I have spent a decent amount of time in Elgin from earlier in college having friends who lived there as well as participating in Students Today Leaders Forever High School Pay-It-Forward-Tour, and I heard about my friends experiences in high school as well as these students from the Elgin area.
Each school has a reputation within Elgin: South Elgin, Elgin, and Larkin. There is a large population of undocumented immigrants living in Elgin. The area is almost half Hispanic which is reflected in restaurants like El Paraiso as well as there diversity within the high schools.
When we finally made it to our destination, one of the actors fell out of the car in her haste to get to work. (And just general clumsiness) We were running a little late due to suburban traffic. However, we made it just in time.
When we entered the school, (and of course we parked by the wrong door so we had to run around the school looking for the correct entrance) we were all signed in, per usual, the only thing different was that all if not most of the staff seemed to have a walkie talkie on their belt. We were escorted through the school to their black box theatre, noting along the route that the lunch room would be perfect for a food fight. An adult with a walkie talkie had to be with us as we made our way to the space.
The lunch room was crowed and noisy but we were quickly taken through the twisty hallways to their theatre wing. They provided a wonderful lunch from a local sandwich place, and we had to eat really quick while we walked the space before our performance since we were cutting it close. This group of high schoolers were theatre students, all familiar with the play, and we were hoping for a good audience and response to the show.
When we entered the space, the students were all seated waiting for us to arrive before they could go up to eat as well. I was surprised to see them already in the space because they all usually wander in ten minutes after the bell and we get started even later.
There was an excited buzz in the air as we settled and started to do warm ups. I was busy taking in all of their posters and upcoming events!
We began the performance and they were all munching quietly on their lunches. The real characters did not come out until the workshop after the performance.
During the workshop, we went over three mini sessions: warm up (vocal and physical,) some basic fight choreography, and interpretation of Shakespeare's text. Everyone was excited to give the fake slap a shot but pretty nervous to share their modern interpretation of Shakespeare's balcony scene.
They had so many different events going on! I was jealous of their New York Trip coming up as well as their Disney trip, which was for band. Those trips were never something I got to do with my high school.
Their Spring Musical was Fame: the Musical which is a great show to showcase many different actors talents. It also lead me to looking into the Drama Classes offered at Larkin.