If you decide arts school is for you, look forward to your next four years and get ready for an experience you'll never forget.Read More
Contradiction in a teacher-student relationship is unnecessary; it does not develop the mind of a student, and only leads to overthinking their steps to ensure they're doing the right thing, which often ends up being wrong.Read More
Emotional intelligence and empathy are just as essential to living a healthy, meaningful, and successful life as critical thinking is. If we want to impart these skills onto a new generation of students, we would be wise to use the foundations of theater as our first step.Read More
Ah, money. It’s the last thing we want to think about in terms of our programs, but it is a necessary consideration. Whether you are fully funded by your district or on your own, running a program requires careful thought and management to be successful.Read More
I spent opening night of my recent show sitting at the back of the auditorium, poised to run backstage and fix problems. It didn’t start out that way. I gave a curtain speech and felt the excited buzz of anticipation as I sat and watched the show begin. And then… the mics didn’t work. And the curtains caught, three times. And a trumpet was left onstage. And two actors who had never had so much as a slip of the tongue in rehearsal froze and forgot their lines. Props weren’t checked, or went missing after being checked.Read More
You and your high school drama students have struck the Spring Musical. College acceptances are in for those headed that way. Between AP’s and senior ditch day, those superstar seniors who never wanted to leave after rehearsal are around less and less. And when they are, they are half-asleep, giddy, or off in some place of their own devising, lame ducking their way through the last days of senior year, heads elsewhere, hearts struggling to comprehend that soon it’ll be time to enter the much anticipated “real world.”
Secretly, they all fear they’ll somehow disappear from the face of the earth once they throw that cap up in the air.Read More
Forget Dorothy, I show up for the Ozians.
A colleague of mine often ribs me about being so enamored with the ensemble. He thinks I place too much emphasis on the shadow characters, the living props, the background, the wallflowers. He is 100% correct.
Maybe it is because in my 25 years of theater so far I have spent a majority of my onstage time as one of the ensemble. Perhaps I have never grown past the little dark haired girl in Oklahoma! laughing with glee at a joke during the pie auction that no one ever heard.
But I think my true love for the ensemble has blossomed during my work as a high school theatre director.Read More
Money may not be the solution to everything, but when it comes to the funding of the arts, it sure helps. As a student at Braintree High School, a public high school just south of Boston, where the arts are the least of the school's priorities. Of course, funding put towards academic classes and research materials should take first rank in the funding hierarchy, but when it comes to extracurriculars, the school quickly favors anything but the arts. It seems no matter how the sports programs may not excel, countless amounts of money are pumped into new facilities and trainers to try to bolster the appeal of a hometown hero who scores the touchdown in a 35-7 loss.Read More
We've all been there. You read a play and immediately start casting it in your mind. If you've been teaching in the same place for a while and you're lucky, you have a core group of devoted students who come back for each play, no matter what you decide to produce. They know you and how you prefer to work, and you know their capabilities. But does that influence your casting? Should it?Read More
When attending drama classes, one of the main goals should be to achieve a strong connection in a dynamic group. One of the best ways to do this is by working with exercises that focus on awareness, eye contact, and attention. Not only have these exercises helped my theatre group to grow stronger, but also myself as an individual to grow more disciplined and adaptable to different kinds of groupsRead More
Teaching theatre can be lonely.
Wait. What?! How can teaching be lonely? You’re literally surrounded by people all…day...long.
Yes. True. Surrounded by people. People in your classroom who hopefully love theatre and love you. Surrounded by your students. Hopefully surrounded by supportive teaching, admin, and school staff. Maybe supportive parents and guardians too.
But, teaching theatre is lonely.Read More
The dress rehearsals of shows at Waynesboro Senior High School looks like they’ll have quite the critic going forward, the schools’ superintendent. A recent school board decision made it possible for the Superintendent to approve or deny performances going forward based on whether he determines it appropriate.Read More
If Disney/20th Century Fox don’t make it clear that this sort of production is a violation of copyright, then many other schools are going to be copying what North Bergen High School did. I’ve already received emails from teachers who have told me that their students are begging them to do adaptations of movies such as Harry Potter, Frozen, Anastasia, X-Men and even Die Hard. The line of thinking in the eyes of the students is “if North Bergen’s production went viral, think all the attention we could get.” The teachers are having a tough time explaining to the students how much trouble they could get in. But if the studios don’t seem to care, I can understand why these students might not worry about that.Read More
In the past 24 hours, I've been asked by many people what my thoughts are on the story out of North Bergen, NJ that a high school drama club performed an adaptation of the movie, "Alien".
Let me make some things perfectly clear upfront:
1. The passion and creativity of the students should be commended.
2. I hope this production launches their interest in theatre for years to come.
At the same time, it's clear that a production like this is a clear example of a violation of copyright.Read More