Special Edition – By Rylie Young
Art Explorers, Drawing and Printmaking, Drama Club, and Illustration Storytelling; these are just some of the arts and drama classes offered to students at ACA. It is the time of year for teachers to turn in their class proposals. So what classes are teachers proposing for the art/drama department?
Art Explorers with Todd Ingham and Exploring through Printmaking with Kathryn Toth are the classes offered to younger children. Art Explorers is a relatively new class for Todd, he stepped up to teach the class when our former art teacher, Anne Paris, quit at the end of the first semester. “I’m teaching all grade levels right now. Which is kind of exciting because younger kids really share what they know readily,” says Todd. Ingham usually teaches art classes for higher grades, such as Sculpture and Painting or Drawing and Printmaking, both 6-12th; however, he is hoping to continue his new classes and perhaps another one.
It would be an art workshop where you can come in and work on any area of art you wish to continue pursuing and Todd would offer his help. Although there is a prerequisite: you must have already taken one of his classes in previous years before joining the art workshop. The art classes all differ in the content being taught, however Ingham says “I like going over the fundamentals. Basically, shape, form, line, color, texture, and using those things in a way that’s balanced, proportional, and thinking in terms of composition, composing a piece, design, and probably most importantly, encouraging students to develop their own style.”
Kathryn Toth, who teaches Exploring through Printmaking and various other classes such as Spanish Club says “I love teaching here at ACA because the kids have a curiosity and creativity that are usually crushed in the traditional school system.”
Moving up we have Drama Junior, a 1-8th-grade class co-taught by Darla Hall and her sister, Deborah Brenner. Each year Drama Junior performs a play, usually musicals, sometime in February. Wizard of Oz, Peter Pan, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Jr, Annie Jr, Cinderella kids, and Alice in Wonderland are some of their performances in past years.
Along with Drama Jr., there is also Stagecraft, a 5-12th class, taught by Deborah Brenner. They create the set, props, and anything else the performance needs to be successful. If all works out well, we should be expecting a change. “I did put in a proposal for an elementary stage art, rather than just having one stagecraft like we’ve had the last several years, I’ll be dividing it, 3-6th is stage art and 7-12th is stagecraft,” says Deborah, “If it gets approved, the younger ones will focus more on the art part of it. Maybe, making things to decorate the lobby and stage, or possibly things to sell as a fundraiser… So, they would be more art focused and the stagecraft would be more stage focused, where we can hopefully focus on building things and maybe making some of the more complicated set pieces and painting backdrops.”
Brenner also teaches another class, Graphic Novels. When Anne Paris quit, halfway through this school year, and Deborah Brenner took over the class. This semester they are working on their personal memoirs with comic book style illustrations.
Lastly, for grades 7-12th, there is Drama Club led by Paul Angelo. Drama Club has a vendor organization is running it, a vendor is someone offering their services to the school but is not staff. Since they are not staff, the school is unable to subsidize the cost for the students, hence it is an expensive class. Not to mention how much commitment it requires from both teacher and students, but the kids are devoted! “I enjoy Drama Club because it is a nice relief from the normal atmosphere of school. It isn’t a very formal learning environment, so everybody feels at ease and happy,” says Haladar Wright “I look forward to Drama because I can state my opinions without fear of being judged. I also feel that Paul’s aura is just relaxing, whether he’s dropping interesting facts, making jokes, or helping you interpret a line. It is always nice leaving all of my core classes as a thing of the past and just working to produce a good play.
- Angelo, Paul. Personal Interview. March 8th 2018.
- Brenner, Deborah. Personal interview. March 8th 2018.
- Chapin, Nic. Personal interview. March 7th 2018.
- Hall, Darla. Personal interview. March 6th 2018.
- Ingham, Todd. Personal interview. March 6th 2018.
- Meier, Lily. Email interview. March 17th 2018.
- Stickney, Paige. Email interview. March 18th 2018.
- Till, Danelle. Email interview. March 14th 2018.
- Wright, Haladar. Email Interview March 18th 2018.
- Young, Gavin. Email interview. March 19th 2018.