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Day 9: A Musical In Which I Transform Into a Cat-Dog

I wasn't at regular camp today, so I'll take this time to tell you about Los Pequeñitos theatre camp. We've written a mini-musical called "En El Bosque," or "Into the Forest," that I think you'll enjoy. For one thing, I play a talking dog who turns into a cat-dog.

Los Pequeñitos is a bilingual theatre workshop created by preteen director Maya Bhatnagar as part of her Spanish degree. This camp features seven kids (along with me and stage manager Hannah Liotta), where Bhatnagar teaches in Spanish and we try to follow along.

I took five years of Spanish, so I understand just fine, but to beginner students, this can be overwhelming.

When I took my first Spanish class, it was WAY hard to speak only Spanish in the classroom. We were given a sheet of vocabulary words next to their English translations to help make the transition easier. Likewise, Bhatnagar passed out "cheat sheets" with translated vocabulary to the Los Pequeñitos students. When people get really confused, then we translate certain instructions to them. But most of the lessons are conveyed solely through acting the words out.

Every class, we dance the Salsa in a circle.

Some students in the group already have experience listening to and speaking Spanish. This puts them at an advantage, and they have been asked not to translate every single Spanish instruction Bhatnagar gives.

It's been a lot of fun, and I actually learned a dance. Come see us tomorrow at 11:30 before you go to the ice cream social at Nevin Arena in the afternoon!

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