The Easy Way to Start a School Drama Club

Submitted by Courtney on Tue, 01/19/2010 - 14:40

When I was a teenager in school, we didn’t have a drama club. Even then the public school system was undergoing massive budget cuts, so there was very little space left for “elective” subjects. Now that I know some teenagers who are in high school, I’m shocked to find out that drama classes and clubs still seem to have become extinct.

One young lady in particular really wanted to act – she didn’t care where or how – and some months ago we began discussing how she could perhaps start a school drama club herself. These are the steps that she took which really helped her get that drama club up and going:

Permission, not forgiveness

If you are attending a school, get the principal/teacher’s permission first and ask for them to sponsor your club. Before you do anything, you need the blessing of those in charge of the school. By enlisting in the help of a teacher, you will also be able to find numerous valuable resources that you otherwise wouldn’t be aware of. The teacher who sponsored this young lady was able to set up “gigs” for them to perform their plays, and offered great ideas for fundraising.

Recruit participants!

This can be as simple as posting up signs around school, or creating a “group” on the internet. Social networking sites such as Facebook, My Space and Twitter are fantastic for getting the word out there about your drama club, especially since 99% of the kids at school probably have at least one account set up with one of those sites.

Set up a schedule and stick to it

Once you have a small, core group of people together for your drama club, work on making a schedule that works for everyone. If everyone agrees that meeting up at 7pm each Wednesday is good for them, stick to it. As soon as schedules begin getting muddled, so does the group.

Read through several plays together before choosing one.

You’ve always wanted to perform Hamlet but your group doesn’t seem so keen? It is important that as a group you find a play that you all will enjoy. Drama club leaders who choose only plays they would like to do will soon find that they have no group to work with.

What about costumes?

As a general rule, the older the play, the more elaborate the costumes. For this reason alone, I suggest that you start off with a modern play so that the props are far easier to obtain (AND not nearly as expensive!). If your heart is set on showing a play that takes place during the Victorian era, you can keep down costs by making, finding or buying certain period pieces that reflect the Victorian era. Get creative! This is what drama is all about.

And we perform WHERE? Find a venue

Chances are, you will not be showing your play in the grand playhouse downtown. Start small and ask local children’s groups, adult education centers, seniors centers and even your own school whether you can perform your play at their venue. You may be surprised just how keen people are to see your play!

Can participants qualify for extra credit

Starting up your own drama club is not only a fantastic creative outlet, but it is also a wonderful item to place on your college and university resume.

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