We believe that theatre’s purpose is to hold a mirror up to society. It is through this mirror that performers, technicians, and audience members can acquire knowledge of man’s visual, literary, and creative heritage. The purpose of this knowledge is to build an understanding of our culture in relation to other times and places, and a greater understanding of self.
To further this belief, during a student’s high school career in the drama department, he/she should be exposed to or experience theatre that:
- Has historical importance and impact, due to either its subject or its ability to last over time (Examples: Shakespeare and classic theatre)
- Has different styles: Comedy, tragedy, slapstick, realism, absurdism, etc.
- Has variety: The plays should have a broad range to help draw from different strengths of those auditioning, as well as to challenge their abilities and talents. Students will also gain their own library of knowledge of plays.
- Challenges and excites: Students need to be pushed to a new level of excellence, and be passionate about those challenges.
We also have a clear vision of the purpose of each of the shows of our season.
- Mainstage opening show: This play should be a large ensemble play, with bigger set and theatrical expectations.
- Freshman/Sophomore: This is our intended training ground for beginning actors. One-acts allow large participation with lowered stress. They allow students to train in an intimate setting, and allow us to get to know the students in a successful environment. For audiences, the one-act format allows the evening to move quickly, with a variety of performers and plays.
- Blackbox show: This is the challenging piece of the season. This allows for a smaller cast, a more intimate audience, and a higher level of intense training for actors and technicians.
- The musical: This is intended to be a large cast show. Over the four years, students should experience an all-ages musical, a musically challenging play, a solid standard, and a more contemporary musical. Our goal during our tenure is to not repeat any musicals, and to continue to give audiences return viewing appeal.
We believe with this goal, students leaving a four-year theatre education at Kirkwood High School will be prepared for any further collegiate and professional training, and be a well-rounded theatrical audience member.
Kelly Schnider, KHS Drama Dept. Teacher and Theatre Director