Niton Central Principal Steven Ripkens, Assistant Principal Alan Stoyles, and Grade 8 student Emily Cronin presented to the Board of Trustees at September's Public Board Meeting, describing their success at last year's Junior One Act Play Festival in Barrhead.
The 'Niton Central Drama Troupe' had just one month to get organized - from script, to parts, to lighting, staging, sound, sets, and music - and despite a few hurdles with sickness and learning lines, the students ended up winning the top prize!
Mr. Stoyles shared, "The day of the Festival prior to our performance is a bit of a blur to me. I have never felt more helpless than when the lights came on for our first scene and there was nothing more I could do but watch. I remember breathing again around the end of scene 4. The students did an amazing job and that feeling of helplessness was replaced with pride in all they had done."
Following their success at the festival, the students were inspired to present their play to family and friends. But more than the thrill of the win at the festival, Mr. Stoyles reflected on the impact of performing arts' experiences on students. "The student who was afraid of public speaking mastered a leading role; the student who was always quiet filled an entire gym with her voice. The student who took control of the lighting taught me how it was done, and my stage manager took to her leadership role as second nature! The student who struggled to make new friends branched out to meet students from other schools...this shows how important these opportunities are to helping students develop as people."
As a result of the success of this program and the positive response from students and parents, Niton Central has integrated Performing Arts into every junior high student's Arts program.