Warner University’s Drama Club is now in full swing. Eighteen students met in October for the initial workshop session. This club is sponsored by the Student Life department in hopes of providing students a way to engage their creative sides. “The Drama Club appeals to a different audience that our programming doesn’t cover,” says Director of Community Engagement, Karie Harpest. “The hope is that it will allow students to find the artist within them and grow in this particular skill set.”
The group is led by Women’s Resident Director, Alicia Bush, who has an extensive background in theatre training. Bush went to school for theatre at Anderson University and went on to obtain her Masters in theatre in the community and drama education at the University of London. “It has made such a huge difference in my life that I wanted to introduce this artistic medium to the students of Warner University,” Bush proposed that the group meet once a month in the first semester to gauge how much student involvement the club would generate. After the first meeting, the group asked to meet more regularly. “I had only planned for 90 minutes worth of exercises but we ran for two hours,” Bush said. “We had more student involvement than anticipated and they were so engaged. It was incredible.”
The group will now meet twice a month for two hours each workshop session. It will focus mostly on actor training and performance– beginning with basic improvisation sessions and working up to acting methods. It will then transition into scene work and writing and directing for theatre. During finals week of the first semester, the students will host an improv show for their peers. Ticket sales from the improv performance will help to raise money for their final showcase which will be performed at the conclusion of the following semester. This will consist of the group members writing, directing and acting in one-act plays that they create themselves.
“It’s so encouraging to see how passionate these students are about learning and growing as artists,” said Bush. “We hope to see it grow so that one day we can put on full performances here at Warner.” Right now, the club’s sessions are planned so that students can join in at any time and not feel behind if they missed the previous session. The club meets every other Thursday from 8-10 p.m. on the stage at South Lake Wales Church of God.
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