Auditions Instituted for Advanced Drama

Emily Fong, Co-News Editor

The Drama 2 and Advanced Drama classes will no longer simply accept students into the course how have completed Drama 1.  Starting next year, students who wish to take those high level Drama classes will be required to audition.

This parallels policy changes made by the other art and performance classes, according to drama teacher Jamie Donohoe. “The other creative realms, like choir and music here, both have auditions to go from point A to point B,” he said.

Other schools have already implemented audition systems for their drama departments. “In a sense,” Donohoe said,” I’m just getting myself in line with those departments.”

Of course, the audition system is not designed to penalize students. According to Donohoe, holding auditions insures that those accepted are able to keep up with the demands of Drama 2, and have the necessary skills to succeed at that level.

Drama 2 demands skills such as the ability to build a character and use given texts or scripts to supplement a performance. “It would be the same as in math, where you need certain skills to be able to succeed at higher levels,” said Donohoe.

Regardless, Donohoe does not expect a difference in the quality of the Drama program. “I think most folks that are motivated coming out of Drama 1, and that want to succeed, they’re just going to go on to Drama 2.”

Junior Emily Stephens thinks that the higher standards will help challenge students. “If they’re really eager to learn, if they want to be a serious actress or actor then this will help them achieve it.”

Current Drama students are not worried about the changes. “To be honest, I think it’s actually a good thing. I feel like a lot of people are going to be more interested in it,” said junior Shelly Chung.

Donohoe assures that auditions need not deter people from joining the Drama program. “If other folks that haven’t made Drama before and they’re pumped about taking it, they’ll start at Drama 1 and get those skills,” he said. “If, say, they transferred from another school and they have those skills, we’ll readily assess them and help them get into the proper place.”

Chung agrees that the auditions will be a good thing for the program. “It’ll be a good way to get people into the higher levels of drama if they have the skill and the experience. If they are motivated they shouldn’t have any problems,” said Chung.

At this point, the substance of the auditions have yet to be determined. Students can likely “expect the memorization and performance of a couple of different short texts” to show both serious and silly sides of a character, according to Donohoe.