The Best Kind of Middle School Drama

Frederick hosts the first St. Vrain Middle-High Theatre Conference

Juniors Micah Witler and Rylee Loramer explain all the “ins and outs” of building and creating a set. Micah says “The tours have been great. It’s been really fun getting to see middle schoolers who are actually interested in [all parts of] theatre and not just the on stage [work]. Set work, which is what we are here, we’re behind the scenes.“ Micah and Rylee are both usually on stage but they both enjoy helping out stage tech and getting to build parts of the set and be part of this aspect.

Jillian Margheim, Editorial Manager

The Middle School Theatre Festival started off strong with a 15 minute welcome addressing the day’s schedule and all the staff and students who were either working or helping out. Followed by a performance of “A Backward Fairy Tale” by Alison Lehnoff, Directed by Brandon Coon. (Mason Faulkner)

Juniors Micah Witler and Rylee Loramer explain all the “ins and outs” of building and creating a set. Micah says “The tours have been great. It’s been really fun getting to see middle schoolers who are actually interested in [all parts of] theatre and not just the on stage [work]. Set work, which is what we are here, we’re behind the scenes.“ Micah and Rylee are both usually on stage but they both enjoy helping out stage tech and getting to build parts of the set and be part of this aspect. (Jillian Margheim)
Senior Quinnen Gutierrez and Junior Rylee McGroarity are both members of the pit. They were able to give some good information about the pit to the middle schoolers. “Being in the orchestra pit you get to play all the backing music for the entire show, so, it adds this sort of extra feeling to the audience besides just playing pre-recorded audio out of the overhead [sound system].” Says Quinnen. (Jillian Margheim)

Sophomores Emery Ishmael and Rissa Engdal were in charge of makeup for Fredericks tour. They did a demo of some crazy stage makeup throughout the day. “Being part of makeup means getting to create something that is not normal, like a monster, or something like that. It plays a crucial role in any performance.” (Mason Faulkner)
Senior Will Greiner was explaining how a sound board works and its importance to any theatre activity. “It was super fun, we got to perform for the kids, teach them a little bit about theatre, and try to get to meet some of the people who are going to be the future of our theatre program here at Frederick. The tour was interesting because the kids were a little bit intimidated, but we got to make each stop [on the tour] fun so they didn’t feel as intimidated.” Says Will. (Jillian Margheim)
Mead highschool’s theatre program was here to teach a little about stage makeup. They had the “Build Your Own Makeup Kit” workshop, taught by Andrea Mackey. 7th graders Layla and Zoe from Aspen Ridge were able to share their favorite parts. “Being able to experience all the different things, like wrinkles and like black eyes and stuff was my favorite part” Says Layla. “My favorite part was covering all the different techniques” says Zoe. They covered bruises, black eyes, wrinkles, and bruised knuckles. (Jillian Margheim)
Niwot high schools theatre program brought in the”Let’s Look at Lights” workshop, taught by Jason Watkins. They went over all the basics of lighting and how important of a role it plays in productions of plays and musicals. 8th grader Adeline from Sunset middle school says her favorite part of lights was “The cool changing of the lights. I liked the colors, its fun.” (Jillian Margheim)
Skyline Highschool’s theatre program brought two different workshops to the festival. The first being “Joining a High School Tech Crew” taught by Amy Campion. They explained all the ins and outs of being a stage tech crew member. From the physical job, to the purpose, to the uniforms even. Middle schooler Carly from Erie Middle School shared her opinion on this workshop. “It was really fun. It was really cool that we got to see the different roles and the game was super fun. It was cool that we all won”. (Jillian Margheim)
Skyline’s second workshop was “Dance forNon-Dancers” taught by Amy Riddoch. They talked about how its okay to not have any previous dance experience and then followed that with teaching the middle schoolers a short routine. Jody from Erie said that “it’s definitely been my favorite so far, this one is super fun” (Jillian Margheim)
Erie brought the “How to nail an audition” workshop, thought by Scott Wright. They started off with a short skit and then they went over the basics of what an audition is going to look like and then, well, how to nail one. They even gave each middle schooler a practice number that they got to keep at the end. 8th graders Claire, Bella, Taylor, and Abby from Soaring heights said the workshop was “very scary at first. But it was super helpful and gave lots of good tips.” And “lot’s of impression tips, not just like on the day. It was a lot of like how to behave.” “They had good examples too, like what not to do and what to do. Which is really helpful.” (Jillian Margheim)
Longmont High School’s workshop was “The Art of Improv” taught by Dac Cederberg. He started it off with a fun game featuring a little bit of improv and then had all the students try out improv on their own. During the “try it yourself” part he went around to critique and give pointers. 7th graders Corey and Hailey from Aspen Ridge Preparatory said that “this class, the improv, has been my favorite. Improvising off of each other, that has been really fun.” “Feeding off of each others ideas to create something together” (Jillian Margheim)
After the first two workshops it was time for lunch. Frederick served Blackjack Pizza. They gave the option of pepperoni or just plain cheese. Lunch gave them a nice 25 minute break to relax and recharge for the last workshop. (Jillian Margheim)