Theater and Transitioning to Distance Learning in ES

Week 26: March 9 – 13

Theater and Transitioning to Distance Learning in ES


A week that began normally and ended taking a very different turn. Backstage theater tour, playbill content creating, striving for Core Skills session goals, working as a team in improv games, theater team collaboration, and then preparing and practicing for distance learning for the rest of the session. The last two days this week included making a plan for our distance learning the next few weeks and practicing what our new schedule would look like.


The heroes demonstrated gratitude as they wrote thank you notes to the four guys from Calvin’s Improv Group that came to Journey for a Hero Talk. We mailed their notes out this week. Caleb Curry, the President of the Calvin Improv Group wrote to us and said,

“I wanted to let you know that we all had an amazing time with you guys! Talking about it afterward, we were all able to agree it was the best environment we had been in to teach improv and something we will remember for sure. We had such a good time…We were all definitely impressed by it.”  – Caleb Curry


Our tour of the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center with Jeremy Cox proved to be more exciting than we expected! Being on stage, behind the scenes, in the set storage room, and working with the lights was so cool! Thank you, Jeremy for such an inspiring tour!

As we waited for the second group of heroes to arrive to the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center in the van, the heroes who had already arrived occupied their time by playing improv games.



Stage trap door! The heroes brainstormed plays that might utilize this trap door experience. Can you think of any shows that use a trap door?


Seeing the set for the Hunchback of Notre Dame show up close gave theater more of a magical feeling than simply an empty stage.


Maddy was especially curious about the backstage manager’s post since her role in the Journey Academy exhibition is the Backstage Manager.


Most of the improv games and warm-ups we played this week:

  • Film Dub
  • Slideshow
  • Fast Forward, Rewind, Pause, Slow Motion
  • And Then
  • Pile of Props
  • Yes, Let’s
  • Take a Walk
  • Ask My Neighbor/Kitty Wants a Quarter
  • Quick Change
  • Rainstorm
  • Human Knot


The heroes love going to GR Gymnastics! They challenge themselves to try new things, to work on their weaknesses, and to strength their previous gymnastics skills. In Evi’s opinion, “Wednesday is my favorite day of the week!”


This week during a Launch discussion, the heroes discussed the COVID-19 coronavirus through questions like: “What does the media want you to believe?”, “What is really true about this virus and its spreading?”, “Who is most susceptible to catching this virus?”, and “What can we do in our studio to prevent the spread of germs (in general)?”

This week in the “Journey Academy Heroes’ Podcast,” two heroes chose to talk about coronavirus. Our research came from Spectrum Health. Make sure you do your own research on this topic from reputable sources. Overall take-away message: Stopping the spread of the virus that caused COVID-19 through every day good habits is the best way to keep people healthy.

Music: preview of “Energetic Ukulele” by Royalty Free Music Awwkwards


A bonus podcast! We added in an additional podcast focused on the distance learning that we are transitioning to.

Music: preview of “Energetic Ukulele” by Royalty Free Music Awwkwards


Have you asked your hero:

  • What were some highlights from your tour of the Forest Hills Fine Arts Center?
  • What are your thoughts about Calvin Improv group’s comments about coming to Journey? (See above)
  • When were you in workflow this week?
  • Were you ever in your panic zone this week? When were you in your challenge zone this week? When/where were you in your comfort zone this week?
  • When adults look at you and your friends, what do you think they see? What would they think is important to you? Are their thoughts of you true? (from Generation Change by Dave Ramsey)
  • Do you ever hide behind your “stuff” so that other people–or God–won’t be able to see the real you? How would your friendships change if all you “stuff” was taken out of the picture? (from Generation Change by Dave Ramsey)
  • What is it about us that Jesus values so much? Does he care more about what we have or who we are? (from Generation Change by Dave Ramsey)


John 14:27

Jesus speaking: “Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

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