Drama season kicks off for the new school year


Erin Davis

NC’s newly built performing arts facility serves as a home to the Fine Arts department’s showcases, and serves as an integral resource for the Drama department’s shows, rehearsals, and club exercises. NC’s new performing arts center plans to make its debut with the first shows of the fall season, including Orchestra’s fall concert and Drama’s Junie B. Jones performance.

Erin Davis, Photographer, Videographer

NC’s Drama club officially kicked off the 2018-2019 school year on Wednesday, August 22. Returning Thespians and newbies alike joined in on the fun activities of the meeting, planned by Drama’s senior members as a way to start off the new year. However, beyond the initial club meeting, the NC Drama department will divulge into exciting new endeavors, performances, and community outreach programs. Theatre director Candice Corcoran planned the season lineup to introduce these new elements into the Drama program. Though Drama usually only performs about three shows a year, including one musical, they plan to do four performances in total, including two musicals; this lineup will include shows like Junie B. Jones in November and Shrek in the spring.

Senior and Drama club president Hope Kutsche became another integral part of the department after joining in on last year’s drama programming and performances. Taking part in last season’s musical, Hairspray, and overseeing the first Drama club meeting of the year, she now helps to develop the events and activities of the year for the department.

“I’m looking forward to how much involvement and how many opportunities people are going to have to be part of shows this year,” Kutsche said.

Beyond engaging within the NC theater community, theater members also plan further involvement in Atlanta’s greater thespian community. They hope to bring their first show, Suite Surrender by Michael McKeever, to ThesCon, a statewide thespian conference on February 7 through 9. ThesCon requires adjudication in order to participate—a difficult feat when considering the sheer number of participants in the conference.

“The big deal about ThesCon is that there are all these wonderful people from the theatre community outside of high school and outside of college events to bring their experience from the stage. One year, we had a person from the Newsies cast come teach a class and interact with students to ask questions and get feedback,” Corcoran said.

The NC drama department engages with the larger thespian community in a variety of unique ways to involve students in the Atlanta theatre scene.

“We are a part of the International Thespian Society, so we have our own thespian troupe—that’s just like an organization of high school theatre students in Georgia, and also across the nation. We also have trips to the Fox Theatre at least once a year, if not more,” Kutsche said.

Involvement in the larger Atlanta theatre community enriches the experience for young thespians, including those residing in NC’s local drama department.

“It’s really important to do things like that to show that theater isn’t just something you can just do in high school—there’s a huge theatre scene in Atlanta, so there’s so many ways you can get involved. Doing things like going to the Fox shows lots of opportunities— like it’s something you can do as a career if you wanted to,” Kutsche said.

Exploring the greater Atlanta theatre community shapes opportunities for connections and education for drama students. However, the drama community within NC developed as both a pioneering force in fine arts education, and, as drama members describe it, a family.

“We’re a really inviting group of people— your weirdness is your strength here,” Corcoran said. “I think we really celebrate the uniqueness of each other and support each other in these ways.”

Theatre students also appreciate the drama departments’ comradery. It impacts students like Kutsche in their time spent in the department.

“We really have a family here. I’ve known these people for years—I haven’t had a single class with them, but they’re my best friends. There’s a really strong theatre community here just at NC,” Kutsche said.

With exciting programming and performances queued up for the coming season, Drama’s season brims with potential. Corcoran hopes for more participants in the performances in this coming season.

“I had 65 people on stage for Hairspray. My hope is that we have at least 45 on stage for Shrek. I like big shows, and we have a big stage, so let’s use it,” Corcoran said.

The NC drama department sets up for  promising performances, with two plays and two musicals planned for the upcoming season. With a beautiful new performing arts center, increased involvement and engagement opportunities, the NC drama department hopes that new, fresh faces will grace the stage this school year.