Thursday December 14, 2017
Frederick H. Tuttle Middle School’s (FHTMS) drama program cast and directing team, along with parent chaperones, boarded a bus at 5 a.m. on a Sunday morning last month for their annual field trip. The excursion was in preparation for the school’s January production of “Almost, Maine” and included a visit to the Portland Maine Stage Company where the play had its premiere. The group took part in a two-hour acting workshop and tour of the facility, before having lunch at a traditional Maine diner similar to the one in the play. They finished the day learning team building skills at a high ropes adventure course.
Director David Bailey explained, “We work hard to pick a place and activity that connects to our play, provides an experience that deepens our understanding of the characters and how to portray them, and brings our cast closer together.”
During the workshop, the students explored characters from the play and did movement exercises where, as a group, they were tasked with creating different shapes, an exercise emphasizing the importance of working as an ensemble. As every scene in “Almost, Maine” involves some level of confrontation, the group also practiced different techniques of arguing.
“The cast trip was educational as well as exciting. It was a great experience that took us out of our comfort zones by exploring the ropes course. It was also an amazing bonding experience for the cast, especially for the sixth and seventh graders who are new to drama,” said eighth grader Melissa Rosowsky.
Gianna Morin, also an eighth grader, said, “There was bonding and a whimsical feel that seemed to linger above our heads as we descended the zip line. It was a good acting experience and I really enjoyed seeing the inner workings of a professional theatre.”
Fellow eighth grader Hanlan Paquin added, “This is my third year doing an FHTMS play. All the trips have been really fun, and they transform us from a team to a family. This year, both the workshop and the zip line made us stretch who we are as individuals and a group. You need to be able to do those things to be a proficient and successful actor.”
FHTMS performances of “Almost, Maine” are Friday and Saturday, January 11 and 12, at 7 p.m., in the South Burlington High School SBHS auditorium.
SOURCE: Karen Paquin for FHTMS PTO