Arts & Reviews

Intro to Theatre Elective Review

By Jessica Rizzo

Intro to theater

Nick Zenobi, a junior, and Charlee Alberta, a freshman, perform their pre-assessment scene for the class.

When you think of theatre, the first thing that comes to mind is probably lights, cameras, and silly costumes. Sure, that may be part of the experience, but theatre is also all about confidence, memorization, improvisation, diction, and creativity. The James Caldwell High School Intro to Theatre half-year elective gets you involved on stage and backstage in a fun, hands-on learning adventure.

In Intro to Theatre, we will be covering improvisation, many useful theatre terms, (such as upstage, downstage etc.), how to perform a monologue, and even the history of theatre. A monologue is a dramatic or comical speech given by the actor or actress only. You can learn more terms like these throughout the course which requires no previous theatrical experience. All students are welcome! While it may be too late to participate in Intro to Theatre this semester, Theatre I is being offered next semester for the first time at JCHS, which goes more in depth into theatre behind the scenes. If you cannot get into either course this year, don’t forget, these courses are always available next year.

This year we started off with a pre-assessment to get an idea everyone’s level of knowledge. However, this pre-assessment wasn’t a typical one. Instead of taking a long test, we performed our very own scene selected by the teacher. Our teacher was not allowed to help us in any way for this first scene. We had to block the entire scene, which means we had to decide where we wanted to move, what actions to perform, and when and how to perform them. Each group, comprised of two people, also had to design costumes, decide what props to use, and select what makeup was to be worn. After the fundamentals were covered, we performed the scene in front of the entire class consisting of about fifteen students ranging from freshmen all the way to seniors.  Everyone gets along very well and we all respect one another.

Teaching this elective is Miss Baglivio, director of our school’s theatrical productions. Miss Baglivio waits for us to arrive to her class each day in room 401 during the mods 9-10. She is enthusiastic and always has a big smile on her face. She is very kind, experienced, and passionate about theatre. Throughout our pre-assessment performances, Miss Baglivio critiqued each of us so that we could become better actors and actresses in the future.

Altogether, Intro to Theatre is a compelling elective that not many students realize is available. This course is always the highlight of my day and I cannot wait to find out what adventure awaits us next. This elective has made it clear that theatre is an exhilarating journey filled with many crazy twists and turns that will push you to your limits on your way to prized theatrical success.