Sam Aaron, Haley Dixon and Sarah Emily Rish

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Photo by Sam Aaron

Drama classes at Dutch Fork, including Theatres One through Five, help students with their public speaking and performing skills on and off the stage.

“…regardless of what you do for a living, you have to talk to people and communicate effectively and use body language,” drama teacher Jessica Fichter said. “Those types of skills are what we work on in theatre.”

Many students are in drama because they plan to pursue a career in theatre.

“I plan on being on TV, probably doing comedy, but I’m not funny, so drama helps me get comfortable performing in front of people,” senior Malik Walker said.

Other students just take drama because they need the fine arts credit.

Regardless of why students join drama, the emotional and social skills that it teaches benefits students of all ages.

“[Theatre] requires you to think in a way that you don’t always have to think,” Fichter said. “It lets you experience human emotion and life that you haven’t been able to experience thus far.”

Such skills apply not only on stage, but in the classroom as well.

“When I’m getting ready to present, I use the techniques that I’ve learned in theatre in order to help me relax,” freshman Zachary Imhoff said.

Theatre students enjoy performing on stage and getting into character.

“I do enjoy [being in a drama class] because it’s fun going on stage and pretending to be someone that you are not,” Zachary said.

As a drama teacher, students appreciate Fichter and what she brings to the stage.

“Mrs. Fichter is awesome and [being in a drama class] is a chance to experience theatre,” Erin said.

Drama allows students to step out of themselves and delve deep into any scene that they are doing.

“I am taking drama because I have an excuse not to be myself,” Malik said. “I can be someone that I’m not.”

Students in Fichter’s theatre classes have a great rapport with one another, making their experiences in class enjoyable.

“I enjoy [theatre class] because the teacher is cool and the people in here are cool,” Malik said. “I’m not afraid to say anything to anyone in this class.”

The benefits of drama include the building of students’ self esteem and making them feel emotionally comfortable with themselves.

“[Theatre] teaches you confidence,” junior Courtney General said.

Getting on stage and portraying someone other than yourself is something that theatre students enjoy immensely, making theatre classes a joy for any student that takes them.

“I enjoy [acting] because being a character other than yourself is interesting and it allows you to understand people from different backgrounds,” Courtney said. “It’s an out-of-body experience.”