Theatre Counts, Too.

Kaya Romeo Staff Writer The definition of an extracurricular activity is simple: an activity taken on by a student outside the curriculum of our school.  This can take many forms, including sports, scholastic bowl, or theatre.  At Latin, some activities are considered enough of a time commitment to be eligible for a class credit. If an athlete participates in a sport or one outside of school, they are able to receive gym credit for their commitment. When a student actor spends significant time in rehearsals, however, there begins to be a double standard. By significant time, I don’t mean 2 hours of rehearsal once or twice a week, I mean 3 to 4 hours of intense rehearsals every day. Fine, you can argue that not every show requires that serious a commitment, and it’s not as though it is physical exercise and therefore it shouldn’t be eligible for a gym credit.  Yet some shows, like the current production, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, require physical involvement.  As actors, we’re faced with 4 hours of intense tumbling, acrobatics, lifts and more. We had a week of training with CircEsteem (and we have consistent practice with our movement consultant Jack Gomberg), which required more effort than most of our gym classes. This is not something special for this year’s production.  Every year, at least one production requires the input of an outside organization specializing in movement work, and this work is necessary to produce a quality production. When asked about the fairness of athletes receiving credits while their actor counterparts do not, sophomore Tricia Crimmins responded, “I think that it is unfair, [actors] put in just as much time as [athletes]; do, and [actors] should get credit too. Not to degrade sports, but we dedicate just as much of our lives as they do.” Junior Jacob Pharaoh also weighed in, saying “I think that it makes it very hard for actors to pursue their passion and balance school work. Because it’s an after-school commitment that requires physical activity, I think it should carry a credit.” Junior Nour Hatoum offered his opinion, stating, “I think that with the amount of time that actors put in, which is the same if not more time than athletes put into their play, show, etc. then they should receive credit for it. Joining a play or musical is a huge time commitment and if the students who participate received some recognition in terms of their credits, it would make things fair.” The honest truth of the matter is that the two activities are not being evaluated equally.  If an extracurricular activity is extracurricular, let it be that: something outside of school completely apart from it; if you’re going to let them count toward credits, then consider all of them equally and objectively.]]>