Lights, camera, action! For many years drama has
been an important part of the curriculum in schools across Canada.
Drama is an exciting and beneficial way for students to express
themselves. However, in rural areas, such as Port Saunders, Newfoundland,
the students haven't been given this opportunity due to the lack
of a drama program at the local high school. Until now.
For the first time ever in the history of the school a theatre
arts program is being offered to the students at Roncalli Central
High, Port Saunders. For these students and the staff, they have
realized the benefits and importance of drama.
With the introduction of a theatre arts course the students
at Roncalli are becoming actively involved and taking a strong
interest in drama. On May 11th, six students from the school
will attend the provincial drama festival in St. John's. The
school has never before attended and it is the first time since
1994 that the school has had a drama team. Although they will
be getting a trip to St. John's, that's not the only thing of
importance to the students in this group.
Dawn Beaudoin, a member of the drama team and a level two student
at Roncalli says, "drama has been an awesome way for me
to focus my energy and creativity. Other subjects don't let you
express yourself the way the theatre arts course does."
She also added that, "being a member of the drama team combines
the importance of study, dedication, team work and creativity."
Beaudoin's fellow drama team member and level one student
at the school, Meriah Rankin, agreed that theatre arts helps
you to express yourself but it does more than that, "I'm
not really interested in sports so finally there is something
else for people like me to do. I used to be terrified of getting
up in front of class and speaking but now if I have to get up
and talk I feel no nervousness at all."
Schools encourage athletes, mathematicians, and scientists,
but what about the poets, songwriters, and actors? This question
is exactly what theatre arts teacher Mrs. Rosalind Rankin is
asking, "Schools do a great job in encouraging students
in math, and science. But where are our play writers, poets,
artists, and actors going to come from if we don't offer them
something?" Mrs. Rankin, who is also the drama team coach,
commented that the students in her theatre arts class no longer
have any obvious fear of public speaking, they have found a greater
sense of self confidence.
The government has also initiated the introduction of mandatory
classes in arts. Students and teachers aren't exactly sure what
this will mean for drama across the province but the students
and staff are excited about this idea; they hope it means another
year of drama at Roncalli High. Beaudoin is also antcipating
that her final year of high school will include drama, "I
believe that drama should become a permanent part of our school
and every school . You only need to look at the difference that's
been seen in our school to see that drama is just as important
in the curriculum as any other course."