BEHIND the CURTAIN
“MIDDLE SCHOOL LIFE IS CERTAINLY FULL OF DRAMA EVERY DAY, but in the seventh and eighth grade drama courses we build confidence and empathy through collaborative art. Through vocal and movement exercises and improvisational games, students are free to be creative and silly and take chances, while also training the actors’ instruments of mind, body, and voice. Students take a critical look at themselves and others while creating characters inspired not just by scripts, but also by their imaginations. The classes are a diverse mix of skill and interest, but at the end of the twoyear study, each student leaves with a love and appreciation not only of theatre, but also of each other.” — Ruthie Craig Taylor ’05, Seventh and Eighth Grade Drama Teacher
“GOOD THEATER IS ABOUT TOTALLY OPEN AND honest communication. An actor must learn to open not only his mind, but also his heart to an audience and take them on a journey, the words for which were created by someone else. An actor must learn to use all of his intellectual skills and his imagination to try to convey, both physically and emotionally, what the author is saying. One phrase my students hear a great deal is ‘it’s not just words,’ meaning an audience must not only be able to understand what you are saying, but they must also see and believe what the character does. Anyone can memorize a few words and say them nicely, but an actor must learn to use all of his creative skills to make the character come to life on stage. Using and developing that creative mind is vital to a well-rounded education.” — Ray McFarland, Chair of Performing Arts, Upper School Theatre Director, Acting and Theatre Tech Teacher “A FORBES ARTICLE BY ROBERT SHER EXPLAINS the true value of speech and debate. Sher wrote, ‘Many business leaders are frustrated in their attempts to find Millennials who seem to have the potential to lead the company in the years ahead. I’ve got a suggestion: search for those who competed in speech and debate competition in high school (or college) and hire them.’
Speech and debate provides students with a forum to express themselves, their ideas, and most importantly, their solutions. Through research, discussion, and writing, students develop the skills necessary to thoughtfully respond to the problems of the world in which they live. Speech and Debate also provides a unique opportunity to learn about interpersonal issues to which students may not normally be exposed. Speech and Debate has been an essential part of my life, and I know that it will continue to be a positive influence on many students’ lives to come.”— Jharick Shields, Middle School Speech Teacher, Speech and Debate “WHEN I THINK ABOUT WHAT CONTINUES TO attract me to the world of competitive speech, I think about our true success stories. For me, that’s not always the kids who have the best win-loss records or those who can build the biggest mountain out of all the trophies that they won. I think about students for whom the intricacies of academic debate didn’t come as naturally as they may have to others, but who found through forensics a passion for the power of ideas and discourse. Stories like that make the 28 years I have invested as a competitor, judge, tournament director, or coach all worth it.”— Darin Maier, Speech and Debate Sponsor
Performing arts instructors not pictured on page 54 include Jharick Shields, Maureen McGuire, and Scott Sexton.
Published on May 22, 2014
Published on May 22, 2014
Archways is the flagship publication from St. Andrew's Episcopal School, an independent, coeducational, preparatory day school serving stude...