Dramatic new addition

Advanced Theater class offered for first time


Photo by Auryeal Parker

Junior Perin Creek runs through lines with other Advanced Theater students. The class is preparing to preform at the Texas Thespians Festival.

Story by Paisley Allen, staff writer

The newly formed Advanced Theater Performance class recently made its debut. Director Melissa Newton created the audition-only course near the end of the spring semester, around the time of UIL One Act Play auditions.

The new class is meant to serve as a more laid-back alternative to the demanding and time-consuming UIL OAP while still having an advanced approach to theater.

“I wanted to have a class where students who were passionate about acting but weren’t necessarily in the UIL class could be together so that we could really focus on acting skills and acting technique and also have more performance opportunities for that group,” Newton said.

The director plans to apply for a play slot at the Texas Thespian Festival which takes place in December, and to have a traveling children’s show in the spring.

“We are going to travel to various elementary schools in the area to perform a show that addresses the topic of accepting diversity and being kind–a platform that the students came up with themselves.”

Because of its more lenient schedule, the class has provided an opportunity for students with other extracurricular activities to still be a part of theater. Highsteppers Amber Savage and Perin Creek are both able to participate in the class despite frequent drill team rehearsals and events.

“Last year I was in the UIL class, and when I decided to take on more activities at Texas High it didn’t fit in my schedule anymore because it’s really time-consuming, so I thought a way to still do theater would be to do the advanced performance class,” Amber said.

Additionally, the class has also welcomed students who are fairly new to the theater department and who want to learn more in-depth about what it means to be an actor. Sophomore Juan Garcia took Theatre Arts I as a freshman and became very interested in theater, but the regular class focused mainly on terms and history, rather than technique and performance, prompting him to audition for a higher level class.

“Everyone gets along really well in the class,” Juan said, “I’m really excited for the rest of the year because it’s so fun to be with people who are passionate about the same things you are and learn all these cool techniques.”

Mrs. Newton and the students are very eager to see what the year has in store for them and feel that the progress and discoveries made will spark a lasting love for theater.

“So the class is an acting class,” Newton explained, “but it has its own identity, its own focus and purpose, and I believe that great things are going to happen amongst this group of students.”