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Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers!

Happy Birthday Richard Rodgers!

Legendary composer Richard Rodgers was born on June 28. Find out more about the composer of such classics as Oklahoma!, The Sound of Music, The King and I, Carousel, Babes in Arms and Pal Joey at

Continuing your childhood passion

“I see too many dancers littered on the road along the way to that one dancer on stage. I’m not saying everyone should be on stage, but that everyone should have the tools to get to that stage.” -Luc Vanier

Today in my Ballet Grad-class we did not dance.  Instead we just spoke about our prejudices and thoughts, habits and life.  A resounding change came to me when my professor said the quote above.  We had just been talking about all the girls who dance until they are 16 and then never enter a class again in their lives.  They don’t go on because someone has told them they aren’t good enough to continue, or that it’s too hard, or society says it’s something you do as a child, not an adult.  Why?

A lot of students do things in high school that they will never do again. Why is that? It’s as if we were to read and write until we’re 18 and never use those skills again, never type something out, never read a book. That seems ridiculous right?

improvWe are taught the skills to read and write as a child and are expected to continue using and growing those skills later in life. Why is that not the case with everything?  We traditionally do not continue music, theatre, art, dance or sports unless we “excel” in them.  Why do you have to be excellent to continue doing something? Why do you have to be the perfect ballerina to continue ballet later in life? Why do you have to play a sport professionally in order to validate playing that sport as you grow older? We need to give our students the tools in education, in music, dance, theatre and physical education for them to continue their education after they leave us. Not only that, we also have to 26525758encourage them!  I fall into this trap, I do not encourage my students to go into theatre in college and beyond. I am happy when they decide to study further, but I have never told someone to study theatre.  I have made a conscious effort not to.  We have a stigma that artists lead hard lives… my friends are proof of that life. But we do not need to fully commit ourselves to the art form or sport to continue our education and enjoyment of it. We need to allow ourselves to be at the level we are in the sport or art and enjoy it for what it is and how we feel.

So, to all my former and future theatre students, I apologize for not fully encouraging you to pursue your love and education in Theatre. In whatever job you have now, please allow yourself to enjoy theatre as you did as a student. If that is just attending the theatre again, so be it. But you could start taking classes again, for the fun of it. Or audition for a play, for the fun of it. Remember the emotions you had on or back stage, and allow those feelings and emotions to continue to educate you and inspire you. Keep allowing theatre in your life. Please don’t give it up after you leave me.

And to my students whose passions lay elsewhere, don’t give up on those either.  Continue swimming and singing, playing basketball and the viola.  Just because you “grow-up” does not mean you have to give up a part of your life that brought you joy when you were younger.

Why take Acting 1? By Antonio Pulito

Acting 1 Commercial about a magic pen

Acting 1 Commercial about a magic pen

At first, I did not know what to expect of Acting 1.  I had never really acted before, but as time went on, I began to like it.  We started out with prop talks.  A prop talk is a speech where a person describes himself by using special items from their life.  The prop talks really helped me get to know a lot of new people in the class.  After we finished up the prop talks, we moved on to pantomimes.  A pantomime is an act where the person has to create invisible objects by their expressions and gestures.  This was probably my favorite subject throughout Acting 1 because people were really creative with their acts.

After pantomimes, we moved onto the world of commercials.  We practiced radio commercials and tv commercials.  The radio commercials were fun because we could add our own spin to them and what not, but the tv commercials were even better.  My group and I made a commercial about a magic pen that helps you get all the right answers on a test.  I liked using different camera shots to make it look professional.



Next was monologues.  A monologue is for one person.  Since Tommy Boy is one of my favorite movies, I took the monologue where Tommy is trying to sell brake pads but gets a little out of control.  Although it was a little embarrassing presenting it to the class, I enjoyed every bit of it.  After finishing monologues, I was ready for the new challenge, a two person dialogue.  My partner and I wrote our own dialogue.  It was about two bank robbers who successfully steal the money, but did not plan the getaway.  Although it was fun to write our own dialogue, we probably should have picked one that was professionally written because ours didn’t have very good emotion.

After wrapping up the dialogues, it was time to begin the final short films.  My partners and I got the genre of drama, character of a kid lawyer named Lilly Moss, and the prop of a pencil.  At first, we were really nervous because we did not know exactly what a drama was.  We ended up making a suspenseful type of drama where a detective has to catch a criminal that is going around killing people.  We wanted to make it a little interesting so we added a twist at the end where the detective is actually the killer.  I personally like having a final project instead of an exam because it tests our skills where as an exam tests our memorization.  Overall, Acting 1 has been really fun and exciting because instead of sitting around the whole time, like in other classes, we move around.  I have become a better actor and have learned lots of new techniques of theater. These include camera angles, types of props, types of acts, and many other things.  Next year, I plan on taking Acting 2 because I want to further my skills and be a part of a full on play.

Written By: Antonio Pulito
3rd Trimester 2015
Acting 1 3rd Hour


Imogen Cunningham’s “Theater, Cornish School” shows a lighting designer at work at the college in 1935.

Carpenters building sets, 1935. And yes, most are wearing collared shirts, ties and even waistcoats.

At the rail, 1935

Stagehands, 1899

Setting up the WPA’s Portable Theater Project, 1937

If you were a stagehand in the 18th century, one of your jobs might have been trimming the candle wicks on the footlights.

Stagehands rehearsing a scene, 1910

You don’t have to wear a Mask By: Zanelle Willemse

About 3 months ago: “It’s finally 3rd trimester; my easiest and most fun trimester!” I thought, and I was especially excited about Acting 1. I’ve always been into drama, and acting on stage and have always wanted to be a famous actress one day, and I thought that acting was the class to get me there. When I entered high school, I heard some people talking about the fall play, but I could not audition for it as I am in cross country, which takes up most of the afternoon and Saturdays for meets and practices. Then, there was the musical, and apparently you need to be able to sing for that, and that was not going to happen, so I figured in Acting I could experience half of what I would with a play, so hey! Let’s go.

Screen Shot 2015-06-09 at 7.43.12 AMFirst day of third trimester; I walk into the black box, and the atmosphere is very different, but not in a bad way, I like it. Ms. Figg-Franzoi starts discussing what we will be doing this trimester and we look at stage directions, etc., and then our first real assignment comes; we have to do radio commercials with a group, and I really enjoyed that, and I thought to myself, “This is very fun,” and then after that we had video commercials, also in a group, which was also really fun; I got to be the cameraman… uhm, excuse me, camerawoman, and then the spokesperson for our product; thermal leggings. I enjoyed handling the camera because I really like taking pictures and videos.

Then came a few more, projects, and one of them was to do a monologue. “Now what is a monologue?”, you might ask yourself, well a monologue is a long speech by a person or actor in a movie or play, or as part of a theatrical broadcast, etc., and I have terrible stage fright; I can barely stand up in front of the class to deliver a quick 1-minute speech, and now I have to do a WHOLE monologue??!! I thought “What did I get myself into?”, and it was too late to drop the class, so I just had to suck it up, and do it, and I thought that hopefully it’ll help with my stage fright, well at least that’s what I was told, so anyway, I chose to do a monologue from a Greek play, “Ajax,” by Sophocles. I had fun rehearsing it and everything, getting the different emotions and blocking that goes with it, but when we had to perform our halfway point in front of the class, I freaked out, I was so scared, but I got it over with, and then when we had to perform our whole monologue in front of the class, I wasn’t so nervous, and it actually went better than the halfway performance.

Acting has really told me that when doing public speaking, there is nothing to be afraid of, especially when doing a presentation, because everybody else has to do it too, and also that it’s OK to be you; express yourself, you don’t have to wear a mask to impress people, that is one thing that the theatre family has told me, and I am very thankful for that, it just made me more comfortable with high school. I am really excited to be enjoying Acting 2 next year, and I hope to continue my learning journey on theatre.

Written By: Zanelle Willemse
3rd Trimester 2015
Acting 1 Hour 3

Transferrable skills via Tech Theatre By: Jack Popp

From Page to Stage

From Page to Stage

Homestead has a great Theatre program and this trimester I was lucky enough to participate in Tech Theatre. Coming in I did not really understand what went on backstage at a performance or show.  It is much more than anyone would think. Overall the class gave me a better appreciation for the theatre as a whole.  From the actors on stage, to all the workers behind scenes, they work very hard and you can see it from the the productions that they perform in. We have lots of dedicated actors and stage crew members that put a lot of hard work and effort into every show to make it perfect.

Fixing their Door Design

Fixing their Door Design

From learning how to build sets to learning how to put makeup on an actor, the Tech Theatre course does a great job thoroughly teaching you how to do all these things.  I really enjoyed coming to the class everyday. In my opinion the building unit was the most fun by far.  It gave us a chance to work with our hands and help create the background for the spring play Arabian Nights. It was fun to be able to work with all the different tools and see what we could do.  We were able to use just about anything we wanted which allowed us to be creative and make things we wanted.  Along with that, we got to use paint which was very fun.  We learned all the different types of scenic painting techniques and also the different types of paint. Overall I had great time in Tech Theatre.

Distressing their doors

Distressing their doors

Throughout the trimester we learned about how set design, costume design, sound design, makeup, and lighting design worked.  With that being said, our final project helped incorporate all of that.  We were put in groups and asked to read a play then create a presentation as if we were one of designers. It really gave us a better understanding of how these jobs are in the real world theatrical industry.  You must analyze every aspect of the play so that you can portray it to the audience to the best of your ability. Contrary to what most believe, it is much harder than it looks.  It takes a lot of time, effort, and creativity to able to work one of these jobs.  The exam was a very unique and fun way for us to do an exam. It was unlike any other class and was a new experience that I really liked.

In the end I am very happy with my choice to take Tech Theatre. I am so glad because it gave me skills that I will be able to use later in life. From knowing how lights work and what needs to go where, to learning how to use power tools and other equipment the right way and how to be safe. I would recommend this class to anyone. It will provide them with transferrable skills that can be used in and out of a theatre setting. Thank you Ms. Figg.

Written By: Jack Popp
3rd Trimester 2015
Tech Theatre Class

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