WOODLAND — Drama students at Woodland Middle School recently performed the school’s first play since 2020, “Giants in the Sky,” a musical performance exploring the world of giants who live above the clouds, with a cast of nearly 40 sixth through eighth grade students directed by Ronda Oathes, the school’s drama and English language arts teacher and drama club adviser.
During the period of remote learning due to the pandemic, Oathes continued the drama club by having students record their individual parts at home, sending the video to Oathes who would then piece the parts together and release the finished performance as an online production. “Giants in the Sky” will be the Drama Department’s first in-person production since remote learning as well as the school’s first-ever musical performance.
Oathes brought drama classes and the after-school program back to Woodland Middle School in 2018. “I had wanted to offer students the opportunity to put on productions since I first started teaching in Woodland,” she said. “We continue to see increasing interest in the drama program from students with many of those in this production performing for the first time, which is great.”
Oathes teaches students the foundations of performance including improvisation, characterization and how to become comfortable playing a part in front of an audience without laughing or breaking character. “It’s important for kids to get used to speaking and presenting in front of people since these are life skills they will use throughout their careers,” she said. “Performing plays provides an alternative to giving speeches and ease into public speaking — students get to add creativity and present characters which can often provide comfort to those nervous about being on-stage.”