Some changes this year are big, some small - but either way, all have made a "huge difference" in the development of our Theatre program, says drama teacher Megan Elliot.
The switch from semester to year-long classes is a change in the "big" category, and Megan says that it has allowed each of her beginning, intermediate, and advanced groups to become its own ensemble. Some will be actors, some painters, or set builders, but all will be able to individually explore the parts they like best, and see how they all fit together to deliver a cohesive production.
Supporting that idea is the addition of a soon-to-be-complete workspace that will give students the chance to become more invested in the process. Being able to map out a set and see that vision through is a big draw for the program, which Megan says can be just as tailored for more technically minded students as it is for performers.
"This is a space they can create and make their own, just as the actors make the stage their own," Magen said. "And because we're able to meet more frequently, that interest will only continue to build, and you will see the students start making connections between theatre and the real world.
Not everyone is going to become an actor, we know that, but there are experiences theatre gives you that can be applied to anything, and everything, else."
Strengthening communication, building confidence, and giving students opportunities to take risks and be reflective are just a few of what Megan hopes are the biggest takeaways. Building safe spaces for conversation and platforms for teamwork are two more.
"Weaving the art of improvisation throughout the curriculum, for example, helps us to continually build community," Megan explained. "With improv, no one person is in the spotlight - it's more about each group being able to mesh and support each other onstage. When you're continuously moving, there's no time to overthink, you just have to go where the story is going, and trust your team."