After School Program
The After School Program meets for approximately six to eight weeks, two days a week for an hour session. Children may sign up for this program on a voluntary basis with their parent's permission. They are chosen on a first come basis until enrollment reaches approximately fifteen children.
First term's children will study the art of puppetry. They will make their own puppet creations, study three falsetto voices suitable for puppets, write their poems, (one modeled after Jose Juan Tablada's poem, "The Monkey"), and recite their poetry with their puppets.
Second term's children will study the art of acting on stage, and rehearse a play suitable for production on stage.
Script – Adapted from T
oday is the Day
by Nancy Riecken
(Mexican music plays softly in the background.)
Narrator: Today is the day for Yesenia's father to come home. Yesenia's father had gone up north to find work so that he could bring money back for food, clothes, and hopefully shoes and books for school.
Yesenia: Get awake, Yara! Today is the day that Papa is supposed to come home!
Yara: Please be quiet Yesenia. I am tired and want to sleep.
Yesenia: Did you forget Yara? Today is the day! Papa will be here any minute. (Yesenia runs outside scattering the chicks in the yard. Children hold signs with chickens and chicks on them, and move around Yesenia.)
The scene ends with Yesenia looking out into the audience and calling: Papa, I'll meet you at the bus stop!
Narrator: Yesenia and her family have breakfast together. Then they begin their daily chores.
Mama: Breakfast is ready girls! Yesenia and Yara come onto the stage and sit with their mama at the table.
Yesenia: Mama when will Papa arrive? Do you know what bus he will come on? May I go to meet…
Yara: Yesenia, you know that Papa is not coming back!
Mama: Of course, Papa is coming back, Yara. Don't be a foolish girl. Eat your breakfast and stop talking such nonsense.
(The two girls frown at each other, and stop eating their breakfast.)
(A row of children line up on the stage as Yesenia and Yara carry a basket of clothes. They begin to hang them on the line, i.e. the row of children.)
Yesenia: How could you say that Papa will not come home?
Yara: Yesenaia, look around our village. Many men leave their families and never come back. Do you think that Papa is any different than them?
Yesenia: Yes, Papa loves us!
Yara: Oh, I want him to come back so much. But I am afraid.
Narrator: Yesenia ran down the road to the bus stop looking for Papa. She was determined to bring him home. However, the sun became hot, Yeseania was hungry. So she went home to Mama and Yara.
Mama: Where have you been Yesenai? You did not finish your work.
Yesenia: I've been waiting for Papa. Please Mama, let me go back and wait for Papa.
Yara: I've been working while you were playing!
Yesenia: Please, Mama!
Mama: All right, go on Yesenia. But you will be the one to sweep, wash and feed the animals tomorrow.
(Actors freeze. Yesenia goes to the edge of the stage and looks into the audience for Papa.)
Yesenia: (As a boy in a sombrero and a suitcase walks down the aisle. Yesenia becomes very excited, jumps up and down, and waves wildly.)
Peddler: I suppose you want to buy something from me today. (Opens up his suitcase.) How can I help you today?
Yesenia: I'm…I'm…sorry, I thought you were my Papa.
Peddler: Children! Get out of my way. I have customers to see, today.
Narrator: Yesenia runs home to her mother who is waiting for her in the doorway. There is one last bus into the village. Mother decides to take the family to see if Papa is on that bus. By this time it is dark. The bus has come and gone. Papa is not on the bus.
Suddenly a car comes speeding down the road, loud music is blaring from the inside. And then…Papa jumps out and runs toward them.
Papa: Hey, what are you all doing out here.
Mama: Is it really you Manuel?
(The family hugs and stands on stage. Mexican music plays in the background.)
Neighbors: Manuel Rodriquez is back. We are glad to see you. Welcome home Manuel.
Narrator: Papa told the family that he had enough money for awhile. Yesenia was trying to imagine walking to school in her new shoes. But better than the new shoes was having her Papa home.