Drama Students Frustrated That Shows Don’t Offer Art Credit

1 min read

The ten-week-long fall play totals 96 hours of outside-of-school rehearsals and performances. The Drama class only totals about 80 to 90 hours of class time for the school year. Yet, while the drama class fulfills M-A’s mandatory art credit, the after-school show does not. Students in the fall play expressed their frustration because, while school sports are counted as PE credits, after-school shows are not recognized.

School play director and drama teacher Danette Bathauer said, “The environment is different because people after school are there by choice while people in my class are sometimes there to fulfill a requirement.” In her class, she delves into the history of scripts, whereas, in after-school productions, students focus on how to play a certain character. Bathauer added, “It’s an authentic performance. We have a deadline and a purpose, and I think the motivation is high for learning as compared to class.”

Timothy Lombard, a counselor at M-A said the after school shows aren’t considered an art credit because of California Education Code. K-12 public schools are required to follow the requirements for graduation listed in Education Code. For example, students are required to take English for at least three years.

Senior Ziomara Navarro has been in Drama and in after school productions for three years. They were excited to join M-A’s theater program freshman year since their middle school didn’t offer one. Navarro said that the after school plays and musicals are a huge time commitment. “You’re spending hours of your time after school doing the shows for other people’s entertainment just like school sports, so I don’t understand why the musical and play aren’t considered an art credit,” they said. 

Sophomore Emma Mulcahy added, “I do think it’s unfair that we don’t get art credits for doing the shows because a lot of time and effort goes into every rehearsal.” Mulcahy is on the cheer team which she believes is similar to the shows because they rehearse for the outcome of performing in a game. Mulcahy explained, “Cheer is only two or three days a week but it’s year-round, so I think that’s why it’s considered a PE credit. It’s frustrating that one of my hobbies is recognized when the other goes uncredited.”

Though many students are frustrated that the after school shows are not counted towards art credit, the government ultimately dictates which credits can be counted. Participating in the fall play and spring musical should feel rewarding after the hard work and dedication students put into each show, regardless of whether or not they get credits.

Amari Witt is a sophomore at M-A and this is her first year in journalism. She has written many music stories and hopes to write more event stories. In her free time she likes to perform with M-A Drama and she loves being with her friends.

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