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Cameron Swallow’s drama class bursts with activity as students at Grundy County High School prepare to present two plays on May 22, an original play, “Remembering Marcus,” and “Toying with History.”
A veteran teacher, Swallow is new to the high school this year and has brought much needed creativity and energy to the drama department. The class, composed of sophomores and juniors, admits to initially being on the fence about acting and all things drama related when starting in the fall. However, that soon changed. “I have seen people open up,” says Cheyenne Dockery, “ especially shy people.” Rebecca Walker says she has become friends with people she did not expect to.
This class also has students thinking about their future. Joyceline Garcia feels it has helped her with public speaking and Callin Stoker hopes to study acting after leaving high school.
“Remembering Marcus” is the focus of today’s class rehearsals. The original play was created in a unique collaboration between the class and Sewanee Artist in Residence Elyzabeth Wilder.
Swallow and Wilder originally discussed working together with the class to create a play. Swallow then presented the idea to her students. They came up with possible scenes by working together in small groups and voted on their three favorites.
The top three scenarios were forwarded to Wilder who chose her favorite, created by students Halie Monroe, Peyton Eads, and Shawna Worley, to develop into a play.
The result of the collaboration between Wilder and the students at GCHS is a timely and moving drama about the real-life consequences of drinking and driving.
The class will be working every day to prepare for the May 22 premiere. In addition to actors, Swallow says staging the play involves a strong stage crew, including a stage manager, and that they will utilize technology throughout the performance. Students will even paint the sets for the play.
“Remembering Marcus” and “Toying with “History” will premiere at Grundy County High School on May 22 at 7:00 p.m.