On Friday March 14th, teens from DTE’s TheaterWorks program at SBCHS went to P.S. 27 to watch Akil Dasan perform for elementary and junior high students. He performed songs that he had written and produced.
One thing I liked about his performance was his beat boxing skills. He would beat box a famous song and all the children in the auditorium would start to sing the song. It was a nice sight to see. After the beat boxing, he rapped things he had written while playing the guitar. The only problem was that the kids started to lose attention during the more serious songs.
After performing, he took questions from the kids in the audience. All of his answers had a positive message. One of the kids asked him how he learned to break dance. He said he learned it from youtube, and at first it was hard, but if you keep trying you can do anything. I appreciated how he was trying to encourage kids to follow their dreams and never give up.
When the questions were over, the audience left and a group of kids stayed for a workshop. The purpose of the workshop was for the students to learn some of the skills Akil uses when he performs. TheaterWorks was asked to participate to act as role models. At first, many of the kids didn’t want to participate, but once we stepped up many of the kids did as well. After Akil shared his skills, we put on a little show which we only had fifteen minutes to put together. We were split into three groups: music, dance, and vocal. The performance was very powerful and we all had a great time.
– by Daesan Lassiter, photos by David Etienne
On Friday, February 29, TheaterWorks went to see the play Gone To Look For America. It was held at Arron Davis hall located at City College. The Creative Arts Team Youth Theater performed the play. Our reason for going was to pick out what kind of acting techniques we would like to use for our work.
The play was about the past and present problems of America. It included things like drugs, segregation, spending more than you have, and how the war in Iraq is affecting families. I loved watching it. I had never been to anything like it. It was short, but it really touched me in an emotional way. Especially when they talked about segregation and how black people were being lynched. They used so much creativity in that scene. It was inspiring. I would like to use the same creativity they used in our performances.
I saw a couple of techniques I would like to use. One technique was the way the actors signaled each other. They would stomp on the ground to signal when to fall when actors were hit or shot. Another thing I would like to take from the performance was how even though there wasn’t anything on the stage, the actors created imaginary environments. In one scene, a mother was in the kitchen cooking a Thanksgiving dinner. Even though there wasn’t really a kitchen on the stage, I could see it.
Overall, I enjoyed the play and have been inspired to do something similar in my own work.
– Daesean Lassiter
Dance Theatre Etcetera is thrilled to have three extremely talented High School students from our programs at South Brooklyn Community High School and Brooklyn International High School beginning as interns. They will be working with staff members on Spring programming, as well as learning administrative and artistic skills.
David Etienne is a junior at the Brooklyn International High School and is a member of the Performing Arts Program. He is originally from Haiti. He came to the United States at the age of twelve. He loves to do many things, such as dancing, playing sports and making people laugh. He has been to many places. David always tries to make enough of an impression so that people remember him.
Daesean Lassiter is an energetic young man. He currently studies at the South Brooklyn Community High School and is a member of TheaterWorks. He is dependable, willing to learn and loves when people give him constructive criticism because it helps him better himself. Daesean’s main goal is to learn as much from the world as possible.
Nebajoth Jean is a student at the Brooklyn International High School and a member of the Performing Arts Program. He is very active and understanding. One of the reasons that he is so interested in working with DTE is because he loves to write poetry and music. Nebajoth hopes to become an actor and a screenplay writer.
This fall, I was in a program called TheaterWorks with several other students at South Brooklyn Community High School. The purpose of the program was to teach students ways to improve their acting and other theater skills.
When I first started theater works, I was nervous because I’ve always had a bit of stage fright. As the program went on, I became more comfortable performing in front of people. We were all so afraid at our first show. We thought that we were going to mess up. We did, but the audience didn’t notice, so we just kept going.
We did a lot of acting exercises in rehearsal. We also talked a lot about the war in Iraq. Our discussions made my opinion even stronger. The war has become just a waste of time. I don’t understand why the U.S. is there.
Being in TheaterWorks has been one of the greatest experiences of my life. I am an aspiring actor, and this program has helped me to pursue that dream. It has also opened doors to many other opportunities. For example, one day, Martha came to TheaterWorks to watch our rehearsal. To make a long story short, I now work as an intern for DTE.
-Daesean Lassiter, senior at SBCHS and DTE intern