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The Pearl Post

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The student news site of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School in Lake Balboa, CA

The Pearl Post

College Corner: Behind the scenes of Theater 100

Desiree Spurkel
Junior Andre Arcilla looks up a YouTube tutorial for how to apply makeup to make himself look older during the period five Theater 100 college class on May 15. Junior Daniel Arevalo and senior Jazmine Valerio apply their makeup for the class assignment.

In Esdras Toussaint’s Theater 100 class, students discover the thrill of performance and the transformative power of stepping into new roles on stage.

“I find this class interesting due to its historical factors—the impact that theater has had on the world from its very beginnings,” senior Josiah Lands said.

The class is taught through Pierce College and started this spring semester, with students engaged in various activities, from studying theater history to practicing acting techniques and directing. Each session begins with a warm-up exercise to get the students in the right mindset, followed by lessons on various aspects of theater. Students participate in group discussions about significant historical plays, analyze different acting methods and even get hands-on experience in scriptwriting and directing.

“The goal of this class is really to introduce students to theater and how it benefits society,” Toussaint said. “Like why has theater been around for so long for thousands of years, you know, especially Western theater, and it’s taken different forms. We have television, we have film, we have movies, we even have things like TikTok. All of those things are created to entertain people. I think from now until the end of time, we will always find ways to entertain each other.”

His teaching approach encourages students to work together, fostering a sense of community and mutual support. The class is important to students as it helps them build confidence and understand the art of storytelling. For many, it’s an opportunity to step out of their comfort zones and explore new facets of their personalities. 

“I hope to gain the experience of performing and being able to get out of my comfort zone,” senior Jazmine Valerio said. “I am a very shy person, so being able to perform is a bit scary but I hope that what I have learned will prepare me.” 

The art of theatre is not only about acting and performing. It is also the many other things that go on in the background of a play or performance. Students from Toussaint’s class learn how all of these different parts, little or small, play an overall role in the production.

“This is a way of getting students to understand that there are many disciplines that come together to create theater,” Toussaint said. “From playwrights actors, set designers, costume designers, lighting designers, sound designers and directors. And a bunch of technicians who build all of that and make things happen. And then of course, the audience.” 

Students in the class are nearing the end and thus the professor tasked them with performing a play in front of the school. However, the class is small and the amount of work is increased for everyone. Despite the challenges, students like Lands and Valerio are dedicated to the upcoming performance. 

“I’m taking in everybody as they are and hopefully, I can assign them to characters that fit them best,” said Lands, who is in charge of directing the play.

This hands-on experience in directing allows him to develop leadership skills and a deeper understanding of the theatrical process. The script for the performance, written by juniors Leah Balsin and Andre Arcilla, is another critical aspect of their preparation. The collaborative effort in scriptwriting is a testament to the class’s emphasis on teamwork and creativity.

As the students of Theater 100 work towards their performance, the excitement and nerves are palpable. With a combination of historical insights, creative collaboration and dedicated preparation, they are set to bring their production to life on stage. The journey in Theater 100 is about discovering the power of collaboration and creativity, making the class a showcase of their hard work and teamwork.

“It’s no easy task to write a whole screenplay but I believe in their capabilities,” Lands said. “I know that they are innovative and they’ll make a creative piece that I will be pleased with.”

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About the Contributors
Yusuf Syed
Yusuf Syed, Staff Writer
Yusuf Syed is in his first year on the staff of The Pearl Post as a staff writer. He is in his junior year and hopes to get good grades and go to a concert. When he is not at school, he is part of the ISVW (Islamic Center of West Valley) community. He likes to go to the beach once in a while, listen to music and hang out with his friends.
Desiree Spurkel
Desiree Spurkel, Yearbook Editor-in-Chief
Desiree Spurkel is in her second and final year on staff as a senior. She was granted the title of Yearbook Editor-in-Chief after being a yearbook editor the previous year. She has a passion for art and design and hopes to turn that into a career in the future. She is also president of Daniel Pearl Magnet High School’s Art Club. Her goal for this year is to create a memorable yearbook to commemorate her last year of high school.
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