12 Jan Our First Christmas
We’ve launched our first after-school program focusing on teaching the kids theater basics with professional actress Dija Henry, a recent graduate of Purdue University’s theater program. She helped to teach the kids’ theater basics such as stage direction, blocking, and character development. The kids had a lot of fun bringing their characters to life and coming up with costumes and building their sets.
As the holidays approached the kids wanted to do something special for Christmas. When Aster asked them what they wanted to do for the holidays, the kids said they wanted to have Santa Claus come give the kids gifts. This opened up discussion about what the real meaning of Christmas was. As a result, the kids decided they wanted to do a play about the Christmas Story. The school approved the kids’ request and we started working on a Christmas show!
Because our FHC founder, Aster Bekele, is a first-generation immigrant from Ethiopia we were able to use authentic Ethiopian outfits as the costumes for the Christmas play. We were able to open up a dialogue about Africa to the urban youth. Truly the sharing of arts and culture impacted all of the kids as we worked towards our goal of putting on this Christmas play.
This would be the first of many lessons that the process of putting on a play isn’t just about the final product but the development of the young artists as well. The kids learned about teamwork, discipline, and commitment.
The day of the show was so much fun! The kids were so excited to put on the show and share the Christmas story with their parents. We celebrated in what would be FHC style with food, music, and laughter.
There is something magical about working hard to reach a goal together and then sharing the fruits of that labor with loved ones. It was a Christmas we will never forget!