lundi 20 octobre 2014

Shakespeare Rocks! - Newsletter #2

Tech Crew & Scenery Crew

First meeting next Wednesday 10/29, 3:15-4:30 until performance days. 
As a reminder, performance days are
Nov 19. 8:45-10:00 & 10:45-11:45am, 
Nov 20. 8:45-10:00 & 10:45-11:45am & 7:00-8:00pm

Crew members please bring a small flash light to read the scripts in the dark.
Crew members wear all black on performance days. If crew move scenery on stage, I'd like the top to be solid black, else wear inside out. 


Wednesday run-through in performing time. The entire show must be played within 45 minutes, else cuts will be made. This is a requirement from the school for all daytime performances. Now you know why you need to enter/exit stage very quickly, and to speak without any hesitation.
No book on stage. You must nevertheless bring your script and follow the scenes and be ready when needed.
Stand in the wing one scene before yours, and one scene before Finale.
Actors need to be solid and ready to run-through with tech crew starting next week.

If you need to listen to a song, the complete play is at . Other clips are at


Bring a grocery bag labeled with your name for costumes. 
We need white shirts with large sleeves. If you have any at home please consider to loan or donate. 

All actors need to wear their own clothing for the first layer. I like girls to have T-shirt that's close to the body, and legging. Boys wear T-shirt or shirt and pants. All must be solid color. If T-shirt has imprint then wear inside out. 

Clean socks. Hair tied back unless specified by the director, bang cleared.


We need parent volunteer to check in and check out children. 

3pm-3:30pm: stand at the door starting 3pm to take check students in. Call parent of absent children, except those marked "Excused". 

4:20pm-4:50pm: two parents to stand at the door and check children out. One for children allowed to check out by themselves, one for children not allowed to check out by themselves (only release them to a parent). 

We are using much less volunteer time than previous years, and this is a short commitment task so I'd appreciate you'd be on time. Children often come to the door shortly after 3pm, and some leave at 4:15 to other programs.

Please put your name/ your child's name in the colored cells in this list: I just added Non-actors list to the file.

Donation to PTA

If you have not donated to PTA for this program, it is still time to bring a check to the office or to me, payable to Stocklmeir PTA. This is after school program and is funded separately from donations to the school program. No child will be denied for lack of fund, if you have any question or concern please contact me or the PTA president.

Acting Class

FYI, I teach Acting at the Sunnyvale Community Center starting Nov. 3rd.
Acting uses your whole body! This process-oriented class employs Anna Halprin's Tamalpa Life-Art technique, similar to method acting, to help young actors discover and convey a character's emotions. Class begins with a ballet-based warm up and meditative centering and incorporates modern dance, acting exercises, drawing, word play and other creative activities. Parents are invited to watch the final class meeting. Class sessions build toward a performance of The Trojan Horse in the spring. Materials fee of $15 is due to instructor at first class meeting.
Level 1 - suitable for those with little or no performing experience.
Level 2 - for those who have taken at least one year of dance or movement, or have participated in a HaoExpression theater production.
Registration is now open, please check with Sunnyvale Classes and Activities, and if you get the catalog, it's on page 18.

Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Movement Based Acting Instructor | Sunnyvale Community Center
Musical Theater Artistic Director | Stocklmeir Elementary School
Artistic Director | HaoExpression

dimanche 19 octobre 2014

The Little Prince - Newsletter #8

Again my heartfelt congratulations on your wonderful performances of The Little Prince. Words that I often hear from audience members on the performances were authentic and poetic - they could feel the emotions of the story because you were authentic in your acting. 

It is time to plan for a cast party so we can all meet again and watch together the videos from the shows. Ben's parents have generously offered to host at their house. They are available November 21 and 22, we just need to pick a time and date. 
Please check all of your availabilities in this Doodle survey, then we'll pick the date that counts the most participants. 

If you like to embark with me again on another enriching adventure, starting November 3rd I will teach at the Sunnyvale Community Center. As with The Little Prince, we build the scenes over the months, and at the end will produce a full length performance of The Trojan Horse. Registration is open, please sign up with Sunnyvale Recreation 
Don't worry about the dance requirement for Level 2, all students who have been in The Little Prince are eligible, just shoot me an email and I'll notify the center. 

I am also collaborating with L'ecole de Danse on two easy dance pieces that would be performed in their Showcase at Cubberley Theater on May 12-13. The pieces need 7 children, 7-11 years old, and I am sure all of my performers in The Little Prince can do it, because I'll be the one teaching the choreography. I'll give more details soon, but if you are interested please let me know.

And, last but not least, for your pleasure, below are the testimonials on The Little Prince performances. (If you get any too, please send them my way :))

Thank you for this show full of poetry. CL 
Very touching and successful show. I spent a great time. -RDM
Wonderful show. You touched a lot of people. -ART

It was a beautiful show! It Moved me to tears. IC 
Bravo, the show was really great! Loved the scene with the little prince flying through the clouds, the lamplighter!!! -SBW
We were really impressed by the quality of the show which touched by its authenticity, candor and talent on all artistic plans. It was a real moment of freshness that allows us to reconnect with pure and natural poetry. Congratulations for successfully staging children playing in a very contagious way!
Also, I LOVED the multilingual scene at the end! How many cultures and languages present on stage?? Brilliant! -MC
I really enjoyed the show. It was very artistic and well made! More surprisingly, S and P are great performers. I thought they must have been trained acting professionally. I'm really looking forward to your next production! -NM

Looking forward to see you all again soon!


Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Movement Based Acting Instructor | Sunnyvale Community Center
Musical Theater Artistic Director | Stocklmeir Elementary School
Artistic Director | HaoExpression

mardi 7 octobre 2014

Shakespeare Rocks! - Newsletter #1

Dear Parents,

Welcome to the 5th grade musical program 2014-2015. We are excited to get in the skin of William Shakespeare and people of his time: his wife Anne, his actor Burbage, Queen Elisabeth I, ...


If you know me from last year, you'd know that I work in a rather transparent way. All of my plans and thoughts are recorded in documents that are accessible online. 
- short announcements and statements are posted on my Twitter, hashtag #stocklmeirmusical
- other announcements are on my Facebook page or Google+
- newsletters are on my Blogspot
- I pin Youtube links of the play and costume ideas on my Pinterest
All of those links, including Doc where all lists are recorded, are accessible from my website,, page Musical, where you  can also click on "Script" to print if your child lost his/hers, or  if he/she missed the first day of rehearsal. 
And you'd know too that I have a rather stern writing and attitude, because I know the sweetness and reward will come on the performance days when the show will be a success!


- dress code: hair tied back, bangs cleared (I must see eyes). Wear clean socks and done clothing thats closed to body and comfortable to move in. 
- students are responsible of their script, parents will be responsible to provide replacement 
- students are responsible to know their parts by beginning of October, else they may loose the parts to a group or to another actor. (They are still cast in chorus will still be visible on stage as such.) 
- all students to work collaboratively together. 
- Zero Tolerance Policy applies. Any child who hurts another, physically or verbally will be excluded from the activities.

What means "Know thy Lines" ?

How many times I've heard children saying proudly "I know all my lines!", to discover that when it was their turn to be on stage, or to say their line, they were nowhere to be seen, or no voice to be heard, and the rehearsal got stuck, waiting for that magic line or that phantom actor. And that is not fair to the children who are focused and know their parts.

So, now I'll say: "Know thy Part", and that means: 
- know after what scene I'll be on stage (and go stand in the wing)
- know after who I'll be speaking - that means, the actor needs to know 5-10 lines before theirs, in order to response in a timely manner. 
- and of course, know the lines. 
And a trick to not miss one's entrance is to stay focus and anticipate. 

"Call back" this week

Starting this week, actors who are not on stage when they are needed, who don't speak when they are expected to, or who don't know their lines, may loose their parts to their teammates. 
Actors who are already comfortable playing their parts may get extra if available.

A reminder that during conference week, we'll meet 1:15-2:30pm, Wednesday and Thursday. 

More lines

Many parents and children have been approaching me for more lines. In performing arts, it is not uncommon that beginners get smaller roles. My daughter started out in 4th grade having zero lines, then one line in 5th grade, but she had fun and learn a lot, and with time and practice she eventually got an important role in 8th grade and I am now very proud of her acting capacity!

In this year's musical, I have 53 children to cast for a 45 minutes performance. Do your maths and you'll see there're not a lot of speaking time for everyone to share. While there may not be enough time for solo lines, there are plenty of time to be seen and heard through acting and singing (acting is not just speaking).

I recently produced a 60 minutes musical play with 16 actors, there of course, everyone had plenty of lines. In November I'll start teaching at the Community Center toward the production of a 60 minutes play with a similarly small sized cast, and there'll be more chance for everyone to get more lines.

But I'll tell you a secret: lines are not important. In my recent production of The Little Prince, the prince's departure was a two-minute-scene with no lines, but it had the power to make people cry. 

So, please trust the director, and you will see your children come out of this three-month journey, grown and blossomed!


Hao Bach-Thai Lueckhoff
Movement Based Acting Instructor | Artistic Director