Drama Club Celebrates Theater in Our Schools Month

Jaydi Swanson, Views Editor

Sitting in a comfortable seat in a dark theater, you watch actors move fluently across the stage in a flawless performance, making plays old and new come to life before your eyes. You see the story, hear their perfect lines and enjoy the finished product.

What you don’t see are the hours spent creating sets, learning lines and cues, designing costumes and perfecting every detail. You don’t see the process, and you don’t always see the impact it has on those involved.

This March is Theater in Our Schools month, a month designated to showing the importance of the arts.

“The goal of TIOS month is to not only raise awareness inside the school walls, but beyond and into the community; to share the story of the importance of school theater with leaders, influencers, policymakers, and all community members,” the TIOS website, run by the Educational Theatre Association, said.

This month gives EHS theater students the representation they feel they deserve. Senior Molly Stout, who has participated in theater for six years, thinks the arts are underrated compared to other school activities, especially athletics.

“It is so important that we get the same representation that sports do because we do the same amount of work,” Stout said. “And we do it year round, just like they do.”

Senior Lorelei Frank agreed, saying that though theater seems less impressive than sports, it is just as influential.

“As theater students, we really love this month because we love to show other kids at school what we dedicate most of our time to,” Frank said. “We really just want other people to love theater as much as we do because live theater is such a raw and inspiring thing.”

And not all students feel cut out for sports, making it even more important for them to have other options.

“I started (theater) because I was bored, and my brother and sister both did it,” said junior Joe Webb, who has done theater for 11 years. “Also, I was terrible at sports.”

In preparation for TIOS month, the theater students spent February reflecting over the impact theater has had on them. To them, it is more than just a pastime. Stout said that theater has become her whole life.

“It has given me my purpose, my friends, and taught me so much about myself and my values,” she said.

Theater also helps you connect with a deeper part of yourself, according to Frank, who says you have to learn to “reveal the most intimate parts of yourself to truly embrace the character you’re playing.”

But they also care about how their performances affect the audience, which is why they believe TIOS month is so valuable.

“Performing for our community brings me so much joy because afterwards you hear how much it changes people, and I love that,” Frank said.

So while they will continue to love theater all year, EHS theater students will use this month to increase the appreciation of their passion.

“This is to give us the representation that we deserve and that we need in order to keep our art alive,” Stout said. “Because it has given tons of kids their purpose and home.”