The play has many themes such as racism, love triangles, money, melodrama, and slavery. The characters that the Apprentices connected with most were two slaves: Minnie, an optimistic straightforward and fearsome dreamer, and Dido, her more reserved emotional and overly cautious best friend. The event was centered on the contemporary issues people are facing and how it is related to the social issues of the 1850s that Minnie and Dido lived in.

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Our participants were young members of the Boys and Girls Club, who ranged between the ages of 10 to 16. The event began with introductions from the Apprentices, Company One staff members from the Education and Dramaturgy departments, and the youth attendants.

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We then projected onto the wall a video of the last scene from the play featuring Minnie and Dido, followed by a witty commentary reaction clip featuring the Apprentices. This was then followed by another reaction video from Minnie and Dido, which prompted the youth members to creatively reflect on the year 2015. Each person was given a list of notable topics from 2015 to discuss – this list, which the Apprentices put together, included #NetflixandChill, Donald Trump, ISIS, Bill Cosby, Planned Parenthood, #BlackLivesMatter, and more.

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The discussion was very productive, encouraging, and the youth members had many valid points about the many topics. They each had to pick a topic and comment on that topic through any creative medium they chose. This could include a skit, rap, scene, poem, short story, letter, drawing, design, collage, etc. on how they felt about the topic.

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Youth members chose to design shirts, write poems and short stories, and create a graphic design on the computer. They were incredibly expressive, articulate and passionate about the topics they chose. Their work was innovative and all were impressed by the creativity in the room. Everyone came together to share out what they did and were supportive while their peers were expressing themselves. The act of reflecting on what has happened is a skill everyone, regardless of age or gender, has the capability to do. It was a dynamic and creatively rich event that the Apprentices will never forget!

 

Hello From Company One’s Apprentices!

IMG_0993Hey! We’re the Company One Apprentices – Emma, Erique, Eric and Kennisha! This school year, we look forward to exploring the different aspects of theatre and putting them to the test in communities in Boston. Right now our work is centered on AN OCTOROON. We’ve been learning about the themes of the play, which include: melodrama, love, race, money, and social classes. Organizing community events is a top priority, and we look forward to going to the Dorchester Boys & Girls Club next month! Join us for this wonderful event! See our bios below!

Copy of IMG_0986Emma is from Boston, MA and currently attends Snowden International High School. She is a part of the International Baccalaureate Diploma Program at school, which strives to make students all around the world globally aware citizens. She has traveled to both France and Italy with school. Her work was featured in the Above Youth Voice Exhibition this past spring. She took musical theatre classes at Boston Children’s Theatre and has been in productions of The Pajama Game, Into the Woods, and currently, Urinetown in her community. She is interested in performing and writing; and plays guitar, ukulele and piano. She hopes to study musical theatre in college.

 

IMG_0987Erique Green, a native of Boston and Junior at Newton North High School  proudly joins Company One Theatre for his third term as a Teen Production Apprentice. As Vice President of his class he actively participates with school and related community events. Outside of education, Erique has been modeling for two years now working for Model Club INC, a local agency that has been in Boston for years. He has numerous experiences in theatre and the arts, including acting in productions such as Oliver!, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolored Dreamcoat, Seussical, and Into the Woods. Alongside with onstage experiences with theatre, Erique has done production work as well. Musically directing Into the Woods, and working costumes and tech for Oklahoma!, Willy Wonka, and The Sound of Music. Erique is also a second year major in the culinary arts.  After becoming  Mr. Teen USA 2015, in 2014 he continues to represent Boston youth in hopes that it will teach other youth the importance of volunteer work and having the ability to influence communities.

IMG_0984ERIC BAIRD is  from Boston, MA. He goes to the  Josiah Quincy Upper School. He is in the 10th grade and currently taking a theater class. He will be in a show in the winter titled How to Succeed In High School without really trying. When he gets older he wants to be in actor/director  for movies. He says theater could be easy but only if you really put your mind to it. The main thing he likes about theater is the acting because he wants to be in actor when he grows up.

 

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Kennisha Fignole was born in Haiti in 1999. She was raised in Port-Au-Prince until she moved to the US. Every since she was little, she loved to sing, read and draw pictures. She loves to write poems and wants to learn how to play music instruments. She moved to the United States after the earthquake that happened in Haiti. She joined the youth choir at her church at the age of 11 years old. After entering High  School, she became a volunteer for the children ministry. She’s been going to TechBoston Academy ever since she was in 6th grade. She participated in the show that her school puts on. She is the secretary of both her youth council and the choir board in her church.

Apprentices Host Monologue Writing Workshop with 826 Boston Students

By Nada Shaaban, C1 Production Apprentice

blogpostOn Wednesday April 22nd, Company One Apprentices hosted a monologue writing workshop called “Don’t Kill my SCRIBE!” at 826 Boston, a non-profit organization that supports youth with writing skills and academics. I’ll be the first to admit I was nervous to take on twelve 11-14 year olds for this event. The workshop consisted of students writing monologues based on random objects, and general and specific statements. Through improvisation activities,the students developed characters and stories that they then had the option of sharing with the group. I noticed that some struggled with figuring out what to write about and maintaining focus. I didn’t really know how to help at first, but I realized I should just be there for support and guidance. At the end, a student who was struggling the entire time ended up wanting to share the most. The following is an excerpt from that students monologue: “I am short, I am going to the mall and I’m 4’3, yes I’m short but mom this is how Brave I am.” It was a pretty comical piece that I enjoyed a lot. It was wonderful to see the students who shared their monologues or even just pieces of it. They sounded so proud and confident about what they had created. Overall, it was a very successful day and I believe every student left with some idea of what a monologue is and what steps you can take to create one. We hope to be able to go back and do a similar writing workshop with 826 Boston, and other organizations in the future.blogpost2

For more information about volunteering at 826 Boston, or with a writing workshop, visit the website below.

http://www.826boston.org/

 

Former Apprentice Receives Theatre Guild Award

A former Company One Production Apprentice, a Josiah Quincy School senior student, and my close friend, Kemal Beyaztas, has recently received the Theatre Guild Award from The Massachusetts High School Drama Festival this past Saturday. I would like to congratulate him on this accomplishment and let him know that he really is a great actor and director. He took on three roles for this particular event. I must say, I have seen him act and this guy is no joke. I’m proud of you Kemal! After receiving this award, he posts: “The Massachusetts High School Drama Festival awarded me with the Theater Guild Award! I am very honored and truly humble to receive this and I’m very grateful to the cast and crew of The Passengers for all their hard work, dedication, and commitment towards theater! Also congrats to all the other schools that competed in this tournament!”

– Brieana Valdez, Company One Theatre Production Apprentice

Kemal