DAREarts Blog

Discipline, Action, Responsibility, Excellence

Literature Day–Grade Five East–Feb. 1

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Written by DAREarts Teacher Valerie Kostyniuk, edited by DAREarts Head Teacher Geneviève Anthony.


Image courtesy Valerie Kostyniuk

Today was Literature Day with the Grade 5 East delegates at DareArts. We have some short stories to share with you.

A tale of two divas.

Ashley thrives as the centre of attention, so she was happy to be assigned one of the lead roles in our DAREarts production of Moliere’s play, The Miser. She practiced her lines, put on her costume in wardrobe, walked through blocking and then, seconds before it was her turn to take the stage in front of the whole class, turned to Ahmad, one of the directors, shaking because she was so nervous, and begged that he switch her to a smaller part.  Our lead teacher Geneviève Anthony stepped in and dared Ashley to think of her responsibility to the entire production and to breathe through her nerves.  Ashley stepped up and stepped on stage after all.


Image courtesy Valerie Kostyniuk

Nicole thrives as the centre of attention, and  she was not happy to be assigned a different role than the one she wanted in our DAREarts production of Molière’s play The Miser. She cried, breathed, collected herself, and did an excellent job acting another part.

Ashley’s words: “I thought being an actor would not be scary, but it was. I was nervous and I was trembling”.

Nicole’s words: “Getting something that you want isn’t everything as long as in the end you feel successful.  Being an actor is trying new things and seeing how you can cooperate with other people”.

Both amazing divas were excellent in ways they hadn’t expected. They discovered that they are not only fabulous actors, they are also brave.

Two wallflowers bloom


Photo courtesy Valerie Kostyniuk

Giselle is reliable. For several weeks now she’s given out name-tags and pencils on the bus in the morning and taken responsibility for the attendance.  When we chose her as producer, though, she initially balked. The look on her face could, without hyperbole, be described as horrified.  Giselle rose to the occasion and more, though, showing kindness, insight and leadership that rivals that of anyone I, for one, have ever worked with or for, eleven years old or not.

Dylan is strong and quiet; he helps his friends understand instructions, but rarely contributes to whole-group discussions.  The intensity of today’s activity initially jarred him. As anyone who’s worked on a production knows, things get loud and creative types get excited, from wardrobe to writing, from directors to dramatists. Dylan looked a little lost and withdrawn, but after Mz. Geneviève taught him how to breathe and re-focus, he bravely and successfully re-entered the fray.

All the delegates did incredible work: the sound editors, the lighting team, the writers, directors, stage managers, and actors.  When kids are given the opportunity to work on something they find interesting and inspiring, they meet and exceed even our highest expectations.


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