Teaching Theatre, Theatre

Why and How School Theatre Must Become More Democratic: In Four Steps

Most school drama departments are not democracies. They are dictatorships.

This used to be the way every school organization functioned: the students unwaveringly followed the command of the teacher, the all-knowing, all-powerful leader of the classroom. Yet, this is not the practice most modern education theory supports, and this is no longer the way most classrooms function. Now, many teachers take a somewhat backseat role in education, considering themselves more “guides” or “facilitators” rather than singular leaders. In their place, students step up to direct their own learning, and learn about leadership and self-actualization by fulfilling a more active role than “the one who receives the knowledge the teacher imparts.”

School theatre is lagging behind in this endeavor.

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Analysis, Theatre

No, Rent is not Outdated

I’m not going to lie: I love Rent. Despite that, I’m going to attempt to approach this article as neutrally as possible.

Loving Rent is apparently no longer theatre-kid-couture. A counter-culture of despising the show has sprung up, possibly in response to Lindsay Ellis’s video essay from 2016. I recently asked in a few theatre circles I frequent what exactly everyone’s damage is when it comes to the show– and I got a lot of responses. Everyone was very excited to explain why they hated Rent.

I could see where many responses were coming from. Yet, the response I simply couldn’t wrap my head around was the idea that the show is simply “too outdated” for modern audiences.

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Guides and Tips, Theatre

3 Definitive Traits That Make you an Excellent Performer

I’ve been around a lot of performers, in a lot of different settings. I’ve directed, I’ve taught, I’ve acted, I’ve watched from the audience and from the stage manager’s booth. Every performer is unique, and everyone has their own strengths and weaknesses. Yet, in all of the actors, dancers, and musicians I’ve worked with, I have found that there are exactly three traits every truly excellent performer has in common.

These traits are instrumental to success in the performing arts. You won’t get very far without them, and having them can put you on top in close auditions.

If you can honestly say you have these three traits, then pat yourself on the back! If you’re not so sure, read over this article closely and do what you can to pick them up immediately.

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Actor Life, Theatre

“Don’t Take This the Wrong way, but You’ve Really Improved”

These words were spoken to me upon the completion of the singing portion of a recent audition.

“Don’t take this the wrong way, but you’ve really improved a lot since last year.”

The director said this and caught me completely off guard. A few hours later, he apologized, and caught me even more off guard. He explained that he’d meant what he said as a compliment, and hoped it hadn’t sounded rude.

My response was basically, “yeah, of course it’s a compliment, duh.”

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Teaching Theatre

15 Reasons why Theatre is the Extracurricular Activity of Parents’ Dreams

Extracurricular activities are the bread and butter of young people’s routines. The right extracurriculars can improve grades and overall classroom performance, boost college admissions rates, and teach students valuable and necessary life skills. Time in the day is limited, so choosing the right extracurricular activities is crucial for using yours effectively!

If you or your child are looking for activities to meaningfully fill free time (and have a lot of fun doing it), look no further than the performing arts! Theatre especially is a fantastically diverse program that encourages the growth of many skills and comes pre-packaged with a ton of benefits. Not convinced? Here’s fifteen research-backed reasons theatre is the extracurricular activity of your dreams.


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