On March 23rd and 24th more than 20 SCCS secondary students showcased their talents and abilities during the spring production, Alice in Wonderland.
“Alice’ is a topsy-turvy story that was fun to make sense of the ordered chaos,” Shannan Smith, Theatre and English teacher. “My students are bright and energetic. They understand the importance of being committed to their roles so that as a troupe they can present a good story for their audience.”
In addition to acting, students participated in various ways including prop creation, back stage direction, stage hand, tech crew, ticket sales and promotion and makeup design. Students enjoyed and grew from the process of the spring production in invaluable ways.
"Theatre has become like my second family. I have learned how to work through situations that go wrong through theatre and alongside each of the student performers," shared Jackson Horning, SCCS junior.
“I always want students to stretch themselves in new ways to prove to themselves that they are capable of more than they imagined. This is confidence building,” continued Smith. “Being able to engage in performing arts gives a kid the opportunity to become something other than what their normal day-to-day demands. They can step out of their own skin and try new things, like improv exercises, in a safe environment. I can’t tell you how many students have told me that having theatre at the end of the day is what they look forward to the most because it’s where they can de-stress, letting go of anything big they’ve been holding onto that day.”
The Arts department has seen much growth and development over the seven years while Shannan has been at the helm of Theatre. She is quick to applaud the many individuals who have helped refine the program over the years.
“Growing the arts program has taken a lot of work, dedication, patience, perseverance and my own length of stretching to make it what it is today. When I first started at SCCS, I did theatre/drama for the whole school but my degree was in Single-Subject English. Being an English teacher and Theatre teacher is a natural fit because the two subjects complement each other. With both, you’re studying story-telling. One is done academically while the other is performed. Ultimately, I recognize the theatre program is only as good as the people who support it. I have an amazing assistant in Tammy De Revere who is wonderfully creative, talented and sweet. Then Michael Kraynak is this gifted, craftsman builder as well as the muscle of the program. My husband, Lamont Smith who owns Valencia Printers, has helped Theatre look and sound professional through the printing he’s donated over the years, alongside the sound technician skills he brings to the table. I’m just the director. My gift is organization. I pull all the talent together in an organized fashion to create this story, but none of it would happen without the talent of those God brings through students, to parents to administration. It takes a team.”