“Places everyone, let’s run through our performance before the audience arrives,” said JHS English teacher Kathy Ekstrom. “Remember to project your voices and listen to one another so the audience can hear you as a single, unified group.
Mrs. Ekstrom was helping her Drama I students prepare for their first performance. In the spirit of Halloween, students created masks and recited, “We Wear the Mask” by Paul Lawrence Dunbar to English 11 students. Paul Lawrence Dunbar was believed to be the first black American to earn national recognition for his writing. He gained attention after selling a published collection of his poems to riders on the elevator he operated in a building in Dayton, Ohio. The theme of the poem is concealed pain and suffering.
“In Drama I, we are getting students prepared to act,” said Mrs. Ekstrom. “They learn about characterization, vocalization, and the basics of acting. The poem could parallel the acting experience. When we act, we wear masks,; but also, people wear masks in everyday life. Thus, we can understand the ‘roles’ people play. This was the students’ first performance, and they did a great job.”
Drama I is an English Language Arts elective that provides an introduction to drama as a performing art, with emphasis on creative writing, physical movement and the use of the voice in the development of character.