New Horizons Newsletter
LEHS Theatre, November 2014
Brrrrr! Winter is here :-)
Happy winter to all of my families. I love this time of year, especially when it snows. The cold weather brings back years of happy memories of good holiday times from Thanksgiving through New Years. It's also a very busy and happy time for us in the Theatre Department as we prepare for our winter production of Thoroughly Modern Millie. We have about 70 students involved and we are having a blast. Mark your calendar for performance dates - you won't want to miss this funny and fun production.
Thoroughly Modern Millie
Performances: January 15-17, 7:00 p.m.
$5 students, $10 adults
A reminder to Theatre II, III/IV and Productions students:
Outside play/performance reviews are due once we return from Thanksgiving Break. If you have not already done so, please make plans to view and review a performance. Here's a reminder of the specific requirements....
Theatre II - attend one live performance outside of school per semester and write a review
Theatre III/IV - attend one professional theatre performance for the year and write a review
Theatre Productions - attend one professional theatre performance per semester and write a review
Play review format, rubric and example are on the blog and have been posted to Edmodo along with the assignment.
This is a major grade assignment, so it's very important for students' grades that it be completed and turned in on time!
For those of you still struggling to figure out where you can see something, here is information from a local newsletter I get each week. It has pretty much everything playing in the area right now, including dates, locations and prices. I strongly encourage you to utilize this list, but also pay attention to the content of each play and make sure it is right for your family. If you have questions, I am available.
We just finished reading and blocking short scenes from Picnic, by William Inge. I was impressed by the students' understanding of movement as a key piece of expressive communication. Many of them went above and beyond in their blocking presentations, choosing to memorize. We got to see some strong work! Now we are focusing on vocal performance and will end the semester by creating a Radio Play as a class. I've recommended the students listen to A Prairie Home Companion as research, and some of them suggested other radio and podcasts they like.
We rounded out our Theatre History unit with self-evaluation. Students reflected on how well they taught their peers. They answer questions like: Were their presentations engaging, did they thoroughly cover their content, and did they learn any cool teaching tricks from the other groups? We are now working on our first big scenes, which will be our cumulative assignment for the semester. We read The Glass Menagerie, by Tennessee Williams and students will focus on putting together everything they have learned in Theatre I and II so far. Additionally, we're exploring the use of power onstage and how it comes in all kinds of packages.
We are currently wrapping up our Zoo Story unit in which we read, analyzed and performed scenes from Edward Albee's The Zoo Story. Because this play ventures slightly into the absurd, we've incorporated creative work on physical and vocal acting in order to take us in unusual directions. For example, how can you use a bench other than to sit on it? Once we wrap up this project we will finish out the semester with a second monologue performance.
Theatre Productions looks like how I imagine the inside of an ant hill would appear. Slightly chaotic at first glance, but when you look more closely you see that everyone has a particular function. Each day, students head off in all directions to tackle different projects in order to be successful as individuals and for our performance. We've been splitting our time between working on Thoroughly Modern Millie performance and tech, and working on how to prepare for college auditions. Students helped workshop audition monologues for the 90 second college auditions our seniors have coming up this week and all students have created an artist's college resume. Organized chaos!
Dates to Remember
December 1 - semester play reviews due
January 15, 16, 17 - Thoroughly Modern Millie performances
Rachel M Carothers
Mrs. Carothers (and Cai & Adair) and Mr. Aprea are looking forward to a great year!