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Soroco restarts drama class

Susan Cunningham

Acting is all about life. Really, Soroco High School sophomore Brianna Price said, it is life.

“You act every single day when you’re talking — your expressions, your voice,” she said. “You’re always acting.”

And there lies part of the thrill of acting for Price, who has known since sixth grade that she wanted to pursue theater. She plans to be a director and producer, and wants to act onstage.

But when she entered Soroco High School last year as a freshman, she learned there was no theater class. So she started asking for one.

Senior Colleen Treanor felt the same way. She plans to major in theater at college, eventually getting into films or performing on Broadway.

She has been in local musicals and studied last summer at the Perry-Mansfield Performing Arts School and Camp, but she didn’t have many options for learning about theater this school year.

So when the two students learned Soroco High School was going to offer a theater class for the first time since 1997, both jumped at the chance to take it.

Longtime instructor Valerie Broadbent is teaching Theater 1 this semester, in which 13 are students enrolled. Next semester, students can continue with a Theater 2 class, in which they’ll learn about making costumes, directing and other aspects of drama, while newcomers can start with Theater 1.

Broadbent has taught since 1990 and said she asked to do a drama elective to fill the need for such a class.

“They learn so many things” through drama, Broadbent said, from reading and speaking skills to how literature reflects everyday life.

“It’s exciting any time you get to teach an elective that kids want to be a part of,” Broadbent said.

She said she also is looking forward to the class’s final performance in January, which is open to the community.

“Our community loves to come to these productions,” Broadbent said.

As part of the class, the students chose to perform “Class Action,” a play made up of a couple dozen short skits by Brad Slaight. The characters in the play are high school students, so it was easy to understand their thoughts and actions, said student Trista Burris.

She’s in Scene 1, in which she and a friend talk back and forth with one-word statements, similar to the way they do in real life.

“I like this script because we can all relate to each person,” Burris said.

For Treanor, the class means training that will be helpful as she applies to college.

“I got no practice because I had absolutely no options,” Treanor said about studying theater before the class. But with the class, she said, that has changed.

For Price, who hates being in front of crowds, the class has been a help. She said she also likes that the class involves students from all grades, and is looking forward to possible field trips and speakers.

For sophomore Kensie Scott, the class provides an opportunity to practice public speaking in a fun way. Scott is the Eagle County Fair queen, which means she has multiple speaking engagements. She wanted a class to learn more about drama and speaking with good enunciation and projection.

“I just think this (class) opens up so many different pathways,” Scott said.

Meanwhile, as the scheduled day of the play approaches, Scott said she’s excited.

“It’s exhilarating, because you don’t know if the audience is going to like it,” she said.

The theater class performance is scheduled for 7 p.m. Jan. 13 in the Soroco Middle School auditorium.


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