What Is Drama?

Comedy, Tragedy, and Monty

What is drama?

It’s teenage angst, as portrayed in improvs between high strung daughters and their overworked fathers.  It’s standing onstage in Idaho and absolutely forgetting just what you were saying in your scene from  Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are Dead.  It’s learning the history of early theatre and reading medieval mystery plays—and then discovering that people in the Dark Ages used really bad words.

Drama is Theatre Arts, where students gather every day to laugh, learn, and create improbably detailed characters with dark secrets.  It’s where one gets to watch really bad movies to understand just what not to do, one listens to extensive impromptu speeches from Mr. Montague (aka Monty, the teacher that no one really knows is a teacher, even though he’s been here for 4 years).  It’s sharing a laugh at Figpickle’s, taking Monty’s kids to the water park, and winning blue ribbons at the ACSI Speech Meet.  It’s giant sundaes, creepy Children’s Literature, and rips in Santa Claus costumes.  It’s monk robes, big mustaches, and virtuous heroes.  It’s fighting for wall space, a talking dog, and saying goodbye to the syllabus.

The Wonderful 1/100,000th’s, as the Theatre Arts students are known, shine as they portray characters bigger than themselves.  They make the audience laugh and cry during Christmas productions (like Ryan the Magnificent in A Christmas Tale), they bring the wild west to life in the Spring production, The Wild and Wooly West.  They make memories, they share moments, and they hold up a mirror to life to show it not as it is, but as it could be.

What is drama?

It’s inside jokes, non sequitirs, and comments that wouldn’t work in any other class.  It’s the best hour of any student’s day.

I wrote this for this year’s edition of the SCS annual.  There is SO much more I could say.  My current students–and former students–could add so many more things to this definition.  Oh, how much we could say!

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