Kudos to Theater Academy
By DANA DUGAN
Express Staff Writer
The Blaine County School District and its two high
schools, Wood River and Carey, have instigated something truly progressive
for the students this school year. Titled The Academy for the Arts and
Sciences, the programs specialize in Theater Arts, Finance and Business,
Travel and Tourism, Information Technology, Residential Construction, as
well as Health and Medical Technology.
During this past inaugural year of the Theater Academy,
eight students have, under the tutelage of both The College of Southern
Idaho and the Company of Fools, studied movement, acting, creative
writing, and theatre history. The yearís work culminates with a
production of And Then They Came For Me: Remembering the World of Anne
Frank by James Still, and directed by Rusty Wilson. The play will be
presented at the Liberty Theatre in Hailey at 8 p.m. May 18, 19 and 25,
26. Several matinees also will be performed for students in the valley.
The theatre academy students this year are Sharon Barto,
Kathleen Craig, Eric Hamlin, Mac Harbaugh, Daniel Moore, Aurora
Hull-Mullins Jon Dykstra and Chris Stice.
"Itís a process," said Company of Foolís
artistic director, Rusty Wilson, about the studentís arc over the year.
"You donít notice the changes daily. But they have matured, and
grown in their understanding of theatre arts as a discipline and a life
pursuit. So many times anything artistic is looked at as the ice cream.
Well, theyíre getting the chance to look at it as the meal, with all of
the things it has to offer-how complex it is, the collaborative nature of
what theatre is and how they are responsible to each other and not just to
themselves. Itís not just a solo deal. Thatís been a beautiful thing
to watch-the sense of responsibility to a group while not giving up their
Next year to add to the diversity there will be new kids,
as well as four returning ones. Eventually itíll be a two-year
sequential program. "In years two, three, four there will be 11th
grade level-one, and a 12th grade level-two class," Wilson said.
"My hats off to the school system and Jim [Lewis,
district superintendent] for going for it. My genuine hope is that it
grows and itís something that becomes a vital part of the educational
fabric here in town."