Behind the curtains - Dragons News

Monday, November 13, 2017

Behind the curtains

By Chelsea Kim (G12)
Theatre students practicing a scene for Seven Stories.
Photograph by: Chelsea Kim
Theatre Production Club was created when the KIS (Korea International School) high school was established. Recently, Karla Bae - a senior member of Theatre Club, and Mr. Gagnier - the club’s sponsor, were interviewed about this year’s plans for High School Theatre at KISJ. Theatre Club is planning specifically for those students who are showing deep interests toward theatre events.

As producing quality theatre at the high school level requires lots of commitment from many people, Theatre Club members work to support KISJ High School Theatre productions by helping out with marketing, promotion, set-building and painting, costuming, prop making and other tasks as needed. In 2016-2017, Theatre Club helped to produce 2 shows; Our Town and The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Also, they successfully hosted KISJ’s 2nd Annual Film Festival with the theme of “love”. For the school’s Fall Festival, the club members sold nachos and popcorn relating those foods to audiences enjoying the show.

The club members also aim to promote KISJ Theatre through outside of school events. Last February, Theatre Club members participated in an international theatre festival through ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association) in Singapore at Tanglin Trust School, and later this month, 8 KISJ students will be participating in another ISTA festival in London England. In addition, they have participated in ASIS (Arts Society of International Students) theatre festival in Yongsan International School in Seoul. They also did volunteer work at the GEC (Global Education City) flea market to do face painting and provide some theatre fun for the young children in the area. Last but not least, KISJ Theatre Club has received charter status for 2 years from the International Thespian Society.

KISJ Theatre is always looking for ways to grow and to offer our students new opportunities. One of the new events the club is promoting this year is a playwriting contest. Students will participate in writing short one-act plays, and two of these plays will be chosen to be produced on stage in semester 2 by our own KISJ students enrolled in Theatre II and in Honors Theatre. Because this is the first time for the school to be holding a playwriting contest, theatre members and students who are aiming to participate are really looking forward for this big event.

Both Mr. Gagnier and Karla Bae have noted that they are happy to see a group of both new and continuing students involved as club members this year. Mr. Gagnier was also happy to note that the Playwriting Contest, like the Film Festival, came about as a direct result of a suggestion from a student - KISJ’s own Irene Jung (grade 10) was eager to explore playwriting at school, and the playwriting contest is happening as a direct result of her enthusiasm. Karla wants to remind students that great things can come about as a result of students sharing their passions through their clubs, and Mr. Gagnier is proud that Irene’s idea will now form a key focus for his second semester Theatre curriculum. Karla and Mr. Gagnier mentioned different things that Theatre Club has done to be successful, but both of them showed their love and enthusiasm toward Theatre Club.

Mr Gagnier working with an actress.
Photograph by: Chelsea Kim
For upcoming events, KISJ Theatre Production Club is planning to present the annual Film Festival host the first annual Playwriting Contest, and produce two mainstage productions: 7 Stories and Urinetown.

In order to choose a theme for this year's Film Festival, the student board of the club promoted the festival through a series of surveys to allow the students of KISJ High School to collectively select the theme. In the end, after a few rounds of voting, "First Time" was chosen as the theme. Students are excited to see what kinds of films will be made to explore this concept.

For the season 1 performance, 7 stories, a surrealist one act play, is going to be performed on November 16th and 17th. Thirteen characters are involved in this show, and Mr. Gagnier is excited to have such a wide variety of students in the cast which features 4 freshman, 4 sophomores, 4 juniors, and one senior. He is also excited to have a student assistant director this time around. Elsa P., when asked about her feeling about the upcoming production, answered that she is “so glad to be in the show and can’t wait to show the results on stage”.

For the season 3 performance, Urinetown, a satirical musical is going to be performed on April 19 and 20. Twenty-one characters are involved in this show, and Mr. Gagnier is excited to see so many returning cast members from last year’s Spelling Bee returning for this show and leading a large group of students, many of whom will be involved in their first musical performance. One of the new members of the cast, Celine L., when asked for what she expects from the audience, answered that she hopes the audience will “enjoy the songs and the performance that all of the members have been preparing for a long time”.

Theatre Club has made lots of changes inside and outside of the school to keep growing. Inside the school, KISJ Theatre Club is preparing many events for KISJ staff and for students. They are showing dedication and enthusiasm to all of them. Many students and staff are looking forward to the performances. Outside the school, Theatre Club is looking for opportunities to collaborate with other school students - even if they need to travel far and wide to do it. We hope that students, teachers and parents will continue to support KISJ Theatre in all of their efforts this year and in the future.

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