Drama Club is six weeks away from our performance of Oklahoma!
With only an hour each week to rehearse for a full musical, write bios’s and program information, organize costumes, design and paint sets, make and organize props, and write sound and mic cues, the last weeks leading up to a show can be really stressful. All of this in addition to our other responsibilities at school... #wearesotired.
In about a week or so from now come the pre-show dreams. What did we forget? What are we missing? Will we finish everything on time? Will people like it? Will the kids feel good about it?
Above: The Drama Tech Crew
Thanks to our new addition to Drama Club—Drama Tech—I am pretty calm at the moment. Well, calm for me anyway! And, we finished blocking the show two weeks ago! This group of students led by Tessa Landry is extraordinary. Their ideas for props and sets are fantastic, and they are so passionate and engaged in what they are doing. They are eager to help, and the energy they have for creating something out of nothing is palpable.
Each student is working on something different. We have our Dramaturges who are researching the time period of the show and creating content for the program. We have a group of Stage Managers working on sound. We have a Set and Props Design Team as well as Poster/Program Cover Designers. At times they all work in every aspect of Drama Tech, but they also have these areas in which they “specialize.” They will also act as the “Front of the House” Crew: selling tickets, handing out programs, and ushering people to their seats. Guided by Tessa’s own experience both on stage as a performer and backstage as a Stage Manager, they are coming up with amazing ideas. They are truly learning about these behind-the-scenes jobs in more depth than ever before.
The Drama Tech Crew has become an integral part of Drama Club, and I’m so thrilled that students who may not want to be in the spotlight on stage have a chance to shine behind the scenes. This is why I love Theatre so much. It is truly a collaborative art form, and the experience of being part of a team is such an important life lesson.
Regardless of the path they choose in life, these children are learning the tools to work collaboratively, make compromises, think creatively, make mistakes (and persevere), and meet a deadline. These skills are crucial to success in any field... Even the football field! Tom Brady recently gave an interview in which he talked about his own experience doing theatre in high school and being an avid theatre goer (I mean, if The GOAT said it, then it must be true!):
“[Theatre] is very similar to football. You put the prep in and the way you practice everything, and you go through it and you’re working with the team. You have one chance to perform and all that energy and emotion for a couple of hours and that’s a day for us in football. You have three hours a week that you try and build your emotional, mental, physical energy and you go put it out there and do it in a live performance. You try not to make mistakes, but you know you’ll never be perfect. I just think there’s a lot of correlation. I have a great appreciation for those types of things.”
Whether students become doctors, lawyers, actors, teachers, or football stars, everyone needs to experience what it is like to be part of a team. I may be biased, but I love my team both on and off the stage. So this is my love letter to you, Drama Tech! Thank you for all that you do.