I frequently post images and auction links on my Facebook page. One of my friends there makes the most wonderful comments on my work. I am always impressed by her level of writing and insights. I thought it would be fun to have her write a blog here on the importance of Drama. I think technical ability in painting is important, but no where near as important as drama, character, and personality.......
So here are a few words by my good friend Marjorie Pierce:
I am a retired high school drama teacher. I did not actually teach full time until I was fifty years old, my children grown and my husband gone. I never thought I would last a year but made it for 25 and retired at 75. that was 5 years ago. I taught in a little rural school which is in a district that borders Whiteman Air Force Base (B-2 bombers) so we had many students who came from all over the world and went all over the world. Some stayed there in Knob Noster, of course, but I think they still came to love the theatre. We had a wonderful art teacher and a fine instrumental music teacher as well so I think our kids were given a lifetime interest in the arts. I was a theatre major at the University of Kansas and I married another theatre major who also went into educational theatre at the university level. My mission professionally has been to share to people that the theatre more than any of the other arts is a social and spiritual history of mankind. The theatre teaches life lessons as well.
I was lucky that my administrators thought "drama" was very important so they left me alone to "do my thing". Public education is going through a really bad period and I am glad I have retired. Both of my daughters are elementary school teachers and both are struggling through what is going on in that field today.
Once while attending a performance of a children's theatre production at the San Fernando Valley State College in Northridge, as the curtain opened to the last strains of the overture, I heard a child's voice in wonder pipe up from somewhere behind me: " It's in color!" I never forgot that. I always tried to instill in my students that sense of wonder and awe that is the magic of live theatre. I tried to show my students that a live performance is a gift they have to share with their audience. The applause is the audience's return gift and a thank you.
I have loved performance on stage since I was a tap dancing tot with Genevieve Seymour's School of Dance in recitals and movie house performances in various small towns in western Kansas. When later in life I had to make a living for myself I chose to do so in educational theatre. I'm glad I made that choice and here's why and why I champion theatre arts being offered in public schools. This experience teaches history, sociology, psychology and, of course, a love of art. Art students have a living gallery in which to display their talent as designers of sets and costumes; industrial arts students get to practice problem solving construction in a creative way; literature students see the printed word come alive and abstract emotions become real in a safe way ( who doesn't love to play a villain?); musicians add their audio art to the visual composition of the 'high school musical', and most important at this age, young people who may not find a niche academically or athletically find a place to fit in and succeed. Everyone is important to the success of the production and each one knows it. It is a true team effort. What better lesson!