Lights, Camera, Drama!

Savanna F.

Staff Writer

Every year, Woodstock High School drama, under the direction of Mr. Grant Sinclair, puts on four to five incredible shows. Students entertain audiences with spectacular performances, giving their best with all they have. Working hard, rehearsing every night, and giving it their finest shot, drama students provide others with entertainment and enjoyment.

The drama program has done plays ranging from musicals to comedies to mysteries. Ms. Kellie Mason, Latin teacher and assistant director for the plays, says, “My favorite past production to direct was Into the Woods, the musical we did last year. It was very challenging and difficult, but it was a lot of fun. I also really enjoyed Fortress, the one act play we also did last year.” Many of the students have favorite performances as well. Senior Josselyn Guevara says, “My favorite past production was Into the Woods. Although I was not a part of it, it was a great show. I would like drama to continue performing musicals and comedies.” Drama is also in charge of the talent show that Woodstock High School holds ever year. This year, Woodstock will be performing shorter plays, including A Family Reunion to Die for (a comedy/murder mystery) and the one act play (Amelia Once More), which they take to competition; the big musical, Putnam County Spelling Bee; and the talent show.  There have been many marvelous performances in the past, and there are many more wonderful ones to come.

Drama began this year preparing its one act play, Amelia Once More, which they took to competition, placing fourth out of eighth places. Mr. Grant Sinclair, the drama teacher and head director, says, “I chose this piece because I love the emotional impact the actors have to have to become their character. The act of getting into character can be dangerous, and having Shelly and Amelia on stage shows that getting into character is visually interesting. It has a Jekyll and Hyde aspect to it.” The cast did a fantastic job performing this at competition.

Another play drama will be performing is A Family Reunion to Die For, which is a murder mystery taking place in a country western themed hotel in the Virgin Islands. The characters in the play are trapped in the hotel during a tropical storm, and people are dying as the characters try to distinguish who the murderer is. “There is a lot of audience interaction; even though it is something I do not do often, I like to rope in the audience,” Sinclair mentions. “This play has diverse roles, allowing opportunity for new folks in drama to get on stage and have an interesting role for a first show.” A Family Reunion to Die For will take place in the auditorium November 13th through 15th.

Last year, Mr. Sincdrama2SFlair announced that the drama program will be performing a musical every year. This year, on April 30th, May 1st, and May 2nd, the cast and crew will put on Putnam County Spelling Bee. The musical is about a spelling bee with 6 odd ball characters from the ages of 8 to 12. The competitors include the over achiever who won the previous year, the girl who has helicopter parents always wanting her to do her best and is the top competition, the girl whose parents are never there and her best friend is a dictionary, the dorky guy who no one understands, and the flower child. “I chose this musical because it was the right show to do with the kids I had in the program this year. I thought about which kids I had who could fill these roles right,” Mr. Sinclair adds. This show includes audience participation, and although it is a humorous piece, it is also very touching. It gives the high school students a chance to relate to the characters on stage, reminding them of who they were in middle school.

On December 12th and May 15th, the advanced drama students act in a winter and spring showcase. At the showcase, students can either perform a monologue or get together with others and act out a scene. After everyone has created and practiced their scenes, they all put them together to create a larger piece including everyone’s work. Mr. Sinclair states, “The showcase gives students an opportunity to have a moment in the spotlight. They can show off what they want to do, and it also shows how much work goes into putting together all the scenes students create.” The drama program is branching out for more opportunities by entering more showcases this year.

Drama students put in much work when rehearsing for their upcoming plays. Ms. Mason explains, “A lot of work goes into a production. We spend two to three hours every day after school practicing, and Mr. Sinclair’s seventh period tech theatre class spends all year working on our big play that is performed at the end of the year. Auditions are for a week after school. Part of being assistant director includes being very critical and giving tips and notes.” Even though the plays require a great deal of hard work, students always seem to enjoy them. Senior Mitchell Kang mentions, “The plays are very well thought out, and the props are very good. The actors get into character, and with a great story line, the plays are very well done.” Along with all the pressure of practicing and then going on stage, the drama kids always seem to have fun while doing it.

Drama gives students a way to connect with talents they have and peers who share a similar interest. Sophomore Jonathan Joseph says, “Drama affects students in a way that makes them feel like family. If one of us is involved, we are all involved.” Drama students stick together and help each other achieve the goals they aspire to have. Sophomore Yasmine Abouelfaioud claims, “Drama provides an excellent opportunity for students to express themselves through acting and by allowing students to realize talents they did not know they had.”  Drama helps students to get involved whether they are in the plays or not. It grants the actors a chance to express themselves on stage. If one has stage fright, he or she can create the props for the play and set the stage. Guevara shares, “What made me join drama was an interest I had for acting. I was in a middle school play and that experience made me realize I loved acting.” Allowing students to pursue what they love, drama gives students a wonderful opportunity to seek out entertainment and fun.

Encouraging students to discover their talents and do what they love, drama provides entertainment to the student body. Many students enjoy the plays and come to support Woodstock drama and their friends. Drama gives students an opportunity to get involved by coming to the performances and having fun, as well as performing in them.

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