Life Stories Students Visit MS 286’s Drama Club for a Master Class

This week two high school students from Life Stories (UAP’s advanced theater program) visited the after school drama club at MS 286 in Harlem.  They performed a scene they recently performed as part of the Rebel Verses Festival, and talked to students about their acting techniques and how they became interested in theater.  The group analyzed and discussed the scene, and then the Life Stories students led the drama club through some of their favorite theater warm-up exercises.

“It felt good to work with younger actors, and I want to do it more.  I want to help them become better actors.  The advice I would give to younger actors is to try to really believe that you’re the character you’re playing and to watch TV and movies with good acting to analyze what the actors do and try to figure out how they did it.” – Wilmar, 12th grade, Life Stories

“I thought it was pretty cool for high school students to come to talk to us about acting.  I thought their scene was well-written and well-played.” – Janell, 7th grade, MS 286

“It was fun and made me smile to see how young they’re starting.  That’s how it was for me.  I knew it was what I wanted to do when I was their age.  They were mature in handling our scene.  They analyzed the scene and they understood it.  I loved it.” – Mercedes, 12th grade, Life Stories

Led by teaching artist Brendan Boland, the drama club students have been working on an original adaptation of Euripedes’ classical Greek Tragedy Iphigenia in Aulis.  They analyzed and discussed the characters and plot of the play, and then wrote their own original scenes re-telling the story in their own langauge.  From there, the project has morphed into a video “mockumentary” where students will portray reporters broadcasting the events of the play.

“We have been working on a play based on a Greek play that’s going to be a movie.  We revised our lines and we get to write our own words to make a new script.” – Sapphire, 6th grade, MS 286

“I like to express myself in every way I can.  I feel free when I act.” – Mikaela, 6th grade, MS 286

“I like how when you act you can express yourself how you want to and you can be someone else.” – Imani, 6th grade, MS 286

“Acting is fun because you don’t have to write a lot and you can focus on what you’re doing in the moment.  I want to get better at learning to appreciate what other actors are doing.” – Shirley, 6th grade, MS 286