Iron Horse Middle School is the only middle school in the district to boast a full-time drama program with two full-scale, student-designed productions a year. Students involved in drama not only gain confidence, they also discover healthy ways to relate to peers, to creatively problem solve, and to express themselves.
The Drama I class serves as an introductory class, teaching drama basics in fun ways through creative play and improvisation. These workshops help students rid themselves of inhibitions, trust their instincts, explore their own talents and build their imagination. The friendly, supportive atmosphere of the class encourages students to stretch themselves further. Beginning drama projects may include pantomime and improvisation, scene study, monologue workshop, directing, play writing, Ancient Greek Theatre, Commedia d’ell Arte, stand up comedy, introduction to Shakespeare, and stage combat. Often, selected material is performed at open house.
The popular Advanced Drama program is an 8th grade performance-based class centering on the collaborative process of play-making and advanced character development. Students work both with Ms. Raines and other specialists to receive conservatory style training in acting, movement and voice. They then showcase their growth with at the end of the semester, in a full-length play or musical production. The outstanding quality of these productions and the shared experience of play collaboration is quite meaningful to the students involved, and becomes a fond memory of life at Iron Horse for years to come.
Another rewarding experience for students is to participate in Stagecraft. This unique class trains students to design lights, run sound, find costumes, build scenery, and to work on publicity and to stage-manage the school productions. Students will learn how to produce a clear, unified aesthetic that combines personal style and practicality for stage. As a technical theatre team, students will be entrusted with the real responsibility of planning a cohesive design, working within a budget and against time constraints to realize their vision onstage. Stagecraft students feel a great sense of ownership and see their daily efforts come into vision through the completed play.