by Brissa Reyes
Every year the Reedley High School drama department never ceases to bring energy and enthusiasm in the form of arts. Each year hard-working students and staff come together to bring delightful performances to the public and local community. From their fall show to their musical in the spring, many great things are in store for the program. Here are some of the things that are underway, be sure to attend a show!Currently, the drama club is working on their fall showcase. The program is under the direction of Sarah Wiebe, who is succeeding Mark Norwood—founder of the Reedley River City Theatre Company. Sarah has a long history of performance in theatre, especially in the community of Reedley. She began acting in third grade and has been in love with the art since. Working in theatre over thirteen years, she has worked on choreography and directing; her years of work landing her a job as a house manager for a theatre as well. She has been in numerous shows and has starred in a variety of roles throughout the years, such as in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dream Coat when she attended RHS as a student. She currently teaches English and one period of Drama at RHS. Wiebe expresses that she is excited for this year and the performances that are coming up.
Over the years, the drama club at Reedley High has grown substantially. The club has evolved into a class where students can express their talents and participate in theater on an academic level, however still maintains its status as a club for those who want to participate in an out of classroom setting. 2017 is the first year they offer the class and counts as an elective and fine arts for students.
Some activities include improvisation and other exercises that bring the young performers out of their comfort zones. These include emotion competitions, where students present their best interpretations of facial expressions before the class. Wiebe states that she especially enjoys this activity because it is fun for the students and allows them to get more comfortable with elements of acting. The club, separate from the class, is going strong with a core fifteen kids, all ranging from freshmen to seniors, many participating in both.
Anna-Victoria Rodriguez, who is a member of the club and class, says “we learn a lot about theater, and mostly do different activities that get us comfortable with acting. Currently we are discussing what shows we would like to see next.” While the class focuses more on acting and basics of the art, the club is where the students get together and plan shows for the public. Also, the club hosts many workshops where students who are not enrolled in the class can participate. Rodriguez includes that her role in wardrobe, where she helps people dress in the appropriate costumes for plays, has been one of her most memorable experiences.
Just like previous years, there will be a fall show and a musical in the springtime. Although they have yet to announce their spring musical, coming up is the Reedley High School Fall Play Showcase that will take place November 16-19 (Thursday, Friday, and Saturday) at 6:30 p.m. and on November 19 (Sunday) at 2 p.m. at the Performing Arts Theatre, 740 W North Ave in Reedley. This play will be a series of scenes from numerous famous plays ranging from Shakespeare to Disney—with a twist!
Come support the program and all of its amazing students!