And,….ACTION! From our very own FSI Theatre Arts Department!
Thanks, Taylor Aldrich, Director Extraordinaire, for this summary:
“For the past few weeks of school Theatre I has been learning about the origins of where staged drama all began, and what better place to start than the Ancient Greeks? The Greeks were responsible for the beginning of many traditions, but most importantly: Theatre. This was the first society to even create a theater space (amphitheater). It was built without a roof and could seat thousands of people to attend performances, specifically a festival called, “The City Of Dionysia” (4th century b.c.e). In the beginning plays would only consist of a chorus of 50 men who would sing and dance to tell a story, till one day a man named Thespis decided to step out of the chorus and create specific characters and dialogue. Thespis made way for three different types of plays to be created: Comedy, Satyr Plays and Tragedy. These plays introduced the idea of using masks into their performances, as the Theatron (seating space) was so large that those at the back couldn’t see the actor’s faces properly – masks were simply an exaggeration of the emotions the characters were portraying. The acoustics, however, were astounding – someone on the back row of an amphitheater could hear an actor talking (without shouting) perfectly.
With all that being said, we decided to put on our very own Greek play. But where do we start? Most Greek plays consist of over 20 people and we only have 6 students! Well, why not take an existing story that we all know and could transfer into the Greek play structure? The students were beyond excited and picked the tale of Aladdin. First we cast our characters (that was the easy part), once our characters were cast we made our masks. Each students built two masks: one for their main character, and the second for their chorus member. Then we wrote our play. We had to decide whether or not to make it a comedy or tragedy. Of course they picked a comedy. We wrote a 15 minutes version of Aladdin which included: a prologue, chorus songs, and multiple references to Greek theatre. Third: Get it up on its feet! But we were missing one very important thing…a THEATER. So we turned “the pit” (a dugout originally built to be a retention pond) into our Ampitheater. We invited our parents, faculty, and students to attend our performance and had a wonderful turn out.
Students have also been learning about several traditional forms of Asian Theatre. This is a presentation of our Chinese Shadow puppet play, entitled the “The Color Red.” (It is based on an ancient Chinese fable). All puppets were created/made by the students. Enjoy!