vendredi 24 janvier 2014

Treasure Island Newsletter #7

At this stage of the project, I'd like to address the children directly. Parents, would you please show the newsletters to your children? They/you can just read the paragraph addressing their group and this would be enough. Thank you!

Paragraphs are in alphabetical order
  1. Costume crew
  2. Parents
  3. Performers
  4. Props & Sets crew
  5. Tech crew
  6. Wish list 
1. Costume Crew
This week: 
- natives skirts: need to cut 1 more and sew 4 more
- native headdress: start learning how to make them:
- cut and glue dog's ear
- cut parrot's costume 

2. Props & Sets

This week: 
- make 5 eyeglasses from pipe cleaners for 5 Jims, an old map, mugs, 2 black spots, 1 spyglass, 1 plate w. tofu patie & bean sprout. 
- prepare boxes and baskets for sailors to carry. 1 box has swords, 1 box has mugs. 
- saw a cane for Blind Pew
- set up & fix the palm trees
- cut 3 clouds
- make a hut

Next week: 
- make posters to advertise for the show, stick them around the school

3. Performers

Each of you have a Zip lock bag where to store your costumes. Each time you come to rehearsal, look for your bag, put your costumes on. At the end of the day, fold your costumes neatly, put back in the bag, and put the bag in the appropriate box. You are responsible for your costumes until the end of all performances. 
If you use something from home that could stay in the GLC, put that in the bag too. 

As of now, rehearsals on stage will be OFF BOOK. You are allowed to hold in the palm of your hand little note cards, in which you may write, one color for each of the following, one card per entrance:  
  1. cue when you should get to the stage
  2. cue when you should move forward to a microphone
  3. cue when you would start talking
  4. key words from your lines 
And you still need to bring your scripts to all rehearsal. Whenever you are not on stage, you can work on your parts, or can be prompters to your peers who are on stage. 

Remember the notions we learned last week: 
  • downstage, upstage, stage left, stage right, ...
  • full front, full back, profile left, profile right, one-quarter left, three-quarter left, ...
And apply at the next rehearsals: 
  • Never walk on stage as if you walk on the street. Walk with an attitude!
  • When you are not speaking, find a pose (level 1, 2 or 3) and stay like a beautiful statue, follow the conversation with your eyes, face, neck, chest, like a moving statue. 
  • Speak full front when you have a long sentence, one-quarter in other cases. Never speak in profile, three-quarter or full back. 
  • Open your chest, take a deep breath, on exhale speak from the belly. (Next week we'll work more with eyes and face, and add a few steps)
  • Sailors: always walk to the music (listen to the music and try to spot the rhythm!), deep bend of knees (demi-plie'), arms swing to the rhythm, opposite arms & legs. 
  • Natives: always clear the space in front of Ben Gun. When bow, bow in profile to center-stage. (Changed from previous instruction which was three-quarter)
  • Drummers: slower: listen to the soloists! Soloist singers: listen to the drum! Sing from the belly, open eyes, open chest.
Some of you have asked about the music pieces. You may purchase them from iTune or Amazon: 
  • Storytellers: Compilations/Adventures At Sea/ What shall we do with a drunken sailor.
  • Sailors: Rudy Sunde/ Chants de Marins Sea shanties/ Hornpipes
  • Island natives: Lyannaj/ Neve Bretagne Guadeloupe/ Sinanaye (Kaladja) or
  • Finale: Lyannaj/ Neve Bretagne Guadeloupe/ An pa kay (Padjanbel)
  • Across the line, sailors' song: Rudy Sunde/ Chants de Marins Sea shanties/ Across the Line
To help at lunch time, 12:30-1:30pm, please sign up through this Doodle link
I would love to loan 3 more drums for practice and performances, if you have ...

Wish list
  • Drums for loan until March 6
  • Empty plastic bottles of Coke (for bottles of rhum)
  • Toy crowns & jewels
  • Black, white, red clothing that you don't use at home.
  • Orange leggings, orange socks for parrot.
  • Cane for Long John Silver
One picture (or two) a day in Treasure Island in the Making 

Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Expressive Coach & Artistic Director
HaoExpression ||
Follow us on Facebook ||

samedi 18 janvier 2014

Treasure Island Newsletter #6


We've started blocking up to Crew's entrance. The children were coached to better use their body and voice for a more expressive acting. I noticed several children still glued their eyes on the script, which prevented them from acting full out. I am now requesting all actors to know their lines by heart, and also the lines before, so that I can effectively coach them to act. 

As of Wednesday rehearsal on stage will be off book. All children must nevertheless bring their scripts so they can follow what's going on and know when they need to get ready to take the stage. 

Performers are responsible for their own props. Example: if the script says Mom1 gives Jim1 a book, Mom1 must have brought a book and be get on stage with the book in hand.  

Parents please look in  Treasure Island Reference Documentsheet "Cast" to see what I wish your child to wear for the performance, and check if they have those items. If they don't, please don't rush to the store yet, I'll first try to find alternatives. 
For crew members who have speaking roles, please scroll down my Treasure Island Pinterest board for inspirations on "pirates'' costumes. 
Gather what ever you have at home that's black, red and white and that can make a pirate costume, put in a bag, and have your child bring to the GLC at lunchtime for me to check: 
  • Tuesday: Storytellers, Jims, Moms, Dog, Parrot, Teacher. I'd like Storytellers to wear some striped costumes if possible.
  • Wednesday: Crew, including those having speaking lines. I'd like crew who have speaking lines to wear some striped costumes if they have.
  • Thursday: Natives & Ben Gun

Costume makers have cut fabric to prepare accessories for sailors and island natives. They have started sewing skirts for natives. This coming week they will continue with cutting fabric, sew more skirts, and help fitting wherever needed. Hopefully we'll have time to work on the parrot's costume and the dog's ears. 

I am missing a few children who signed up for costume but never showed up. A kindly reminder that children who miss more than 5 shifts may not see their name appear on the show program. 

We are thankful for Ms Sapna Jain, Saanvi's mom, for being the Costume Mistress for the production. 

Props & Sets

Props & Sets crew are making food trays by crumbling color papers. This coming week they will finish the food trays, paint the boat, and help Mrs Harvey build the ship wherever needed

5th and 8th grade Helpers

I want to express my deep appreciation for your help! I know it is not always an easy job to supervise kids who are just a few years younger than you, but you have been fantastic! Without your help, the rehearsal would not have progressed that steadily. 

This week, your job will be to help each of the performers know their line by heart, and act their part by heart. Anyone who doesn't have anything to do should be learning their lines, and you can help them by sitting with them and ask them to recite their lines to you. 

Wednesday I'll give a 20 minutes individual group work, this time in 3 groups: 
  1. Natives: finish learning choreography with Serena
  2. Sailors: finish learning choreography with me
  3. All others: recite lines with Michelle and 5th grade helpers. 
After that, I'll conduct blocking in the format of a master class. Everyone's focus will be on the stage: what ever I'll coach will be a lesson for everyone, while paying attention in order to be ready to take the stage at a timely manner. 

I want you helpers to watch me coach and remember my suggestions to the performers, so that you can later coach them individually. 
We only have two more weeks when I can give performers my undivided attention. In February Tech crew will come in and I will have to give them attention and instructions as well, then I will rely on you to help keep the rehearsal going on.

Again, thank you for being there, and keep up with the good work! I love having you with me!


I'd need two to three chaperones for this Thursday's rehearsal. If you can help 3:05pm-4:35pm, please sign up here: 

If you can chaperone the children at lunch time, 12:30-1:30pm, please sign up through this Doodle link

Wish list
  • 2 large palm leaves to make 2 fans for Ben Gun
  • Empty plastic bottles of Coke 
  • Toy crowns & jewels
  • Black, white, red clothing that you don't use at home.
  • Long & thick pole for ship
Sneak peak

You may take a sneak peek on your child's adventure in Treasure Island in the Making on HaoExpression Facebook page. Faces are blurred on the pictures to protect the children's privacy. 


Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Expressive Coach & Artistic Director
HaoExpression ||
Follow us on Facebook ||

lundi 13 janvier 2014

Treasure Island Newsletter #5


Some children signed up for several tasks. Due the high number participants, the school is asking performers to not additionally participate in other activities such as costume, scenery & props or tech crew, to leave enough "job" for everyone to do.  :)
Please look at sheet Costume of file Treasure Island Reference Document, columns "1st layer: self provided". Most children are asked to wear white top and bottom. If the children have them at home, I'd love to see them wear on Thursday, so that I can try out the 2nd layer on them. 

Children who have speaking roles, please look for inspirations on my Treasure Island Pinterest board (scroll down for pirate's costumes) and gather what ever you have at home that's black, red and white and that can make a pirate costume, and show me this week. 

5th grade & teen helpers

Children who have worked with me in last year's musical and know my routines are welcome to chaperone the 4th graders. This also include children who were in props, sets and costume crews. If your child would like to help, please sign her/him up through the helpers's signup form.  Per the school's request, all helpers must be registered to participate. 

Lunch time chaperone

I'd need parents to chaperone activities in the GLC, Monday through Friday 12:30-1:30pm, any day that you can. Children will gather there to make costumes, scenery and props. Please sign up through this Doodle link to chaperone. 

Costume crew

I've pinned my wish for costumes on Treasure Island Pinterest board. Please take a look!
We will start making costumes this week. Children may bring their lunch to the GLC Tuesday through Friday this week. 


Props crew will make trays of food for the natives. Children may bring their lunch to the GLC Tuesday through Friday. 
We'd love to get donation of 2 large palm leaves to make 2 fans for Ben Gun. 


Mrs Harvey will be directing the Scenery crew and will announce when she'll need the students and parents to come in. 

Sneak peak

Want a sneak peak into your child's time on Treasure Island musical?  See album Treasure Island in the Making on HaoExpression Facebook page.


Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Artistic Director
HaoExpression ||
Follow us on Facebook ||

jeudi 2 janvier 2014

Treasure Island Newsletter #4

May the new year of 2014 bring you happiness and satisfaction in all areas!

The cast list can be viewed by clicking on link #4 at
We have carefully casted in a way that each child is challenged to his/her next level of technique and artistry. We reviewed the list several times, under different lights. Casting is not mathematic and having more lines does not mean having a bigger role: some parts with less lines are more difficult to play and I give it to a more expressive performer. Crew and Native from the Skeleton Island will have the most fun part with lots of singing and dancing. 
I read through the script and gave the children the parts that helps them best grow from where they are at right now. I hope this is a springboard that will help them take a step up at a next performing opportunity. 

All performers must bring their script to all rehearsals.

We are well into the season and I no longer accept observers. All parents who stay in session will be given a duty and are asked to follow the same routine as the children, so that we keep a harmonious energy level. When the children hear the bell, they stop and breathe. I invite parents to do the same. 
Parents are welcome to do the warmup routine if they feel like. When the children work in groups, parents are asked to sit with one of the groups and help them stay focus. 
No children is allowed to leave the school without my permission. If circumstance arises, parent helpers need to talk to me before releasing any child, as the children are under my sole responsibility.  

Important note: I still need Erika and Rajiv's parent's email address, and I need Sakshi's parents to register her: she is nowhere on my lists. 

Mark your calendar: 
- Performance for parents and larger audience:Thursday, March 6th, 7pm.
- Scenery and costume crews will meet in January. Tech crew meets in February. 

If you have any question or concern, please don't hesitate to contact me (my email address and telephone number are on my website). If you prefer to see me in person, please do at the end of rehearsals, NOT at the beginning. I have 60 enthusiast performers and want to give them 120% of my focus, from the time they come in at 3:05pm until the time I release them at 4:30pm.

Have a great finishing vacation, and I am looking forward to seeing all of the children soon!

Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Artistic Director