The PVHS Drama Club is up and running with meetings occurring every two weeks on Fridays at 3:00 via Zoom. This club encompasses everything theatre-related, while managing to tie in some fellow student bonding. From improv to “What are you doing?” (a club favorite theatre exercise), the club has managed to stay afloat despite pandemic complications.
The drama club has been a part of the PVHS community for six years now. It began in 2014 during Justin Bwint’s senior year. He came to Mr. Lyczak, a teacher at the high school and drama club advisor, with the proposition for a theatre-related club here at PV.
“The idea of Drama Club came from Justin’s appreciation and participation in our classroom acting sessions on Hamlet and other pieces that I act with my kiddos in class. Justin was taken with the accents, passion, and enthusiasm that we utilized to breath new life into the works of antiquity,” Mr. Lyczak said.
After Justin graduated, years later, Gillian Williams reignited involvement in the club as she began one of the first physical drama classes at PVHS. Williams, working alongside Lyczak, refined the course and established a binder of programming and materials that could be used to reinvent the club- the present form it is in today.
A typical drama club meeting begins with introductions, followed by a warm-up which usually consists of a shakedown to release any anxious energy. Before any of the improv or acting exercises commence, the officers leave a space for each member to share any new exciting theatre accomplishments. That could be they were cast in a local community theatre production, or they became involved with something at school- any exciting news. After that, they break into improv exercises, theatre studies, and discussions about the different methods of acting. It is different every meeting.
“My favorite part of drama club has always been the common interest between people coming from all different levels of experience in theatre, choir, band, etc. For the short meeting, everyone has a chance to share their experiences and bond over new topics and lessons to add to their lists,” Kelly McKenzie, senior and current president of the club, said.
Like the majority of the clubs at PVHS, the drama club has also transferred to a Zoom setting to coincide with the pandemic. Even though acting requires a physical and emotional connection, the club members have still managed to reach one another even through a computer screen.
“We are extremely lucky to have a group of people who are willing to add another zoom to their list for the day to attend drama club. It’s not easy, and we had to start months later than we usually would, and we can’t play the warm-up/improv games that we’ve grown used to, but it has given us all a chance to learn how to work around the complications of the pandemic,” McKenzie said.
The Drama Club has been a hallmark for students who live and breathe anything theatre. The officers of the club stress the importance of inclusivity and being cheerleaders for everyone. Even after six years of existence, the Drama Club remains an open space for everyone passionate about the arts to congregate.
“Just because you may not be the biggest theatre nerd in the world does not mean that you won’t benefit from joining a community of diverse individuals! We are all about having fun and making connections- something that everybody can do!” John Baranowski, senior and also fellow drama club officer said.