Mrs. Slater’s drama class is an elective offered to students in grades 9-12. Drama students spend the first quarter learning about characterization, facial expressions, body language, speech, and many other beginning fundamentals of acting, by playing lots of games that require them to think outside of the box and to break down their fear of acting in front of people. They also learn about how to read a script, how to determine what the stage should look like, and how to create background, set, and props.
Students just completed their first group productions of short skits. Groups of students were assigned different stories to portray to the rest of the class. These students had roughly three weeks to assign parts, create the background and set, decided on the costumes and staging, and memorize their lines. “There’s a lot more that goes into this than I thought,” one of the class members told Mrs. Slater as they approached the deadline for the production. Ethan Barnes stated, “Memorizing is hard work. I had no idea!” Students have learned that it takes a great deal of collaboration to meet deadlines. However, they really enjoyed being able to actually “act” in a story and dress up in costumes.
Mrs. Slater explained that the purpose of this class is to introduce more of the intricate parts of theater and how to allow oneself to try different things that may be outside of one’s comfort zone. “I’ve had a number of students tell me how much this class helped them in other areas of their lives as they went on to college and the work field. High school is about making memories and learning to function in the adult world. I hope that this class will allow them to explore all kinds of options in the real world as they become adults,” said Mrs. Slater. Additionally, she stated that community theater needs all kinds of people: actors, set builders, painters, costume specialists, and tech people. It takes a wide variety of people to make a production successful. Mrs. Slater explained that this class has helped a lot of shy students come out of their shells and really let go. She added, “Pretending to be someone else is great fun!”
Future drama class units include monologues, puppetry, additional skits, and attending outside performances. In addition, these students will have the opportunity to work on the Spring Musical that Mrs. Slater directs each year. What will the musical be this year? Well, you can find out here: https://youtu.be/ARbtNT15B-4