Elementary Drama

Drama is a 30 week, 90 minute course that gives students the opportunity to explore acting and other aspects of theater production. Class members participate in theater games using improvisation and pantomime.  Students also read, direct, perform and evaluate monologues and skits in the classroom.

Drama is a great medium for children to learn the art of communication through not only their voices, but also their bodies and facial expressions. Students are encouraged to delve into their assigned character’s emotions, physical characteristics and motivations in order to bring them to life on the stage. They also develop teamwork habits by supporting each other  as audience members, prompting during a scene, picking up dropped lines, or assisting with props and stage sets.

At drama class, you can learn how to

  • Improve your voice and control your body
  • Move around on stage and take direction from a director
  • Perform in front of a camera
  • Read and analyse a play or a script
  • Create characters, understand them, and perform them realistically
  • Communicate well with everyone on and off stage
  • Cope in front of an audience if something unexpected happens
  • Learn and remember lines
  • Be confident and ready to audition
  • Listen and be more observant
  • Work as part of a team
  • Understand everyone’s job in a theatre or in a film production

This class is open to grades Kindergarten through Elementary. Non-readers are assisted as needed.

The play will be announced at the first class. Performance dates/times TBD, with the Fall production in November and the Spring production in April.

Our goal is to introduce students to a variety of theatrical styles. Therefore, many times the Spring production is presented as a musical. Occasionally the Elementary class will partner with the Upper level class in a single show. This provides the younger students a new experience of participating in a much larger production. It also allows them to watch the older, more experienced, actors and learn from them.

Past performances have included  Beauty and the Beast, Th e Wizard of OZ, The Velveteen Rabbit, The Reluctant Dragon, You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Bye,Bye Birdie, Horton Hears a Who, Seussical, School House Rock Live, Charlotte’s Web, plus others.

Class Homework Assignments: memorization of assigned roles by due date posted

TIME: 2:35-4:05
TUTOR: Laura Pickett

COVID-19 Contingency Plan:
In the event that the COVID-19 pandemic affects our ability to meet in person in a classroom for the 2021-22 school year, I will make the following adjustments to this class. Cancellation of class at the beginning of the semester will institute a monthly pro-rated refund for students K-3,with the agreement that students will re-join the class when it resumes.  4-5th Grade students will meet weekly during the scheduled class time via a video chat service to engage in dramatic education to further the goal of a semester performance. Our goal is to meet in person as soon as it is feasible. We may begin classroom meetings at any point during the school year as the COVID-19 situation resolves.

Can we really have a drama class during this Covid-19 situation?

Drama is about more than words and faces (although that is a big bonus!). It’s all about interpretation and communication of a story. No matter what, the show must go on! We followed through on that promise in the Spring when everything shut down suddenly — 2 weeks before the performance!!!!  Granted, not every detail  remained the same, but, with patience and a little perseverance we were able to stage our production in a safe manner — outside venue, social distancing of actors and audience, postponing until given the official go-ahead…and it was fabulous!

What about safety protocols?
TCT is committed to creating an environment where “Learning is still fun.”  This presents a challenge, but is not insurmountable. There are many different styles of drama from around the world that can be discovered through which the considerations of this pandemic can be incorporated. One possibility is doing a Japanese Kabuki-style play that incorporates masks and movement into the story-telling. Students can delve into the history and meaning of this style while using their bodies in creative ways, and still wear masks. Other options are being considered, but whatever we decide to do, we can always video the performance if in-person gatherings are not acceptable by then.

While Drama is considered an “extra” or “fun” class, it can serve to enhance learning in so many ways. One of our goals as a drama dept is to expose students to various theater styles (musicals, dramas, monologues, etc) and situations (small roles, principle roles, stage crew) so that they understand how to work as a team to best communicate an idea or story. These skills will follow them throughout their school and professional careers, grow their confidence and build creative problem-solving habits.

I am eagerly looking forward to the 21-22  year at TCT. There will surely be bumps and twists, but, after all, the best stories have surprises around every corner!

Ms. Laura