Student voices: Teachers and Students Prepare for Theater Project

by Samira Brown-Brooks

Next quarter 9th grade students at the Workshop School is going to be producing a play at a theater called the Bushfire Theater. The school is doing this project to bring out students’ talent and to learn and have fun at the same time.

The project will be funded by a Picasso grant of 5, 000 dollars. The money will be used for costumes, makeup, tickets to see local productions, and professional actors from Philadelphia Young Playwrights to come to our school.

The 9th graders are going to be split into five different groups. In the acting group, students will participate in the actual play by memorizing lines and practicing with the cast. Students in the costumes, hair, and makeup group will design and create costumes as well as do makeup or hair for the actors. Music, sound, and lights is for people who control the light level and the sound during the play and people who make music and beats. The set design group is students who design the stage and background. The front office group will design tickets and programs as well as sit in the front and collect the money on the night of the show.

The teachers participating in this project were involved in plays when they were in school and in college. One teacher, Nora Chambers, said, “I did drama in high school. I made costumes for plays.”

Another teacher, Frankie Bonilla, was also involved in plays. He said, “All my life since I was seven I was in church plays. The first one was when I was seven in Puerto Rico.”

Helen Rowe, a 9th grade teacher, said “In middle school I was in a play. I did music and drama classes.”

Students are excited about the idea of participating in a play. Marquis Woods a 9th grade student said, “I  like it because you can be yourself and show your talents you have and build them up. It’s fun.”

Tysheirah Upshur -Ochoa a 9th grade student said, “I’m excited because it’s been a really long time since I’ve been in a play. I hope I’ll be in the acting group because it will be fun to memorize lines and get costumes and makeup put on.”

Teachers that have experience and students who are excited should make for a magnificent play!