Drama Club debuts at THHS

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By Alexis Dixon, Staff Writer

Though Townsend Harris has many theatrical productions, the Drama Club, which debuted at the beginning of the school year, has decided to take that one step further by offering a chance to go more in-depth with the art.

Juniors Idalia Dinapoli, Isaura Gonzalez Santos, and Jin Hu are all co-founders of the Drama Club and “decided to start this club because [they] all enjoy acting.”

“We know that Townsend has the musical and SING!, but we wanted to create something for the fellow theatre kids who are unable to sing, but enjoy acting,” said Idalia. “The club is also considering making a tradition of running a student-written play by the end of every year.”

For some, the drama club could be the chance to reconnect with old interests and hobbies.

“I personally always loved drama,” said Isaura. “When I came to Townsend I lost that part of myself, and became so overwhelmed with worry and stress that I forgot how much I love the stage.[In] my sophomore year I ended up taking the drama elective and [was] reminded of how much I loved it.”

Freshman Lynda Irizarry, a member of the club, has the same experience: “I’ve always had a passion for theater. Singing, dancing, and acting have been such a huge part of my life for forever.”

The drama club offers students the chance to learn more about theatrical productions, regardless of whether or not they’re involved in the school’s performances. Co-advisor and English teacher Ryan Dunbar said, “As this school year began, I was introduced to Mr. Kevin Schwab who has a ton of experience in theater and was also interested in moderating the club.” He continued, “Our goal for the club was to allow students to pursue their interest in theater (acting, directing, art design, etc.) whether or not they were involved in SING! or the school play.¨

English and ISS teacher Kevin Schwab, the other co-advisor, elaborated, “Townsend Harris needs a place for burgeoning thespians to learn the basic stagecraft techniques that can get them prepared for both professional auditions and silly YouTube videos alike.”

In regard to what goes on during club meetings, Lynda explained, “We do a lot of improv, sometimes as a warm up, and other times as an actual focus activity. We always choose one ‘method’ or type of acting and we focus on that for a meeting. If it goes well, we continue doing those skills in other meetings.”

Freshman Lisa Felson added, “Sometimes Mr. Schwab will have us cold read scenes in order to work on our ability to find the tone of a scene.”

However, this club isn´t just all about the spotlights. As Idalia explained, they “mainly just want to create a welcoming space for kids who are interested in theatre to destress and have fun after a long day of classes.” Isaura added, “The drama club would help with public speaking, [and] improvisation. It would also build confidence, help with creative expression, and aid in concentration skills.”

“Not only is it a place to improve upon and learn new types of acting and acting methods, but we are all a family at the drama club. We’re able to connect to each other in a way I think is very special,” said Lynda.

For those who are hesitant to join, co-president Jin said, “If you can’t sing or anything but still want to like be part of something, join the drama club. We don’t have much at the moment but we can make small steps along the way. It doesn’t have to be ‘dramatic’; it could be fun.”

The Drama Club meets on Thursdays in room 543.