I can’t believe that we are almost in June again. Wow! Time sure does fly by. June brings the writing of report cards, graduation, play days and it also brings some forward planning for the upcoming school year. Part of my role at school is to book and oversee presentations for our student population. On average, we usually have 3-4 presentations per year come into the school to perform for some or all of the students. With so many choices available, one of the hardest parts about booking performances is selecting which group to book. An engaging, entertaining performance is very important; however, of equal importance, in my opinion, is booking a group that is easy to work with and professional on the day of the performance. With that in mind, below are some of my favourite presentations that have come into my school over the past five or six years.
Dufflebag Theatre http://www.dufflebag.com/
Dufflebag Theatre is a performance group which takes fairy tales and other famous stories and performs them. The performers are very funny and keep the audience participating throughout their show. They also have amazing improvisation skills as they include students from the audience into their stories.
Our school has had Dufflebag Theatre a number of times over the past couple of years. Every time they have come in, our students have laughed a lot and I did not have to worry about a thing.
How can someone talk to kids for 45 minutes and keep them completely enthralled? Ask Q-Mack, as he has done it both times he has come to speak to my students. He is a basketball freestyler and he often brings his friend Scott, who beat-boxes. Their message is incredibly positive and would be perfect for an anti-bullying assembly.
Cadence is a group of four acapella singers who are high energy and thoroughly entertaining. They perform a variety of musical styles and have a lot of audience participation. My students and I spent a lot of time preparing for this group by experimenting with our voices and testing out our own acapella skills, which was so much fun.
Duo Percussion http://duopercussion.ca/
This group of two young men is one of the most professional groups I have dealt with. From a coordinator’s point of view, they are prompt with communication and so easy to work with on the day of the performance. They bring a variety of percussion instruments and entertain the audience with a variety of classical and modern pieces of music, such as the fan favourite “Super Mario Brothers” theme.
If you want your students moving and grooving, this is the group to book. Fit2Dance sends one person to the school to do a series of dance workshops. The students love the interactive nature of the presentation and enjoy the upbeat and lively music. Our whole school of 700 students can usually attend in one fun-filled day.
This is another amazing presentation that would be perfect for an anti-bullying assembly. Saidat’s message is all about being positive and making a difference. Saidat is highly entertaining and full of great energy. The presentation has a lot of great hip hop music and movement.
Kim and Jerry Brodey http://www.kimandjerrybrodey.com/
This show was very interactive and great for primary students. They had wonderful variety and action songs that the students enjoyed. They dazzled the audience with movement and drama.
Above are 7 performance groups or individuals whose visits went extremely smoothly. However, I have dealt with other performances that did not go as well. As a result, I have learned a few things:
ALWAYS, ALWAYS keep a copy of your contract handy. I have had disagreements about start times and available space that performers have agreed to. I have had to review the contract with the presenters and their booking agents more than once.
If your presentation is in the gym, give your gym teaching colleagues lots of notice as a professional courtesy to the disruption to their teaching space. Even better, include them in the decision making process. They will be able to tell you that a presentation may be better, for example, in February than in March as the volleyball tournament is in February.
Check in with the performer(s) a few days before their arrival to go over things like parking, arrival procedure, accessible doors and to review the main points of the contract.