UIL One-Act Play - Eighth grade students are offered the opportunity to enroll in a Theatre Arts I course for high school credit. Students from this production class and from other theatre classes may participate in the UIL Jr. High One-Act Play competition which is held each spring. The students compete against seven other schools at the zone level, and four of the top schools advance to the district level contest. Cast members are determined by the number of characters in the selected play while five students are designated as crew members.
Hands-on activities provide a myriad of creative experience through the Theatre Arts program. Project Runway, inspired by the reality television show, is a favorite of the students who bring recyclables and remnants of various materials from home to create original costumes. The process begins with researching costume design and theory before working in teams to construct a masterpiece for a famous literary or imaginary character. Descriptive narratives and music enhance the finished projects which are modeled by students in a runway show.
Integrating Content Areas
Theatre Arts integrates many content areas and especially enhances reading and writing skills. Studying scripts and settings, analyzing characters and their motivations, and establishing mood and emotion through the use of technical elements such as lighting and sound assist students in reading comprehension and in better understanding their world. The students create storyboards and develop their own versions of scripts based on well-known tales, original ideas, or personal experience. Other written projects include researching famous actors, movies, and musicals from the past and present time.
The Value of Fine Arts Education
Performance Arts are an important part of each child’s educational experience. The Theatre Arts curriculum is designed to incorporate the perspectives of performers, crew/production, and audience members. Students develop valuable skills used throughout life by learning how to present themselves and by gaining the confidence to perform in front of others. Students are encouraged and provided opportunities for personal expression through the creative process. By working in small groups, students learn to coordinate efforts with their peers towards a common goal which requires individual accountability along with teamwork. Students learn to evaluate performances while forming an awareness of appropriate audience etiquette and how it is applied in different venues.