The Theatre Class Goes into Depth

By Tandy James and Yekania Herrand

Trying something new is the key to having memorable experiences, which is what a small group of high school students learned over the course of the summer semester.


In the midst of summer, a group of high school students learn about the art of theatre and the importance of growth. During their four weeks at a CollegeNow program at Lehman College, these students connected with each other and gained values that they will need later on.

In the first week of classes, the theatre students were described as “awkward” and “quiet” by theatre student Karina Varela. She added that she wanted to open her horizons and try something new. A few weeks and numerous acting exercises later ,the students began to “trust and respect each other” as the time comes to an end mentions Anne Beaumont, the teacher of the theatre class.

Varela, a 16 year-old rising junior, who has participated in acting classes before, tells reporters that she hated the first few classes. However, as time flew by, she began to open up and like some of the exercises such as “the circle work”. This exercise requires students to make a circle and one at a time get the middle. Once somebody is in the middle, that person is then to improvisation or do something impulsive without being judged by others. “We got comfortable and we trusted each other” says Ms.Varela.

The theatre class has also taught CollegeNow students traits that they will need to gather in order to survive in the real world. “I learned how to be impulsive,” said Adelmari Rodriguez, a 17-year old girl who participates in the class. “It helps me concentrate on life and to take risks”

Theatre Class Rehearsing (Photo by Tandy James)

Theatre Class Rehearsing
(Photo by Tandy James)

Originally, Rodriguez wanted to take the film program class instead but since people say she look like a “theatrical person” she decided to try something new and signed up for the theatre class even though she “never acted in her life.”

Anne Beaumont has been teaching theatre for six years but she’s been directing for about eighteen years. Beaumont connects with her students by taking a different approach.”It’s an impulsive and intuitive approach to text” said Beaumont. The students respond well as she mentions that they absorb what she gives them. Dexter Thomas-Payne, her assistant mentioned that it’s his first time teaching theatre and that teaching has definitely gotten easier, there are still “a lot of challenges but it has been paying off.” Beaumont adds why she enjoys teaching the theatre class. “They’re very enthusiastic, energetic and willing to discover about themselves, they have built trust and respect for each other.”


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