New Drama Directors Fill Important Role

Drama+students+enjoy+the+new+Performing+Arts+Center+on+the+SHS+campus
Drama students enjoy the new Performing Arts Center on the SHS campus

Drama students enjoy the new Performing Arts Center on the SHS campus

Drama students enjoy the new Performing Arts Center on the SHS campus

Julia Gates and Brigid Murray

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There is a place for everyone in the Drama Club at Scituate High–whether it’s acting, sewing, drawing, tech, or even heavy lifting. This year, the only thing the Drama Club was missing was someone to direct.

After parting ways with their former directors of four years, the school’s hiring committee worked hard on finding the perfect fit. Since a director is not a teacher, the hiring process slightly differs: unlike hiring a teacher, directors do not need to know by the end of spring whether they will be returning. Since the hiring process becomes delayed so easily, the Drama Club was left flying solo for the first few critical weeks of their year.

Acting quickly, the club presidents, seniors Alex Moon and Katie Norton, flipped the traditional schedule for their year so more time could be dedicated to finding a new director. Their fall musical will now be presented in the spring, closer to graduation. And during the fall, the Thespian Society, which consists of experienced upperclassmen, will be presenting student-directed plays.

The lack of a director was the “best marker of how much raw talent” there is in the club, remarked Moon, admiring how the success of the student directed plays was a pleasant surprise. Each individual has the opportunity to use their own creativity through play writing, directing, and casting their own original plays. Usually ten minute performances, student directed plays are a club favorite because they shine the light on many drama members who usually don’t show up on stage, including underclassmen and the tech and backstage crews. All members of the Drama Club are critical in keeping the show on the road.

Moon and Norton described a model director being someone who demonstrates an effective balance between their own visions for the club and those of the participating students. They wanted someone who could create a safe environment where kids can be themselves. Most importantly, Moon and Norton stressed that although a drama director may be at the reigns, it’s important for the director to appreciate that he or she is part of a team.

Without a director, the Drama Club tried to promote these core values on their own. Making the club more student driven, Moon and Norton were scheduling events and completing the necessary paper work. Moon and Norton gave credit to the club as a whole for making it work, stating, “Everyone has had much more accountability.” It was an unfamiliar struggle, but “more often than not were able to rise to the occasion,” Moon concluded. “It’s a blessing and a curse,” explained Norton, because it challenged us and brought out the best in everyone.

In October, the Drama Club’s wish was granted: Director Richard Bento and Assistant Director Lindsey Warwick were hired. Warwick is the drama teacher at Gates Intermediate School as well, teaching drama techniques to students from grades six through eight. When Warwick heard that SHS Drama was left without a director, she felt compelled to find a replacement. She was driven by the “overwhelming disappointment for the seniors who had worked their way up the ladder to only have it pulled out from underneath them.” Warwick ended up helping to find a director, and excitedly took on the role of assistant director herself. Bento is the President of South Shore Theater Works and is now bringing his talent here to SHS. The news of the drama new directors has sent a wave of relief throughout the whole club.

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