Friday, March 3, 2017

How to Run a Drama Club (When You Already Have a Full Plate)

Finally, an update.  I have had ideas for my blog all year, but it hasn't been a priority compared to other things I have going on.  Veteran teachers, you know what I'm talking about.  First year teachers, you may feel like you are barely swimming, but keep going!  We are one week away from spring break, and almost at testing season.  Once that's over, the pressure is off and we can relax and enjoy our time with our students.

How many of you are usually the last car in the parking lot, walking out when the sun is going down or already down?  We don't have windows in our classrooms or auditoriums, and we don't see the sun when we leave, either.  Don't let the lack of vitamin D get you down!  Remember the tips from the previous entry about survival.  We can do this!

My campus is always looking for ways to get disenfranchised students involved, even though we have a great fine arts program where many students are already involved.  How can you get more students interested in drama?  Have an official Drama Club!  Some teachers use an official honor society, which is great for your dedicated kids who come to every audition.  I'm talking about involving those kids that are flat out afraid to audition, or they can't commit to staying after school every day.  Yeah, those kids.  Here is what I require of my Drama Club:

1. Every September club members submit permission slips and membership dues for the entire year.   Many districts require paperwork and a procedure for collecting money, and collecting dues up front saves time before events throughout the year.  This year I charged $20.

2. Benefits of joining Drama Club: t-shirt, field trip to see a play, Christmas movie party, and Mystery Dinner party at the end of the year.  At the first meeting, members design and vote on the year's t-shirt, and vote for officers.

3. Students vote on what Christmas movie to watch for the party and what play they want to go see.

4. Before the field trip, I collect a $5 fee to ensure that students will follow through and show up.  Every year I have students who submit their permission slips for the play, I buy tickets, and they don't show.  It also helps pay for those unused tickets or a bus if you need one.

5. I use for our Mystery Dinner Parties.  I teach 6-8th grades, so I can use the same parties on a three year rotation.  I like to play along, but this will be my fourth year doing them so I know the killer now. :)  I cater in Zio's, they get character information in their invitation, and we have a blast.  It's like a banquet, but more fun!

6.  We hold one monthly meeting where we discuss the next upcoming event.  I would love to include a service project, but with all the contests we have going on, I am finding a hard time to plan and execute one.  Maybe something as simple as picking up trash along the roads to school.  Still in the works!

I hope this helps you generate ideas to get more students involved in theatre.  I have 60 kids in the Drama Club, and not all come to auditions for plays.  They get to be a part of theatre without testing their fear of performance.

I'm hoping to add more to the blog and more to my store over spring break and in May! :)


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