The first ever Gigglemug Children’s Theatre Festival, in Burlington, NC, invited the Scientific Mime to give two performances at the Church of the Holy Comforter on March 30, 2019 for children, adults, and others. Asking, “What’s Up With Gravity?” The Mime juggled and wondered why the objects kept falling down, no matter how much force she applied to them. She demonstrated what gravity and other forces look like in action, using the magic of mime. She invited audience members to read aloud signs about forces and motion and make sound and motion gestures with her. The children and adults and others participated with a will and a giggle, or maybe a gill and a wiggle.
After the Flood Variety Show will benefit the “Rebuild Lumberton Initiative”
With a passel of clowns, fools, mimes, bubblers, and what-all. Bring the whole family.
7:00 PM, Friday, February 24, 2017 at the Carolina Civic Center, 315 N. Chestnut St. Lumberton, NC.
In order to formulate a sentence and speak it, for example, we use two sides of the brain. The voice is governed on one side; vocabulary, grammar, and syntax are on the other. The Corpus Callosum is a great band of fibers and neurons uniting the two sides, like a tunnel. It is the only way communication can occur between the two hemispheres. In order to speak a sentence, we engage and connect the two hemispheres of the brain. Many thought processes–remembering, applying, analyzing, synthesizing, evaluating, creating–require that the two sides of the brain communicate with each other.
Any activity that creates neuronal connections between the two hemispheres increases brainpower. Any activity that uses the two sides of the body in two different ways simultaneously builds neuronal connections and increases thinking power. When we are building coordination, we are building brains. Juggling builds coordination by building and strengthening neuronal connections between the two sides of the brain and body.
There are ancillary benefits. One is that once someone learns to juggle and practices it, it naturally becomes a social activity. People are drawn to watch jugglers, and they say, “How do you do that?” Then the juggler interacts with others, teaching others how to do it, gaining social skills, deepening their own understanding of what they are doing, and improving their communication skills.
Another ancillary benefit has to do with who is drawn to learn and practice juggling. Generally speaking, boys get more excited about it. Generally speaking, a lot of boys are primarily kinesthetic learners (as opposed to learning visually or aurally). Kinesthetic learners suffer a disadvantage in traditional classroom structures, which are heavily weighted toward visual and aural learners who can sit still. Kinesthetic learners learn by doing and experiencing and repeating. They tend to score lower in school, and, not coincidentally, have lower status. But athletic prowess can raise their status, as can having a skill like juggling.
Then there are connections to math and physics—juggling is all about numbers and patterns, mechanics and physics. But I won’t go into that, here. And learning to juggle teaches the value of persistence—you learn to keep throwing up and dropping till you get it.
The Mime Who Talks works with first- and second-graders at WG Byers Elementary School through Charlotte’s Arts and Science Council’s Project Lift in April, 2015. At a spring intersession camp, students explore dinosaurs and beef up their literacy through arts and movement. With Kerrigan, they enter the world of dinosaurs using their bodies and imaginations, and write about it as if they were there.
In Raleigh, at Brooks Museums Magnet Elementary School, first-graders use mime, movement, and imagination to write “small-moment narratives.” They will discover details in small moments by acting out the sensory information they experience imaginatively, and then write.
Members of Alternate ROOTS were present to facilitate post-film discussions of films like Wilmington on Fire and Freedom Fighters–documentary films that are seeking progressive social change. It was a treat to see ROOTERS in Wilmington!
The SE Center for Education in the Arts hosted a forum at the University of Tennessee in Chattanooga in May, 2013. Sheila was invited to present a workshop, called, “How Do I Get My Students to Collaborate and Discuss Effectively?” Fellow mime and co-founder of the Southeast Center for Arts Integration, Jef Lambdin, also attended and assisted with the workshop (and drove and made the trip fun). About a dozen educators, artists, and administrators participated with a will. They created beautiful mini-performances about equity and social justice, using a collaborative method that Sheila has developed for use in the classroom. “I love it when a plan comes together!” (Hannibal from The A-Team)