This week was the first of two weeks of Endstation’s Embark! Theatre Conservatory of which I was a teaching assistant for. I was the teaching assistant for the improvisation and acting classes which were taught as six classes throughout the day. Half of the day was spent with improv and the other half with acting. There were three levels of classes, the youngest class was C1 which was rising 3rd through 5th graders, C2 was rising 6th-8th graders, and C3 was rising 9th-12th graders. The first day we played a lot of different name games and a few short acting exercises. The first half of the week there was a large focus on volume and diction in the acting and improv classes and we spent a lot of time going around in a circle speaking phrases such as “eleven benevolent elephants” and really working on enunciating every sound in every word. During the week we played other games such as freeze which involves two people on the stage and then everyone sits on the ground and the two people begin a scene and at some point during the scene someone in the audience yells freeze and the people on stage freeze, the audience members comes on stage and quickly chooses one of the actors to tag out and then they proceed to take that persons position and begin a new two person scene and so on. The C3’s had a pretty easy time understanding that the goal of the game is not to see how many times you could be onstage but rather to work and develop scene based on the body position of the person that was in before them and to create an entirely new scene that has a relationship between the characters and a driving force behind the scene and all that good stuff. The C2’s sort of understood this but there were a number of them that just wanted to be in the scene as much as possible so it was hard for other people to get a turn and also hard for the scenes to develop without just getting cutoff. We played this version of freeze with the C1’s but it was just all kinds of a mess and that led to us playing a different version called ata-freeze where there was no talking and instead you start with one person onstage and they strike a pose and then the next person comes on and strikes a pose based off of the other person’s pose and as soon as they have done that the first person exits and so on and so forth. This ended up working really well for the C1’s and they were able to play the game and enjoy it instead of getting upset when they were tagged out or instead of not really creating a scene but instead just chasing each other around the room. We played a few other versions of freeze with the C2’s and C3’s including screaming british freeze and screaming southern freeze where the scenes could be about anything but they had to scream all dialogue in an accent. These types of freeze were almost more successful than regular freeze because it forces the actors to make bold decisions and therefore they have more energy and better scene content. There was one other version of freeze called blind freeze which I only learned myself a few months ago and it is basically regular freeze except you stand in a line while waiting to go onstage and the first person in line has their back turned to the scene and it is the second person in line that yells freeze, then the first person turns around and runs in and tags out one of the people in the scene and starts a new scene based on the body position they have acquired.