It's been said that the benefits of teaching drama in school go far beyond the academic gains. In addition to improved self-confidence and public speaking skills, students also learn to be a part of a team and how to work hard through various obstacles to achieve a special final goal.
The experience of being a part of a school play can be a lasting highlight for many students. Such is the case for a Parkland School student who performed as an actor in the school's Junior High Drama production "The New Alice in Wonderland," which ran from Thursday, April 23 to Friday April 24, 2015. The following reflection paper was written by Mikaela, aka Mad Hatter, a grade 8 student at Parkland School:
I can truly and honestly say that being in the Parkland play has been the highlight of my grade 8 year. Even though it was hard work it was also tons of fun. Even though it was my first time ever being in a play I wasn't alone. I got to be with my friends. They gave me tips and advice and even came over to help me memorize my lines. At first it didn't even cross my mind that I would ever be in the play, but after I helped a friend practice for the auditions and some encouraging words from my teacher I figured it wouldn't hurt to try out. I was really nervous for the auditions and after I was so restless wondering if I'd gotten a part or not. A few days later, though it felt like months, the cast sheet was up outside our classroom. I was so excited and happy to see my name on the list my cheeks hurt at the end of the day from all the grinning I did.
Then came the months of hard work and practice, it took awhile for me to memorize all my lines and even longer to figure out what to do when I wasn't talking. Mrs. Harder was always telling us to react to what was happening around us, it was surprisingly difficult. I spent a lot of time in my room reading over my script and trying to come up with expressions that suited my character, and oh boy did I spend a lot of time looking in the mirror making goofy faces. I felt more like a clown than an actor. Well the months seemed to go by slowly, with practices at almost every lunch. Then one day I heard that the show was only two weeks away. I've never had two weeks fly by so fast in my life! The backdrop work seemed to never end with all the painting, but somehow it got done. How, I'll never know. We got our costumes figured out and started to practice with props. Now I've never really liked tea but that tea pot that Mrs. Allison made was beautiful! I was surprised to find out it was completely made from paper (and glue). I knew at that moment I had fallen in love with a tea pot! Safe to say it was love at first sight.
Then all too soon the show was upon us, in less than a day the gym was turned into a theatre and the boys locker room was turned into a greenroom. Actually it was still a stinky locker room, we just used it as a greenroom. We were all so nervous but as I walked out onto that stage with my tea pot in my hands I felt like a knight riding out to battle with her sword in her hands. Mind you I acted nothing like a knight but I felt like one! There were three shows and one dress rehearsal. After each performance I felt like a star. After all the compliments I received I was beginning to wonder if I could give Johnny Depp a run for his money. And so those are the reasons why I can truly and honestly say being in the Parkland play was the highlight of my year.
See photos of this drama production below: