Whether they are exploring new teaching methods, organizing community service projects or participating in international sporting events, students across Esol Education schools are always up to something exciting! Browse through these articles, or download STRIDES, our official newsletter, for in depth coverage of the latest happenings at our schools.
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By: Thadd Correia, Drama Teacher
The 2016 production of Bugsy Malone at AISC saw a stellar cast supported by a proficient and enthusiastic backstage crew. Middle and High School students applied sound research and design practices to the production after interpreting the intentions of the playwright and director through close study of the script and frequent collaborative meetings. Roles and responsibilities are generally delegated based on student interest and proficiency but students are also encouraged to tackle unfamiliar production aspects, such as costuming, acting and singing, to gain experience and confidence in these areas and in order to foster a healthy sense of calculated risk-taking.
As AISC is a small school, some students are often cast in multiple minor roles. This results in a minimal cast that is particularly adept at rapid costume changes and makeup application. Students with major singing roles worked diligently with music teachers to ensure they maintain their optimal singing voices through warm-ups and care practices that help them protect their “instruments.” Dancers collaborated with coaches to ensure that they followed proper physical warm-up procedures and that the choreography they brought in for the non-dancing cast to perform was of a sufficient difficulty level. Theatre students, some having never operated a sewing machine or picked up a paintbrush before, were the major contributors to the design and construction of sets, costumes, props and movement choreography, often developing their skills in situ and in response to the restrictions of the school theatre.
The nature of theatrical productions lends itself well to the development of a variety of socialization and collaborative skills. Students are frequently reminded that their fellow performers are depending on them and this allows them to take ownership of their individual contributions. This ownership later allows them to enjoy a very personal sense of achievement for a job well done. Though a few adults contributed ideas and supported the students through the creative process, at the end of it all, the final product is truly a reflection of the students' hard work, planning and dedication to producing high quality theatrical pieces.