“All the world’s a stage”… Yet our school does not have one. And if all of us in our time plays many parts… How can we learn to do that well, without a theatre club? Learn the difference between sly exits and grand entrances, three acts and seven acts, and how to swear strange oaths by helping us bring back the excitement and thrills of acting, stagecraft, and performance to our school. We are not yet certain of the path forward, these are uncharted waters and undreamed shores, but in this first year, we hope to set a course towards building the stage here anew and anon. “We are such stuff are dreams are made of.”
I would like to introduce you to the theatre club, which was founded by me, Giselle Rein-Hagen, Tasia Kurdgelia, Lizi Schierman, and is supervised by Anthony Schierman. Our purpose and goals for this year are to explore ways to bring back theatre to our school. We are galvanized by our love of acting, live performance, and dramaturgy and also want to inspire others to express themselves through the art of theatre.
It’s the beginning of the school year, and we are finally back in school proper, yet many of us still feel that something is still missing. Our long time alone in our homes without physical and social connection has left us bereft of a certain degree of human connection. Call it what you wish, festivity, creativity, art, as you walk through the halls of our school most of us seem a bit exhausted from not only the rough two years we’ve had but from having to learn to connect with people again. I cannot promise that this theatre club will make these problems go away, but adding that to our school will definitely bring back our love for performance, Living and so very human communication in all its glory and misery.
Considering much of the first semester has already passed by and we’ve only now established the club, our immediate goal is to practice short monologues by writers, such as the great bard himself, Shakespeare. The ones we’re most proud of, we want to perform for the entire school by the end of the semester. For the following semester as well as the subsequent years, we hope to rehearse and perform full plays on a stage in front of a student and adult audience. It might even be possible to rent a small theatre for this function, we cannot promise that at moment. In order to do this, we will need directors, costumes, makeup artists, stage managers, light designers, marketing directors and advertisements, and so on. So Students of any interests could participate in the making of a play. It will take a lot of effort but we hope to accomplish these ambitions.
Something we’re also looking forward to is giving you the opportunity to write your own scripts, short dialogues, and monologues to introduce to the club and maybe one day to a live audience.
English Teacher Anthony Schierman shares a few words about GZAAT theatre in the past, “about 10 years ago, Gvantsa Zhruli (another English teacher) and I directed a production of Thornton Wilder's play "Our Town". It wasn't exactly a "club" but it was an all-school performance with students from all grade levels (9-12) participating... Not only did students perform all the roles, but they also designed and created all the sets and sound effects” After the succes of “Our Town” him and Gvantsa Zhuruli offered a year long elective for seniors. Plays such as, Sophocles's "Antigone" and Yazmina Reza's one-act play "Art" were performed in the auditorium that is now the 8th grade. The main reason GZAAT stopped producing plays was because they lost the auditorium.” Mr. Anthony continued, “ I hope that this club will revive interest in theatre at our school. It would be fantastic to, once again, have some real performances take place at AAT—especially now that COVID conditions have become our new reality. Any opportunity for students to get together in person and to demonstrate their skill, creativity and hard work would have a positive effect on our community. Maybe this could even lead to the rebirth of the theatre elective…”
Tasia Kurdgelia, one of the co-founders of the club shared her thoughts on dramaturgy, “Theater has been an artistic form for centuries. It is a form of self expression for many” she believes it gives the students an opportunity to participate in a creative process that bonds them together. They continue, “The club creates opportunities for many different occupations students can freely experiment with”. Tasia says it’s important for teenagers to discover their interests as early on as possible and school clubs are the perfect way to do so.
Lizi Schierman, another co-founder of the club believes their performances and plays will be something not only the actors and the rest of the staff will be looking forward to but also something the students will be excited to see. It will create a very thrilling atmosphere. She believes It will also be a chance for the students to get together, appreciate the creativity and bloom interesting topics to discuss among their peers. Lizi says a few words about theatre: “i think its interesting because theatre is different from cinema because you have to present something in the moment and if make a mistake you can’t just cut it out, whatever you do in the moment is what the audience sees...Since it is all in person the stage and set is alsmot all hand made” believes it feels more real. Lizi adds, “You have to create this whole different world and different reality without using advanced technology and effects, you have to use your own hands, your skills, and your own imagination to achieve that.”
Do not be full of self-doubt, we have a place for you, stretch out your boundaries, try something new and get over your stage fright. Or not, we need help of all kinds.