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News

Volume 65 Number 1

Upper school taking on new productions and competitions

by David Ding - 2014-10-09

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This year, Chadwick’s Drama Department introduced a couple of new changes---a more demanding commitment, brand-new teachers, and opportunities to travel across the world.

The extra effort required for a production plays a big role in a new extension policy. The policy states that students can choose one day to not complete their homework due.

“I think the extension policy came about because Hairspray was such a big show that a lot of them found it difficult to juggle academic deadlines. The school understands that the students doing school events should be supported,” Director of Theater Nigel Williams said.

“I think the idea of the extension, whether the mechanics of it will work, is coming from a good place. We’re also asking the students to look ahead for when they are going to use this extension card.”

This year, the production team will be participating in many new productions. The first production is Animal Farm, which is already in the works.

“I think Animal Farm is a pretty amazing production. It has a mix of student talent, and it is very violent in some ways--the acting is very raw and animalistic,” stage crew manager and senior Lydia Krauss said.

“There is also a political undertone of communism versus democracy. It’s very interesting and has multiple layers.”

Chadwick will also be the first North American high school to perform the musical Zorro. The students will then participate in the Fringe Festival, one of the largest arts festivals in the world, in Edinburgh, Scotland, during the first few weeks of August.

Chadwick will continue to participate in the California State Thespian Festival, which will take place at Fullerton College next March. Schools enter a small play; Chadwick will present Animal Farm.

Chadwick has won first prize two years in a row.

Three judges will watch each school’s performance to decide if that school will move on in the competition. The festival will have about 100 schools participating, and with more than 6,000 people expected to attend the prestigious event. The Drama Department also welcomes two new teachers who will be part of Chadwick’s production team: David Bloom and Grant Gorell.

Bloom will work with Middle School and Village classes, and also help out with Upper School acting classes and the Upper School production.

Gorell comes from CalArts, the California Institute of the Arts, and has experience with stage lighting, design and sound. He plans on adding more student involvement for construction of the sets.

“I’ve been to two rehearsals. I think Mr. Bloom is really helpful in that Mr. Williams works on a broad picture of things and directs group dynamics, while Mr. Bloom works with individual actors.” Krauss said.

“Having two people gives more opportunity to individual instruction.”


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chadwick, bloom, new, production, extension, think, school, work, also, student, festival


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