SalemNews.com, Salem, MA

Opinion

March 8, 2013

Column: Drama club brings literacy to the sta

Students at Nathaniel Bowditch School have much to look forward to in the month of March. It’s “Music in our Schools” month, as well as Dr. Seuss’ birthday. And what better way to celebrate both than with the school’s own drama club performing the musical “Seussical”? In addition to the three evening performances, students have worked with the school literacy teachers and recently performed at a schoolwide literacy night. Students dressed in Seuss costumes, performed selections from the show and read Dr. Seuss stories to the evening’s audience members. There were Seuss activities and even photo opportunities.

The show features 51 students spanning grades five through eight with a special appearance by one of our very own faculty members! That’s roughly 25 percent of students in those grade levels, or roughly 10 percent of the entire school population.

The students have been rehearsing since November after school and spent their December and February vacation weeks building and painting the scenery. This all ties into real-life application of the learning that takes place during the school day. Students extend lessons learned in the classroom to real-life application in areas ranging from the literacy required to read a script, to the mathematical and engineering skills needed to create sets that are durable, compact and moveable, to the artistic and musical skills required to bring a story to life. Additionally, Candy Gold, a Broadway producer and local/children’s theater director, came to workshop with the students about theatrical experiences and character development.

We asked students how drama club moved or changed them. Here are a couple of responses:

“Drama club to me has been a passion. It has let me let loose and forget about all the struggles, such as school sports teams and family issues. Once I am on that stage doing what I like to do, my mind goes blank and all the troubles that I’m having fade away. I feel like a whole different person. It brings me so much joy. Even when I have had people make fun of me for being in the drama club, I still return year after year after year, not only because I enjoy singing, dancing and acting but because it lets me be me.”

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