Public Performance Class: Learning to Love the Stage


Mattea Vecera, Staff Writer, Advanced Journalism

We have all been impacted by some sort of performance, whether it be an on-stage theatre show, a concert, or a Public Performance skit. However, being a part of that performance gives an even greater impact that only a handful of students experience during their years in high school.

The big turn off for many is the process of auditioning and the fear of embarrassment on stage, which is why many don’t try out for the winter musical or spring play. However, there is something truly special about the class Public Performance, which allows students to experience performing in a less formal setting and without any audition process.

Public Performance is an English elective available to juniors and seniors of all abilities and backgrounds. As Notre Dame Academy’s only drama/speech specific class, being a part of it is a truly unique experience. 

Led by English teacher and musical director Andrea Gilson, Public Performance seeks “increased concentration, development of creativity, practice in the ability to ‘speak on one’s feet,’ and growth in both interpersonal and intrapersonal communication,” according to NDA’s Educational Guide. 

For the same reason as many other students, senior Kai Assef joined the class to step out of his shell while learning new skills alongside his friends.

“Before the class started, I was a little bit nervous. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be like because all I knew about was the lunchtime performances,” said Assef. 

Public Performance is known for its comedic lunchtime shows, where the students perform skits, lip-sync to popular songs, re-enact commercials and more. During class time, they also work on improvisation, pantomime, stage directions and play theatre/speech games.

Through this, students “become more comfortable with their bodies, voices and up-front presence,” says the Educational Guide.As someone who hasn’t performed on stage during high school before this, Assef has a great appreciation for the class.

“It has really helped me to step out of my comfort zone. At first, it was challenging to say things I normally wouldn’t say, and I was kind of embarrassed, but now I’m a lot more confident,” said Assef. 

If you are interested in learning more about the class, make sure to listen for the loud announcement, “Hey, everyone, we have a show for you!” during lunchtime and head to the auditorium to experience the fun. 

If you are interested in joining the class next year, anyone is welcome. However, as this is a very sought after class with only limited spots, current sophomores and juniors should submit their course schedules for next year soon after it is available in order to hopefully earn a spot.