BY SASHEEN JOSEPH
A new year at Cooper City High School brings along new students, new administrators and, for the performing arts department, new theater classes. Along with four acting classes, musical theater and technical theater are now offered as courses at CCHS.
In the new acting classes, students are taught how to create an authentic performance, learning everything from memorizing scripts to projecting their voice on a stage. Students are given the opportunity to fully embody a new character.
Musical theater teaches all of this, too. But what makes the class different from the other acting classes is the focus on singing and dancing.
Hallmarks of musicals, such as highly choreographed dance breaks and spontaneous singing, that are seen in famous shows like “Hairspray” and “Wicked” can be learned in this class. All acting classes are taught by Aaron Barton, with the exception of Beginning Musical Theater taught by chorus teacher Anna Lotocky.
“I am definitely most excited about being able to work lights and sound,” Thespians Historian Alex Brower said.
For students uninterested in the spotlight, the technical theater elective is another recent addition to CCHS. In this new theater class, students will learn about the details of what makes a show come together. This includes knowledge of the backstage and makeup crews along with lighting and audio.
“I am definitely most excited about being able to work lights and sound,” Thespians Historian Alex Brower said. “It is one of the things I need a lot more experience on backstage. Being able to program and set a scene is really interesting.”
A unique aspect of this year’s theater program is that students will be given the opportunity to use what they’ve learned more frequently. A variety of showcases will be performed throughout the year, involving students from all theater classes along with the Thespians Club.
“These [classes] are going to be really important because they give more time to put on more productions,” sophomore Donna Nesselroth said. “The musical theater and acting classes will each put on a class show and the technical theater will assist in creating the set for the shows along with other technical aspects.”
“I am really excited to expand both my own and the club’s horizons with challenging and unique material.”
In fact, a full-length production of “Almost Maine” is planned to debut on August 30 and 31 from 7 to 8 p.m. The production “Almost Maine” was an over-the-summer project of the CCHS Thespians and is being directed by senior Alex Brower.
“We prepare for these productions by coming up with deadlines by working backward from show dates,” Thespians President Rylee Berger said. “We also do background research on the time period and historical background of a show to ensure they are as accurate as possible.”
With all of its new classes and multiple showcases being planned, the CCHS theater program has a lot in the works for the 2018-2019 school year.
“I am so excited to see how the students, the club and the theater community at CCHS have grown this year,” Berger said. “I am really excited to expand both my own and the club’s horizons with challenging and unique material.”
Photo by Jaylen Knight