Step Into the Spotlight And Produce Your Own Show

IF you'd like to be a ham, here are a few ideas to get you started on your own production. Your show can be only one thing - like a short play or a dance routine - or it can be many acts strung together, which is called a "variety show." Round up some of your friends and see what ideas they have. If one of them has a special talent like playing the flute or doing yo-yo tricks, make use of it. You never know what impressive (or hilarious) things they can do until you show them the stage and say, "You're o n!"

Here's an outline for a variety show, but remember, it's just a suggestion:

1. Introduction. Choose someone to be the master of ceremonies. This person welcomes the audience and explains what they are about to see. A nickname for this job is the "M. C." Be brief and peppy! Use a fake microphone and say something like: "Good afternoon, ladies and gentlemen. Welcome to our show! For our first act, I would like to introduce... ." The M. C. announces each performer or act.

2. Sing a favorite song. Use a tape recorder to provide the music, or just sing on your own. Folk songs, camp songs, or songs off the radio are popular. Get the audience to sing along.

3. Perform a sketch. Recall something funny that happened to you or your friend once and act it out.

4. Have a favorite poem? Write it out on a piece of paper and recite it. Be sure to say the name of the author.

5. Pick a simple fairy tale or an Aesop Fable and act it out. At the library you can find any number of books with fanciful tales. If you want to make a crazy costume, pick a story that has animals as the characters. If acting isn't your thing, make puppets of the characters, using old socks. Turn a card table on its side and hide behind it for a puppet-show version of the fairy tale.

6. Demonstrate a talent. Do you do magic tricks? What about fancy jump-roping, standing on your head, or baton-twirling? Maybe you can tell funny jokes. Doing impressions is also a crowd pleaser: Try to imitate cartoon characters or someone famous on TV and have the audience guess who it is.

7. Improvise. Here's a funny scene: Pretend you're in a shoe store to buy a pair of shoes. Have one of your friends play the clerk, only she's not a very good one and keeps bringing you the wrong thing.

First, she brings you high heels that are much too high and you pretend to stumble all over the stage. Next, she brings out gigantic men's shoes that keep falling off your feet. Then, she brings out swimming flippers that you can barely stand up in. "But I want a pair of shoes that fit and feel good!" you keep insisting. Finally, she brings you a pair of sneakers that fit, but when you hold your feet up, there are no soles!

How would you end this sketch?

Remember, don't be bashful. Give it all you've got - and make it funny so you send the audience away laughing!

`Kidspace' is a place on the Home Forum pages where kids can find stories that will spark imaginations, entertain with a tall tale, explain how things work, or describe a real-life event. These articles appear twice a month, always on a Tuesday.

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