To Be or Not to Be in Drama Club

What do we do?

You may think that all we do in drama club is sit around and recite Shakespeare, but we do so much more than that. At the moment, we are putting on the play Clue, which most know from the wildly popular board game. We play games and actually learn a lot about each other. It’s a really nice space to meet other people and, most importantly, fuel your interest/passion in the performing arts. You don’t even have to be interested in acting because there are so many more vital roles to putting on a show, such as a stage manager, costume designer, props manager, electric, and more. Most of the group is 10th graders, with a few juniors and freshmen. Our goal is to get more of the school involved because we know this club could be beneficial to kids who share our interest in theater. 


Who runs it?

Not only does the drama club have many amazing people in it, but we also have some amazing people leading us! Those people are Mr. Garfinkel and Ms. Matishuta. We are a mostly student-run club because every one of the members gets an opportunity to share their ideas and help us make the club better. But the teachers guide us in the right direction and advise us on having realistic goals for the club. They both have a lot of experience with the performing arts and have much insight on how to go about putting on a play. Mr. Garfinkel started running the drama club in 2015, while Ms. Matishuta just started this year. 


Why am I writing this article?

This school has a pattern of judging things before they even know what it is. No one even knows what a drama club is, and yet they jump to assume that it is just a group of losers who are interested in theater. Drama has always gotten a bad rap. But this club has honestly made my high school life a lot more enjoyable. It is a release from a stressful school day where you can let loose and have fun. Although we strive for commitment, it isn’t high pressure. We believe that we can revive the drama club at Millennium through this play and a wonderful group of students. We would like to leave this school with a strong drama club and find ways to connect our program to other schools out there. Our school has not had the best drama club in the past. Last year there were only several kids who showed up, and it was very discouraging. Despite the small numbers, we have been able to put on great shows, and I believe we can do that again. In 2019 there was a full cast for the show 12 Angry Men. Even though they predominantly had female actors for, well, 12 angry men, they still made it work!


History of Drama Clubs:

The first organized group of actors dates back hundreds of years to the 1700s. Actors would gather and put on shows in small theaters. It was a wildly popular form of entertainment. People would come into the cities to see even the smallest of shows. These organizations grew like Shakespeare and formed into the massive groups that we know today. Theatre recently has been a very comedic thing to do if you are a teen. If you like it or want to participate in any way, you get labeled a “theater kid.” This terminology may not seem bad, but it often gives the wrong image of what theater means. The performing arts is actually one of the most competitive and difficult careers to pursue in life. It takes so much talent and hard work and is not a joke like many people make it seem. When I asked Mr. Garfinkel his thoughts on this, he said there was a general lack of interest in the arts and humanities. MHS has a substantial population of students interested in the STEM field. He also stated, “I think there is a feeling shared among many students that the humanities is not going to lead to a well-paying job; while I find that idea understandable, I also think that mindset is misguided. Every school subject teaches students various ways of thinking, and it is thinking that is vital for work and life itself.” I have to agree with this. Students here are very focused and realistic on goals for their plans for the future. Though, as Mr. Garfinkel said, the arts can help a person with unique skills not used in other subjects. Some examples are public speaking, organization, and working with others. Theater has been given a bad rap for its unrealistic goals, but it is so much more than just a career.

Theater had a very difficult time when COVID-19 broke out. All theaters were shut down, and many shows that had been ongoing for years closed permanently. When they reopened, it was difficult for everyone to get back on track. Especially for schools. Many schools lost their connection to theater because it’s such a hands-on project. I think this is another reason why MHS has struggled with reviving our drama club. But this is the most beautiful thing about the performing arts: it requires human connection and being together. There is nothing that could ever replace it. That is why it has lasted so long and will never die out. It may seem small and insignificant, but our school helps theater stay strong. This club has a major impact on keeping young people informed and involved in theater. Without schools like ours having a drama club, we could forget about the art entirely.