Death of a Drama Class

Why I Wish Drama Wasn’t Cut

If you don't get this reference, you should have taken the class.

If you don't get this reference, you should have taken the class.

Elan Levine
I’m pretty sure that’s a drawing of Sully Gholson because he wasn’t there to rehearse their scene with them that day. Drama kids amiright?

“To be, or not to be. That is the question…” administration’s question about which courses they will offer, to be exact. Ever since the introduction of AP Capstone at AMHS as a mandatory, two-year requirement, students have begun to receive AP credit for the infamously-dreaded thesis, yet the tradeoff is the loss of an elective course. While AP credits are (supposedly) good, one less elective means less time to explore courses and subjects, which means students are less likely to take non-AP classes. (Ok, now read this part as dramatically as you possibly can) This year, not enough students signed up for drama, likely due to its CP status. It was cut. I, for one, am saddened by it.

In tenth grade, from 10:05-11:35 on A-Days, I—and a classroom full of about 20 other people—took Drama with Mrs. Bortz. She thought of it as a place where students could “explore different parts of who they are.” We watched films like the heart-breakingly wonderful Life is Beautiful, recited poems and monologues that we chose ourselves, read plays like The Laramie Project, performed plays we wrote ourselves, and made pretty good grades while doing it( finished the year with a 98). Will Kronsberg “LOVED deep relaxation” because it gave him peace of mind

Elan Levine
Please don’t judge my sophomore photography skills… I was busy paying attention to people practicing their monologues.

during the busier weeks. In fact, Mrs. Bortz worked to make that class “an oasis in the stressful desert that can be the Magnet experience.” Some days, we’d start class with yoga, other days we’d watch Broadway or Bust (shoutout to anyone in that class that rooted for Evan to win), but either way, we were never overwhelmed by—or during—drama class.

 

This class also offered a necessary fine-arts credit to students, while teaching the foundation of acting, which is widely applicable in many communicative fields. For many students, like Emily Williams,

“drama class was so cool, but [they] never really got to do drama outside of school.”As an actor myself, I remember being worried that this class would be a joke. I heard it would be an “easy-a,” and thought it would not teach theater to the caliber I would want. Luckily, Mrs. Bortz was just as passionate about the subject as I was. She thinks “drama is such an important foundation for being a well-rounded person. I used this class as a vehicle to show students all the best aspects of drama while keeping the class environment tranquil.” So, we learned about the foundations of what could make us phenomenal actors in a relatively stress-free environment—which made for a pretty good class in my opinion. Moreover,

Elan Levine
This was clearly a candid photo of drama students in their natural habitat.

Magnet does not offer the opportunity to participate in a school production, so within these four walls, drama class was the only option for students who wanted to act.

 

I miss drama class. I think the students who took drama benefited from a shared experience that only a handful of students at AMHS could relate to. It was fun and free. It was dynamic and exciting. And for the purposes of the pun: it was dramatic.

 

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