Production Re-Launch & Guests from King 5 News

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In Production, we have finalized Character Sketches, MindMaps, and Plot Graphs.  We are in the middle of creating our first introductory scene for each Production Group utilizing the traditional screenwriting format learned in December.You can see students casting spells over whiteboards as they generate tons of ideas and see which one will hole.

Here are your trusted teachers who are ready to take you the final stretch into your final culmination!  Ms. Lulu is the 8th Grade Performance Studies Teacher and Kyle is the 8th Grade Art Teacher and during term 3 we transform into magical unicorns that combine our powers to become Production Co-Teachers.

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We were honored to have Amanda Grace and Emily Landeen from King 5 News come to SGS to talk about their experiences as women within their fields of cinematography, film, media, and the news.

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SGS Community Meetings have a new “Performance Studies SPOTLIGHT”

A new tradition at Seattle Girls’ School this year is to spotlight student works at our weekly Community Meetings that happen every Monday and Friday.  The SGS community of students, faculty, and staff gather as a whole to watch presentations from various grades.  The meetings are lead by students in 6th Grade.  This year Performance Studie

We have featured 7th Grade Bill of Rights videos along with students that have been published.

The 7th Graders had a long process creating parodies that highlighted the Bill of Rights, so we showcased their videos at Community Meeting.

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An 8th Grader shared the following poem about her Hijab (Photos by Devon Simpson)




‘My Hijab, My Wings’ — a Seattle girl’s poem

The Evergrey stated, “What’s it like to face discrimination for the things you believe? Sumeya Block is 13 years old and an 8th grader at Seattle Girls’ School. Last month, she attended “Make Your Voice Heard: An MLK Day Youth Advocacy Workshop,” an event where young people in Seattle helped each other combat Islamophobia and anti-Semitism. And she wrote this poem, she told us, to tell “haters and people who have misconceptions about Islam that regardless of their opinions, my Hijab inspires and uplifts me.” “

My Hijab, My Wings

By Sumeya Block

Purple, pink, blue, red,

     Soft, woven, knit flowy.


I wear wings on my head. I wear a hijab on my head.

The feathers, small fabric. Wing span the size of my


Swish, swish, swish, flap, flap, flap.

Keep pumping, holding myself up high.

Pieced together from the fragments of my world. These wings hold me, but sometimes they begin to


When the haters thrust their opinions my way. Their words raw and cold start to seep in, The fabric, my wings start to get pulled down by these false hands. These hands holding on to what they don’t want to accept are lies.  Because that means they are wrong and the monster is not me.


               I Remember.

I am unapologetic.

   I am Sumeya.

I will let the fabrics of my life carry me away. Up and down, always afloat always strong.

             Always a bird.

When I falter,

              I go higher.

Avatar Runway! You better work 6th Grade! Move your body…


AVATARS are ready to work the runway!!!!


We are learning how to walk, move, and dance in the Avatar Masks created in Art class.  In term 1 within Humanities, student read A Wrinkle in Time and also went to see it on the big screen. For Performance Studies, we have learned how to move our bodies while wearing masks.

This is all a part of the larger collaborative Avatar Multimedia Project that we will be completing in term 3.

The following are all photos of tableaus and runway walks in 6th Grade, so we can learn how to express ourselves with our bodies. We also had a guest artist visitors, Moonyeka, who is a dancer and choreographer.  Student struck intentional poses to express various emotions and practice a lot of “runways” on the red carpet.

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Reading, Creating, & Acting OUT… Cece Bell’s RelationSHIPS in “El Deafo!”


In 5th Grade Core, Cody made room for Performance Studies collaboration and we read El Deafo by Cece Bell out loud and students shared their reflections on Cece’s search for friendship and acceptance.  This book is a memoir of Cece Bell in the form of a graphic novel.  She transformed herself into a bunny to tell the world the tale of her life and identity.


We acted out Cece’s relationships to other characters through props, scriptwriting, and acting.  This graphic novel is the memoir of Cece as a young student coming to terms with being Hard of Hearing.  5th Grade students made props and costumes to illustrate the beginning, middle, and end of relationships and connections that Cece had to various characters like Laura.  Through the skits, you can see her begin to understand herself as she creates “inner voice” characters like “Batman” and “El Deafo.”  Also, her relationship with inanimate objects like her Phonic Ear are animated.

Before we created and acted out characters, we discussed how ableism showed up in Cece’s relationships and a little bit about the Disability Justice Movement (see posters below).  We made short skits about physical disabilities, accessibility, equity, ableism, and Disability Justice (see below)


Here are more photos of the props created by students.  They made phonic ears, masks, ears, and tons of character costumes.  If you are a parent or guardian, please e-mail me for more photos.


We will keep you posted about our final performances….

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T(ea) Time Storytelling Unit in Performance Studies with Traditional Written & Oral Tradtions Compared to Virtual Reality (Language Arts Collaboration)

We just finished our collaboration with 8th Grade Language Arts (LA) and we investigated the essential question “Can you write compelling personal narratives using effective techniques, relevant descriptive details, and well-structured sequences?”

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We were able to write personal narratives within Language Arts (LA), so we can “compare and contrast” the difference between oral traditions and written craft.  We also pulled students from within classes to experience Virtual Reality (VR) narratives.

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Storytelling is timeless, so we shared how culture and histories are built on stories.  We have been studying and writing personal narratives as well as performing personal narratives during T(ea) Time.  Also, we have been studying empathy which means, “the ability to understand and share the feelings of another.” Through storytelling in historical and traditional ways as well as through new technologies, we learn how we can build empathy for ourselves and for others across difference.

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Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) DOCUMENTARY UNIT with Production and Global Studies


8th Grade Production just wrapped up their collaboration with 8th Grade Global Studies.  We submitted all their documentaries to “Speak Truth To Power” Student Video Contest.

We began the term by focusing on the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), spearheaded by Eleanor Roosevelt within Global Studies. Students then worked in small groups to independently research a current human rights issue. They identified one or more individuals or groups working to address the issue locally and created a five-minute documentary on their findings within Production utilizing Final Cut Pro and basic HD Cameras.

We practiced and built upon skills from Intensives, such as camera shots, transition effects, photo additions, and text changes. Some students chose to interview Human Rights Defenders and learned interview techniques. We learned to collaborate with a Production team to manage our time, communicate effectively, share work roles, and work independently.

Some topics included:

  1. Human Trafficking
  2. Homelessness
  3. Racial Bias in the Criminal Justice System
  4. LGBTQ+ Youth and Suicide
  5. Homelessness
  6. Voting Right
  7. DACA & Immigrant Rights
  8. Domestic Violence

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Ready to make “Bill of Rights” Parody Videos with 7th Grade Performance Studies


We have just finished two finished 2 phases of our 7th Grade “Bill of Rights” musical parodies unit where we take Social Studies content into Performance Studies.  After choosing popular songs to work with, we modified lyrics to demonstrate an understanding of amendments and used GarageBand to create an MP3 audio recording.

  • Phase 1 – Write a “Bill of Rights” Song that demonstrates your understanding of them
    • Choose a popular song with your assigned group
    • Created alternative lyrics on a Google Doc
    • Practiced Singing
  • Phase 2 – Create an MP3 audio recording in GarageBand
    • Learned how to record a layered track in Garage Band (1 layer instrumental and 1 layer audio recording without feedback loop)

We learned how to autotune our voices in GarageBand this past week and moving on to our last two phases in 2018

  • Phase 3 – Create a StoryBoard for your video
    • Use a Storyboard worksheet to map out your video from beginning to end
    • Look up and save potential images to use with your video
  • Phase 4 – Make a music video utilizing green screen
    • Film in front of the green screen while playing your audio
    • Edit in Final Cut Pro by using “keying” which is a special effect

Check out some students preparing for their videos next week.



2016-2017 7th Grade Parodies, Plays, & Monologues

It has been an exploratory year in Performance Studies.  We created Humanities Flex classes, so students can have an integrated experience with Performance Studies, Social Studies, and Language Arts.  This year students focused on creating and performing:

  • their Bill of Rights through song parodies with Social Studies,
  • their books through learning “Book-It” style play creation process with Language Arts,
  • their understanding of justice through “Guerilla Theatre” performances,
  • their letters of justice to different governmental bodies through “Justice Monologues” which integrated their understanding of Social Studies and Language Arts.

For Social Studies,  the students learned about the Bill of Rights and then were able to utilize pop culture to name all their amendments in a fun and hip way.  For Language Arts, they read various novels and were able to adapt some lines from the book into a mini-play.  For Guerilla Theatre, they were able to showcase various social justice campaigns through the art of protest in creative ways.  In regards to “Justice Monologues,” some student works were submitted to Drama Notebook, a performance and drama community and resource.  They were able to write a letter to either a politician or a governmental body to express their outrage and anger artistically.  Finally, we always leave room for improvisation, of course!!!


7th Grade Monologue


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Caption: 7th Grade Guerilla Theatre, “Book-It” Performances and Justice Monologues.

7th Grade Performers

Caption: 7th Grade “Book-It” Performance

AVATAR PROJECT – Editing Green Screen Videos!

This winter, building from their work in Term 1 and integrating with Technology and Art, sixth graders created a short science fiction play. They focused on character development and plot structure. They further developed one scene from their work into a multi-media performance in which they speak to their future self represented by an Avatar Mask developed in Art Class. Students utilized a “green screen” to videotape their Avatar’s performance and then edited their work, utilizing Final Cut Pro to splice their future and present “self” together.
1. Did you create dialogue between your Avatar and yourself that demonstrated depth and character?
2. Did you demonstrate proficiency with green screen technology and FinalCut Pro?
3. Did you develop a short play that you were able to adapt into a multi-media performance?

Using Final Cut Pro


After filming yourself in front of the Green Screen, you will use Final Cut Pro to edit your film footage into a short video. This video of your Avatar will be projected on a screen during the mini-culmination, and you will act and carry out your dialogue with your Avatar

Final Cut Pro–What is it?

Final Cut Pro is video editing software made by Apple. It is very similar to iMovie, just more powerful and including more features. If you are familiar with iMovie, most of the skills are transferrable.

Video Tutorials:

  1. Getting Started / Overview

  2. Importing your film footage

  3. Removing Green Screen and Audio Edits
  5. Final Edits, Details, & Background

5. Converting Youtube for Final Cut (Backgrounds)







DUE: Next Week – January 20, 2017 (Mandatory Performances)

(Optional: Also, perform your “Bill of Rights” song, we ran out of time)


“An Optimist is the human personification of spring” – Susan J. Bissonette



Personification is a figure of speech where human qualities are given to animals, objects or ideas. It is the opposite of a metaphor but is very similar. In the arts, personification means representing a non-human thing as if it were human.

Monologue: a long speech by one actor in a play or movie, or as part of a theatrical or broadcast program.

synonyms: soliloquyspeechaddresslecturesermonhomilyformal oration



You will create a (200 word minimum and 400 word maximum) monologue where you personify:

  • The constitution,
  • a branch of the government,
  • a policy,
  • an emotion in response to politics
  • or the idea of justice itself

…. and write a letter to it.  You will write it in the form of a script and then perform your “idea of justice.”  You learned about the constitution and recently finished Mock Trial.

Other options:

  1. Choose a piece of the constitution to talk to.  You can talk to one part of the “Bill of Rights” or all of them.  (For example:  Dear Bill of Rights, Dear Constitution, Dear U.S.A., Dear Senator _____, etc.)
  2. Create a Dialogue where you ask and answer your own questions
  3. Monologue where you just ask a series of questions.
  4. See other examples attached or below.



“Mr. President” by PINK

  • Example of a letter written to an actual person and made into a song.  You could replace “Mr. President” with the word “constitution.”  Pink used the “president” as a representative of the constitution
  • The song is an open letter to then President of the United States, George W. Bush. The song criticizes several areas of Bush’s administration and terms in office, including the Iraq WarNo Child Left Behind Act, disapproval of equal rights for homosexuals, lack of empathy for poor and middle class citizens, Bush’s strong religious beliefs, and Bush’s drinking and drug usage in college. Pink felt that it was one of the most important songs she had ever written.
  • Imagine if this was spoken instead of sung.
  • This has 341 Words





Dear Mr. President,
Come take a walk with me.
Let’s pretend we’re just two people and
You’re not better than me.
I’d like to ask you some questions if we can speak honestly.

What do you feel when you see all the homeless on the street?
Who do you pray for at night before you go to sleep?
What do you feel when you look in the mirror?
Are you proud?

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye
And tell me why?

Dear Mr. President,
Were you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
Are you a lonely boy?
How can you say
No child is left behind?
We’re not dumb and we’re not blind.
They’re all sitting in your cells
While you pave the road to h***.

What kind of father would take his own daughter’s rights away?
And what kind of father might hate his own daughter if she were gay?
I can only imagine what the first lady has to say
You’ve come a long way from whiskey and cocaine.

How do you sleep while the rest of us cry?
How do you dream when a mother has no chance to say goodbye?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Can you even look me in the eye?

Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Minimum wage with a baby on the way
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Rebuilding your house after the bombs took them away
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Building a bed out of a cardboard box
Let me tell you ’bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work
You don’t know nothing ’bout hard work
Hard work
Hard work

How do you sleep at night?
How do you walk with your head held high?
Dear Mr. President,
You’d never take a walk with me.
Would you?



obama farewell, in parts by adrienne maree brown

January 10, 2017

  • Pop culture References:
    • Darkside = evil in Star Wars
    • Yoda = Sage advisor in Star Wars
    • Eeyore = sad Winnie the Pooh character
      Mariah Carey = diva singer
    • Neil Degrasse Tyson = famous scientist that has a cult following
    • Bae = sweetheart
    • There are many pop icons and movement icons mentioned
    • Lower case usage choice by author was on purpose to break structure; in the tradition that was started by bell hooks and other black feminist educators
    • There are some edits for age appropriateness
  • This letter poem is 475 words
  • Example of a letter to different parts of yourself responding to a political moment.

obama farewell, in parts:

darkside me: i want him to incite rebellions, he is going for super shady.

eeyore me: but what do you say when democracy requires a peaceful transition to an r-kelly costar?

yoda me: listen you must. strategic he is. coherent sentences you may not hear again from this office.

this is the read me: he’s basically reading ******** mump.

organizer me: much respect to people protesting right now #pardonusall

lucious from empire me: he got it all figured out and no one sees it. he gonna let dude play himself out, just watch.

zen me: there are no borders, there is no separation. everything is right.

beyoncé me: flump breaking all these rules, obama should just stay president.

neil degrasse tyson me: science and reason Do matter.

prince me: when you play the future you play yourself.

mariah carey me: ****[stuff] happens.

post-nationalist, post-imperialist me: we are on the death star. the leadership doesn’t change the function.

abolitionist bae me: did he free the political prisoners yet?

black great/grand/daughter me: hush. listen – i can still feel a lineage of pride flowing through me.

clingy me: plus he said final point which reminded me what’s coming (sad face).

detroit voter me: and now he’s like y’all need to vote – that hurts more cuz i’m disenfranchised!

neal degrasse tyson me: wait was that bill nye the science guy?

american citizen me: i do wish it felt like this country he speaks of.

boggs-reader me: you have to love america enough to change it.

james baldwin me: i have said it before, but: I love America more than any other country in the world, and, exactly for this reason, I insist on the right to criticize her perpetually.

darkside me: he has come for scump on every single frontline – the force of shade is an art with this one.

organizer me: he told people to organize. (clap clap clap)

beyoncé me: that look he gives michelle. i can’t.

darkside me: hear that shade of melonino?

zen me: you know nothing, relinquish attachment to this experiment.

fearful me: live live live

astrologer me: and just love. the whole mess. right now this love is the force most required in the universe. love directly and without shame. him and each other, there is enough.

me me: but (broken heart).

auntie me: glad he mentioned how malia and sasha nibblings have grown up so beautifully.

beyoncé me: see he is also most proud of parenting. just sayin.

scarface me: biden’s a tough dude.

me me: he looks heartbroken. they all have break-up-but-still-soulmates faces.

eeyore me: where is sasha?

cool teenager me: malia is counting down in her head.

this is the read me: everything after this is basically trash. basura.

zen me: its always what we make of it.

me me: love hurts. exhale.



“a litany for survival” by audre lorde (From Black Unicorn, 1978)


  • This poem is 251 words
  • Example: Write a letter to the emotion of the moment. This poem speaks to fear in a historical moment. A litany is a form of prayer.


For those of us who live at the shoreline

standing upon the constant edges of decision

crucial and alone

for those of us who cannot indulge

the passing dreams of choice

who love in doorways coming and going

in the hours between dawns

looking inward and outward

at once before and after

seeking a now that can breed


like bread in our children’s mouths

so their dreams will not reflect

the death of ours


For those of us

who were imprinted with fear

like a faint line in the center of

our foreheads

learning to be afraid with our mother’s milk

for by this weapon

this illusion of some safety to be found

the heavy-footed hoped to silence us

For all of us

this instant and this triumph

We were never meant to survive.


And when the sun rises

we are afraid

it might not remain

when the sun sets we are afraid

it might not rise in the morning

when our stomachs are full we are afraid

of indigestion

when our stomachs are empty we are afraid

we may never eat again

when we are loved we are afraid


will vanish

when we are alone we are afraid

love will never return

and when we speak we are afraid

our words will not be heard

nor welcomed

but when we are silent

we are still afraid


So it is better to speak


we were never meant to survive