Houston Secondary School’s (HSS) drama program has a new set of curtains to define their drama space.
Hannah Harper, the new drama teacher at HSS who recently took over from former drama teacher Kaitlyn Clark in February, told Houston Today, that these new curtains were a result of Clark’s efforts.
“She did a really incredible job of starting to establish a drama program at Houston and as a part of that she reached out to Dungate for a potential donation in order to get our drama room up to snuff and Dungate very generously sponsored us in terms of purchasing equipment,” said Harper.
Dungate Community Forest made a $8,000 donation towards the drama club and the school used the funds to get some custom-made drapes as well as new tech for the drama club.
“While it is a small space, it now has the ability to function as a proper theatre. It is really amazing and I just have one small drama class of very passionate, very excited group of kids,” said Harper, adding, “having the curtains up just makes the space that much more usable.”
The space that is now being used by the drama club, was used for different things in the past right from it being a music room, to having a full stage setup in the past. Over the years, the drama club got left behind and was revived again last year by Clark when drama was started as an elective for Grade 8.
“These kids are so excited by drama. They are to their core excited to explore this side of themselves and I am really lucky to be stepping into this position where Kaitlyn last semester worked so hard to bring drama back,” she said.
Harper, who is from Vancouver Island, moved to Houston from Victoria. She graduated high school in Vanderhoof and even when she went to teach school, she always wanted to take up a contract up in the North. So, when the opportunity opened up, she immediately took it “because I was ready to have an adventure back up north, and it is a pretty dreamy job to bring drama to these kids.”
“We are excited to get into the space and do some digital creation and create in a way that audiences will be able to see even though it is COVID,” she said.
The drama program is now in the process of creating one such digital piece of theatre loosely based around the idea of what would happen if the kids’ favourite fictional characters showed up in the middle of COVID and what that would mean for these characters. Harper said that such a production meant there could be potential for the drama club to collaborate with the woods class to build sets and that the drama club was also exploring costume creation.
The drama class’ digital creation is set to take place on Jun. 16 for the time being.