Children’s Stunt Hour

Number of People: 2

Budget: $0

Children's Stunt Hour coordinator is responsible for working with the children’s' staff to organize a program up to 1 hour long by children for children and adults. The program is made up of group and individual acts. It is held in Elliott usually on the same day as Adult Stunt Night (usually Thursday) The children’s' group leaders, with suggestions and help from you and other musically inclined adult volunteers, will decide what the children will do. You will establish the order (usually by age groups), arrange for a curtain puller and MC, and make sure it runs smoothly.

When it is over-organized, with extra pressure put on individual performances by especially talented children, it isn't as much fun for the kids. Usually each group presents a skit or songs with the piano accompaniment. The Skimmers usually start with the Skimmer song, and the Puffins are next with a skit, and the acts continue up through the Jr. Teens. Group leaders devise a program and rehearse it during class time.

Early in the week:

  1. Speak to each member of the children's staff to find out what they are thinking of doing. Some organizers have discouraged individual acts in favor of group acts, both to keep the show short and to keep competition to a minimum.

  2. Contact the island music staff person and/or conferees for help with accompanying musical acts. Kids sound a lot better with back up.

  3. Contact Conference Services to reserve Elliott for a rehearsal. They should also supply a standing mike for the performance.

  4. Coordinate with Adult Stunt Night leaders to work out a rehearsal schedule for sharing Elliott.

  5. Make several announcements asking individual acts to meet with you. Be firm with the Junior Teens who want to perform at adult stunt night. Tell them that they will have to wait 'til they are in Mid-teens and that the younger kids need to have someone to look up to in this activity!

Make up the order of the acts and give a copy to the curtain person and the group leaders and music person. Try to make sure you know the content of the comic acts, and make sure the jokes are appropriate! Work with kids whose acts need polishing (or shortening!)

Hold a rehearsal of all the acts in Elliott before the final performance, so you can check on timing, make sure everyone knows where to go, have someone run the curtain, etc. Watch out for delays in scene changes. If they seem to be unavoidable, have an MC tell jokes or a musician do some short pieces in front of the curtain between the major acts. Mid Teens make excellent emcees – this is becoming a tradition so ask them to volunteer. Poise, sense of humor, and good taste are always key in choosing a good MC.

The rehearsal can be the afternoon of the show, during the afternoon class time if it is OK with the staff. Schedule different groups to rehearse in different time slots to minimize the chaos. Someone should sit in the back of the hall and encourage children to speak up. Someone else should try to calm down the eager beavers waiting their turn off stage. Props and staging should be made at home (or dispensed with), since there are limited resources on the island.

Last edited by Kathy West - June 2018