Role playing is a powerful mechanism for familiarizing oneself with important concepts. At American Heritage, acting out the lives and statements of great men and women familiarizes our students with true heroes worthy of their emulation. Students in grades K-12 are first, and routinely, afforded acting opportunities as part of their Core Classroom’s annual devotional: a pageant-style performance that demonstrates to parents, fellow students, and other audience members the interconnectedness of the history, literature, geography, gospel topics, and personal application covered during the year.
More formal exposure to drama comes in the eighth grade, when students perform a play as part of the school’s Shakespeare week. Students in grades 9-12 can then choose from among drama and stagecraft electives. All students in grades 9-12 can audition for the small-cast play in the Fall and the high school musical in the Spring.
As another example of our school’s efforts to promote well-rounded education opportunities, AHS offers classes in Technical Theater. Areas covered include set design and construction, stage lighting, sound design, and stage management. Students receive in-depth classroom instruction as well as hands-on experience. Training is given using the latest in sound and lighting consoles. Students who complete the program move on to college with experience running productions as well as programming and documentation.
The class is taught by our school’s technical director, Jay Clark, who has more than 40 years of professional theater experience, including 16 years as a cultural arts producer for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. Classes are offered at both beginning and advanced levels.