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Nora's Stories and Art  -  Tackling the Challenge of Cooperation
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The dragon originally created for the Spenard Doo Dah Parade.
During August 2001, Nora and two of her friends, Samantha and Makenzie, wrote a play entitled, “Costa, Anna, and the Freaky Forest.” The three girls transformed six giant spruce trees in Makenzie’s backyard into an island far, far away. Makenzie’s father, Robert, played the dragon, and he wore the giant, eight-foot dragon head that Nora’s mom, Andrea, originally created for the Spenard Doo Dah Parade, where it won “The Grand Doo Dah.” Makenzie’s mom, Kathy, played the narrator. She sat on the edge of their roof, leaning out into the forest. Below is a reflection on the process from Makenzie’s mother, the narrator herself, along with a link to the play and photos of the performance in action.

Tackling the Challenge of Cooperation

By Kathy (Narrator and Makenzie’s Mom)

Nora and Samantha read from the script.
Ever try to write, produce, and direct a play cooperatively … with not just one, but two other people? While you’re imagining talking through the storyline, toss in character development, voice, casting, costume design, and scenery production -- all as a team, determining each element together. But there’s one exception: whoever writes the fastest, and the neatest, gets to actually print the script, unless of course, she gets tired of it and then it’s “rock, paper, scissors.” Plays and films are one of the last domains for true authoritarianism, they just don’t lend themselves easily to democratic or, heaven forbid, a cooperative process. But, what follows is an example of “What you don’t know can’t hurt you” as three nine-year-old girls tackled this challenge one long week in the waning days of summer.

In the creation of this play, Nora, Makenzie, and Samantha showed great diplomacy and patience with one another as they negotiated their ideas. These three know and respect one another, and with very little adult involvement, the girls put every aspect of this play together, with lots of enthusiasm, laughter and pride along the way.

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Next page:   Costa, Anna, and the Freaky Forest - a play Pages:  1  2  3  4  5  6 

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