Friday, before the Paramount showing of “Junie B. Jones in Jingle Bells/Batman Smells” at Austin’s Paramount Theatre, other TAP volunteers and I gathered to prepare crafts for the children to do that related to the performance they were going to see on Sunday, as well as for the holiday season.
We spent hours cardboard-tree trimming, star-shape cutting, picture frame gluing and repeatedly assuring that all materials were properly prepped for the big event.
On Sunday, another volunteer project leader and I caught the 1L bus to Congress Avenue and started setting up for the big event! We hung a banner that read, “Theatre Action Project” above several table tops loaded with sparkling decorations, pipe cleaners, construction paper, coffee filters and candy canes. All materials were neatly arranged so the children could decorate mini Christmas trees, assemble Junie B. journals (just like Junie B. uses) , construct picture frame ornaments, cut snowflakes and glue together candy cane reindeer.
I was impressed by each child’s creativity and ability to take similar crafts, and make their creation truly unique using merely markers, glue and pipe cleaners. As I helped the kids paste construction paper together, they told me about the Junie B. book they had just read in school, and which characters were their favorites.
I think Theatre Action Project did a great job integrating the holiday season and Junie B. activities for the children. By setting up craft making stations, kids were able to create something that had a direct correlation to the setting. I believe this made the entire process of visiting the Paramount more exciting and educational.
As a volunteer project leader, I’m very proud of the kids’ creativity and volunteers’ commitment. Everything ran really smoothly and everyone enjoyed it! I can’t wait to lead my next project with TAP.
Tori Daughtrey is a Volunteer Project Leader with Theatre Action Project. Theatre Action Project partners with the Paramount Theatre to lead engaging and educational arts activities before and after every show!