Information About Our Spring Play
The New Covenant Theatre program is unlike many other local theatre programs. Our goal is not just to perform a play but also to build the students’ abilities and character. The program is open to non-NCS students and adults who are willing to abide by the rules and structure of the program and to accept the direction given.
At NCS, our rehearsals are also classes. We expect all students to participate in the rehearsal, even when their own scene is not involved. By this, we mean that the director may be giving James instructions on how to walk like a king. She or he may have not only James but also everyone else try the skills as well. We also bring in local actors and personnel from community theatre to work with students either in an on-going pattern throughout the rehearsals or for single rehearsals. A multiplicity of teachers aids the actors and techs in doing a great job.
We believe in taking students who are first time drama students and bringing them to the point where, in future years, they will be well able to perform many other roles in theatre. We often have students who were always assigned chorus-type roles in other programs who can be brought to shine in key roles in our program.
We also encourage students who have no interest in theatre arts to take theatre class to get past any fear of performance as well as to prepare for almost every career’s need for workers who can do presentations. Our technical crew who usually hate being seen on stage are well-trained to become diligent workers who learn their department, begin to excel in their skills, and become valued members of other communities (such as churches, community centers, office presentation groups, professional theatres, etc.).
We do not tolerate divas. No matter to what role we assign a student on either side of the curtain, we teach students to appreciate their fellow actors and crewmembers and to help each other towards excellence. We expect members to listen and to try the directions given them. We do not allow members to make fun of other members’ costumes, makeup, roles, or tasks. Just as the human body has many parts that require the cooperation of all parts in order to function with excellence, so a good theatre program functions with excellence by cooperation between all members. All our students also learn tech skills (backstage) as well. While we often have adult leaders in the various skill areas, we expect the students to learn those skills at their own ability level. Sometimes, this means actors being part of the technical crew and technical crew who sub for missing actors at rehearsals.
We also do not pick our plays until we see who wants to be involved and what is the depth of skills available. This often means holding auditions from an available script. Afterwards, the director selects a play that fits those who wish to participate, the leadership team assigns parts based upon the abilities displayed at auditions, and then we have a first read-through to make sure all actors are in the proper roles. All of that usually occurs in November for the spring play. Then we have a month before a second reading in December, during which time we expect the actors to become familiar with and begin memorizing their scripts. At second read-through, the directors pay attention to emotions and wording the actors use, and the directors may make adjustments in assignments of roles. Then the students will have 4-6 weeks to finish memorizing their scripts, so that, when we begin meeting in January, the actors are all or mostly off-book. At that point, we begin to include blocking, positions, hand usage, expressions, etc. that cannot be done while students are hooked to script books.
We do not allow parents to watch rehearsals unless they are involved in the crew or performing as actors. When they are so involved, they must treat their own child no differently than other students. This allows the cast and crew to begin to develop past what parents sometimes believe is possible by not looking toward their parent for backup in doing something the wrong way. This restriction also keeps parents from trying to direct during rehearsals. We appreciate you, but we have found over the last 30 years that this restriction is entirely necessary.
At the end of all the rehearsing and set preparation comes the performances. Since we use script companies that allow videoing of the performances, we have a videographer. We place the resulting video on thumb drives for purchase or we post it on a video website for parents to access.
Acting is not only fun, but it also contributes to our self-confidence and to our ability to empathize with others by allowing us to experience life from another person’s/creature’s point of view. Acting encourages us to use memorization skills as well as body movements that assist us in moving gracefully and with purpose.
Acting for a production allows students to gain skill in working in groups and allows students to have opportunities for leadership.
Technical work is not only fun, but it also teaches students how to integrate ideas with practical skills to create a complete and workable design or product.
Teching on a production encourages growth in time management skills, organizational skills, professional skills (sewing/painting/construction/management), communication skills, multitasking, problem solving skills and teaches students how to work on a team.
Download the Site Class Course Descriptions 2015-2016 PDF