Decoding Drama Classes

At this weekend’s baseball tournament, I had lots of conversations about whether my kid would try out for “travel”, “rec”, “showcase”, or “school” ball this year. All three baseball programs require the same general set of rules, skills, and participants. But the level of play, time commitment, and potential exposure is decidedly different.

Likewise, ’tis the season for announcing upcoming extracurricular classes and opportunities for young performers. Terms may include “conservatory”, “creative dramatics”, “arts-integration”, and “improvisation”. Here’s a quick look at some types of theatre programs and where to find out about them.

Production classes – Usually culminate in a formal production and may require an audition to participate or for roles once enrolled. Great for kids looking for more production and performance experience.

Conservatory programs – May include a variety of specific performance techniques. May be longer or more intense study and great for students considering a career in theatre.

Creative Drama – Often uses drama techniques to explore movement, storytelling, community, imagination or creative play. These programs may culminate in a formal or informal presentation of scenes, story dramatizations, or monologues.

Improvisation classes – Improv students learn to perform unscripted scenes in the form of theatre games (short form) or longer scenes (long form) based on suggestions from an audience. Think “Who’s Line is it Anyway”. Also great for writers, quick thinkers, and to encourage creativity.

Arts-integration – refers to the use of drama, music, dance, and visual art to explore other academic areas such as math, science, literature, history, or faith -based teaching. Think “Hamilton”. Great for hands-on learners and supplemental education.

Looking for drama classes in the Triangle? Check out Triangle Art Works for a listing of local programs.  AND,  don’t miss our upcoming parent workshop to hear from representatives of different local theatre education programs on August 27, 10-11:30 am at Raleigh Little Theatre.

See you on the ball field!