Drama students view ‘Pericles’ on field trip

Students in Advanced Acting and Directing and the Actor and the Stage I and II attended a daytime performance of “Pericles” at A Noise Within Theatre in Pasadena Nov. 6 on the first-ever day-time field trip that the drama department has ever done to expose students to classical theatre, performing arts teacher Christopher Moore, who arranged the trip, said.

“I have taken trips to theater productions in the past as part of a Theater Club I had,” Moore said. “We however, only went to the theater during weekend evening shows and/or weekend matinees. I decided to arrange this trip since all the current acting classes        The Actor and the Stage and Advanced Acting and Directing      are all currently working on Shakespeare pieces in our class work. “

Moore explained to his students that he and box office manager Melissa Ouellet, who helped to organize the excursion, chose the venue based on its reputation for consistently good productions, Sabrina Batchler ’15, a student in Advanced Acting and Directing, said. She also said that “Pericles” is unique in that it is one of the more obscure Shakespeare plays and is rarely performed as a result.

“[‘Pericles’] is very convoluted and very Greek in its plot,” Batchler said. “You mash up a bunch of Greek plays, and you’ve got ‘Pericles.’ And it’s hard to understand, so because of that it’s very rarely done. This is probably one of the only chances we would get to see this play.”

Moore added that the company regularly performs to educate the younger artistic generation.

“A Noise Within Theater is LA’s premiere Classical Repertory Theater company,” Moore said.  “The theater has a strong connection to the educational community and offers special performances for LA county schools. I wanted to expose our acting students to this terrific theater company and I thought it would be both educational and fun for our acting students to attend a rarely staged play by Shakespeare and share the experience with an audience of students from other school’s theater programs.”

Students also attended a question-and-answer session with the performers after the production, Moore said.

“Theatre as an art form is so much about the community and the visuals and watching other people perform and watching full scale productions,” Brannan said. “By actually going out and seeing a play in the community that we live in, we were able to witness first-hand all the different elements that go into making a show and making a production and taking a play that is written on paper and seeing it in its true form.”

For Brannan, the excursion served to demonstrate a real-life example of theatre as an art form outside of school theatre.

“We aim to learn how to become actors and how to become directors and how to design shows, and this was a way for us to witness first-hand and explore the design as well as the full outcome of a show in our community,” Brannan said.

Moore plans to take more field trips in the future.

I hope to take at least one trip per semester,” Moore said. “However, it is very important for the students to plan ahead and meet all their academic requirements they may miss by taking a theater field trip.”

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