by Jamie Gilbert-Fitzpatrick, Eddie Bates, and Maddie Mason

At the Bottom of Lake Missoula, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and now You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.  The drama departments put on their third play of the year. Double-casted, they perform You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown which is based on the well known Peanuts’ comic strip.

“I thought it was fantastic, there were a lot of things that we really did well on that was different in rehearsal. The harmonies and the dancing looked really good,” senior Josh Bristow said. “We improvised our way out of a few parts as well. We didn’t seem to have any problems.”

This is drama teacher Jessica Fichter’s first year at Dutch Fork High School.  She formerly worked at Dutch Fork Middle and now joins some of her past students in her first musical and last major production of the year.

“I was really happy with it. I’m usually running around so I don’t even get to watch the whole thing on actual performance nights, but I think it went really well and the audience seemed to have a lot of fun,” Fichter said.  “It’s a fun show. It’s difficult in some ways and easy in others, so with our space it works really well because we don’t have a ton of set capacity. So it’s simple in that way but still challenging.”

Learning new songs, dances and lines, drama rehearsed every day after school for six weeks.  With help from several other teachers such as dance teacher Ginny Haynes and choir director Josh Wall along with tech and costume design the play began to come together.

Dancing and singing were not strong suits for some of the actors.

“I have been in 14 plays, but never a musical so the singing part was okay with me, but the dancing was not. I don’t like dancing, but thank God for Mrs. Haynes or else you wouldn’t have seen me on the stage. She knew exactly how to teach me,” senior Darla Nitsch said.

Practice makes perfect.  The teachers worked with the students every rehearsal to make it the best that it could be.

“The rehearsal process was really long and kind of grueling. A lot of work went into it, and we rehearsed practically every day for a long time leading up to [the performance].  It was completely worth it because I think what we’ve ended up with is such a great show that is so much fun,” Cameron said.

For Darla, how the stage is her comfort zone and there is no place she would rather be.

“[Drama] just pulls you out of your shell.  If you have a shy personality, there are other things in drama that are for you. There’s tech, design and costume design,” Darla said with enthusiasm.  “There’s so many things you can learn and just grow as a person and become who you truly are. For people that are extroverts, acting is the best thing in the world for you to just pretend to be all these different people.”

Drama is meaningful to the actors whether it is getting them out of their shell or providing them an outlet for their emotions.  The definition of drama, in fact, is a very excited, emotional, or unexpected series of events or sets of circumstances.

“[Drama] expresses you as a person, especially for people who are shy and don’t like to talk much.  If you go through an acting course or a course where you have to put yourself out there you’ll become a more outgoing person. Acting also helps you with your career, even if you’re not going into an acting career,” senior Drew Colter said.

Drama goes beyond the stage for everyone involved in the production. Drama isn’t always about acting.  Theres so much more such as stage managers, a tech team and costume designers.

“I’ve never experienced anything that has made me feel this good. In my 18 years of life it’s one of the best things I’ve ever done and have ever been a part of and I’m just so thankful for it,” Josh said.  “The people you meet and the experiences you are able to make because of what you do is life changing. It’s such a great experience, and I think everyone should try it at least one time.”