TRUCKEE, Calif. — This week I’d like to let you know about an event coming to our community and why it is important to all of us.
In the middle of this month, the Truckee High School Drama club will present its Spring Musical “Best of Broadway,” a musical revue.
The American Alliance for Theater Education lists some of the effects of theater being included in a student’s education:
Drama improves academic performance. Students who participate in drama often experience improved reading comprehension, maintain better attendance records, and stay generally more engaged in school than their non-arts counterparts.
Drama students out-perform non-arts peers in SAT tests. Students involved in drama performance scored an average of 65.5 points higher on the verbal component and 35.5 points higher in the math component of the SAT.
Involvement in the arts increases student engagement and encourages consistent attendance. Students who participate in the arts are 3 times more likely to win an award for school attendance than those who do not.
Drama can play a significant role in the continual development of students’ reading comprehension skills. Studies indicate that not only do the performance of a story and a number of other drama activities contribute to a student’s understanding of the work performed, but these experiences also help them to develop a better understanding of other works and of language and expression in general.
Involvement in drama courses and performance has been shown to improve students’ self-esteem as well as their confidence in their academic abilities.
On Opening night, May 10, colorful costumes, resounding voices and contagious songs will fill the Truckee High School Theater.
“Since February, performers in the Truckee High School Drama Club have been rehearsing 15 hours per week to orchestrate what just might be their most challenging and rewarding performance yet — a compilation of songs and dances from great Broadway hits including Chicago, A Chorus Line, Hair, Mama Mia, Rent, Spring Awakening and other favorites,” shares Barbara Wilkinson, this year’s producer. “In addition, our backstage talent and stagehands are hard at work preparing for the six incredible performances we have planned for this year’s spring musical.”
Making a guest appearance in this year’s performance is Kane Schaller, a graduate of Truckee High School. In a telephone interview, Kane shared his thoughts on the benefits of participating in a drama club and performing with classmates.
He started by saying his mom, Lil Schaller, volunteered with the Drama Club when Kane was a freshman and Kane said no way was he going to join in.
After he saw how much fun it was he changed his mind and participated in the annual productions for the remainder of his high school years.
In his experience being part of the drama club helped him learn to be comfortable in front of people, it offered kids the ability to step outside of their comfort zone and improve their life experiences.
And it was fun. Fun to see his classmates grow and try new things, fun to see the improvements over the weeks of rehearsal, and fun to be a part of something the entire community embraced. Schaller went on to attend UCLA and is now a successful Truckee business owner and an important part of our community.
With Schaller as a role model and fellow performer, may the kids in this performance have fun while learning significant life skills and lessons.
I appreciate all the hours and hard work that go into a production like the “Best of Broadway.” Arts For the Schools believes that arts are an important part of a complete education.
Like Arts For the Schools, the Truckee High School Drama Club is helping kids find out what unique talents they have while they learn and grow in the world of arts.
Performance dates are May 10-12 and May 16-18. Tickets are available now at the Truckee Community Recreation Center, 8924 Donner Pass Road, the Truckee HS Library, and at the door if the performance is not sold out. I can’t wait to see it and hope I see you there.
Paula Rachuy is a member of the Arts For the Schools Board of Trustees.