Public Performance Says Farewell This Semester

If you ask any high school student, many will say that lunch is one of their favorite times of the day.  It is more than just a time to eat, relax, and socialize with friends.  Lunch is also the time to catch some occasional live entertainment, courtesy of  Mrs. Carolyn Brown’s Public Performance class.


Students enrolled in this class meet daily in the auditorium, where they learn the basics of acting/stagework and speech, and prepare to perform various skits.


Mrs. Brown came to Notre Dame Academy eighteen years ago, and was hired to teach English and Public Performance, which was then known as Creative Dramatics.  Back then, Creative Dramatics was a popular course and initially counted as a Fine Arts credit.  This led many students to enroll in the performance class over an art class. Later, this class fulfilled a speech requirement that students needed to complete for graduation.  Today, Public Performance is recognized as an English elective.


On performance days, an announcement is made during both lunch periods inviting students, hoping to attract a large crowd.  The audiences have grown this semester over last year.  Many students believe that the attendance at performances is higher this year due to the fact that Mrs. Brown is the teacher again.


Joe Curtin, senior,  said, “One reason I took this class was because my older brother did and while sitting in the audience as an underclassmen, it looked like a lot of fun.”  Curtin also said that the first lunch performance was his favorite of the entire year.  The auditorium was filled with laughter as students watched junior and senior boys impersonate girls on a fishing trip. Performers captured the image of a stereotypical teenage girl perfectly, taking selfies, and being too grossed out by the fish they caught to even touch them.


Senior, Stu Kwaterski, another Public Performance student, said his favorite thing to do in class is improv.  Improvisation is when actors perform a skit on the spot that has never been rehearsed.


The student audience enjoyed the entertaining improv performance of students portraying radio channels.  Students were assigned a musical genre and were to act as radio stations.  When it was their turn, the students would burst into song or unscripted lines.


Kwaterski and Mike Ness, senior, agreed that their most memorable act was when they dressed up as the famous boyband, The Backstreet Boys.  They wore white suits, danced and lip synced to the hit “Everybody.”


Senior Isaac Seering’s favorite memory from Public Performance was participating in a skit where an enthusiastic father and son approached John Travolta on an airplane.


Ness said, “Public Performance has helped me to not take things too seriously.”  Kwaterski and Seering agree that the atmosphere is easygoing, and the people are fun to perform with.


“Public Performance has taught me how to be a leader, and has improved my public speaking skills,” Kwaterski said.


Even though Public Performance is a fun class, Curtin and Seering both agreed that coming up with material that people will find funny is harder than you think.  However, Kwaterski and Ness believe that they are challenged by the difficulty to stay on task and remain focused.


Public Performance is also popular with the foreign exchange students.  Administration encourages the exchange students to enroll in the class to help them with their English.  Mrs. Brown said that the class helps the exchange students learn American slang.


Public Performance was almost not offered as a class this semester because there was not a teacher available.  However, Mrs. Brown agreed to add this class to her schedule so the students could experience it.  Unfortunately, the class will not be offered until next fall.


“To anyone who is contemplating taking the class, take it.  You will have the time of your life.  It’s important to step outside your comfort zone,” Curtin said.


Public Performance gave their last show before exams on Tuesday where they performed a play based on students in detention.