Drama Drops After-School Productions


Mindy Luo, staff Writer

Drama will forego the spotlight with no after-school productions planned for this school year.

This is a disappointment to some students who looked forward to performing in the popular Campo Night Live skit comedy show that had been produced each of the last 3 fall seasons under the guidance of former drama instructor Jamie Donohoe.

Senior Andrea Cohen said, “It’s really disappointing because it’s something that is really fun for us but it’s understandable [sic] we’re not doing it because it’s a lot for Mr. McNevin to take on for his first year teaching drama. We understand it’s really difficult to put on a whole performance.”

Long-time English teacher Chris McNevin, who is in his 1st year teaching drama, said he is in the process of familiarizing himself with the various aspects of the position and the available facilities. “I’m learning how to use the theater and how to run it. I’m learning how it is to teach the subject as we speak,” he said.

McNevin said he is lucky to have veteran drama students who have been willing to help during his transition into the drama instructor position. “I actually have to learn more from my more advanced students. They teach me and then I use that information and try to teach the beginning drama students,” McNevin said.

Nevertheless, the lack of after-school productions was a deal breaker for a few students. McNevin said that there were students who chose not to take the class because they knew there would be no productions this year. “I respect that and I think it is totally reasonable,” he said.

Sophomore Sahaana Rajesh dropped the elective because performing for an audience was her main motivation for taking the class. “When you are acting,” she said, “you’re always trying to express your emotions and enhance your individual ability. I feel like performing on a stage is a key part to learning to do those things better, so not being able to do so is just too much to miss out on.”

Rajesh is worried that interest in the program will decline without the opportunity for students to stage productions. “I think that since choir musicals are the only thing that can be seen now that drama isn’t going to be doing productions, there will be less people willing to do drama,” she said.

Sophomore Audrey Henry said, “I think that it’s a shame some students that would’ve originally wanted to join drama wouldn’t want to do it anymore…”

There are drama students who believe the transition to a new teacher is moving in a positive direction. Cohen said it was strange at 1st, but McNevin made an effort to address the change. “He talked to us on the 1st day and was like, ‘I know I’m not Donohoe and it’s not gonna be the same, but I’m really excited about drama and this year, so we can still have a new experience that is just as good,'” she said.

Even without after-school events, drama students have planned plenty of activities, such as in-class performances. In addition, advanced drama classes will still be able to perform for a big audience this year by participating in the annual Shakesfest, a district wide program where each school puts together Shakespeare scenes and perform for each other.

“People are disappointed we can’t do a big production, but there is still a lot other fun stuff we can do,” said Cohen. “We will still have plenty of chances to perform, just not a school-wide performance.”

According to McNevin, drama will definitely be doing productions next year, whether or not he is at the helm. McNevin said, “Mr. Walker firmly believes production is an important part of this class and he will expect production no matter what.”