Riverside has many opportunities to get involved in the school culture. One of the new additions to that culture is the Preforming Arts Leadership Independent Studies course.
Performing Arts Leadership is an independent studies course that runs all year for grade 10, 11 and 12 students interested in the performing arts. It is a new service course to Riverside and the idea behind the course is that students learn the basics of “behind the scenes of performance.” They will support all the events that happen in the theater space.
Running a theater and a drama program is a lot of work. “I needed a lot of help,” said Riverside’s drama teacher Ms. Nicole Roberge. “I was asking students to volunteer their time, but if we have the course it means that students will get credit for their time in the theater. Most of the students have experience in my acting or musical theater class.”
There are 17 students in the Preforming Arts Leadership class. It is not a course assigned to a particular block, but students meet on Mondays at lunch and Roberge is hoping that it will become its own full course eventually with its own block in the timetable.
The IDS course is also a way for kids to connect in their area of passion. One of the first activities Roberge did to help the students connect and be inspired by theater was to invite Green Thumb Theater to Riverside for a special workshop. According to their website, “The Green Thumb Theater provides a way for young people to reflect on the kinds of issues they may be curious about or grappling with themselves, but don’t feel comfortable broaching in a traditional classroom.” www.greenthumb.bc.ca/aboutus.html
Roberge is happy to provide a space where students can express themselves and work through some of the stress of high school. “My dad was a teacher and I had some excellent teachers growing up but I also realized that high school can be a difficult and stormy time and I want to be a part of better solutions like teaching skills that can be transferred to the real world,” said Roberge.
Students want to be involved in the theater, but maybe just not be on the stage, can go check out Preforming Arts Leadership with Ms. Roberge in room 131.