Twain Theatre Receives Superior Rating at 2020 VTA Conference
At the end of October, the Virginia Theatre Association hosted its annual conference, although this year it was done virtually. Twain’s full-year Advanced Theatre class created an original performance for the event. At the Awards Ceremony on Sunday, November 1, Twain was received a Superior rating, a Best Ensemble award, and a Best Actor award.
We invite you to view the original production here: Mark Twain MS Theatre Arts Fall Production 2020.
In this virtual setting, we are not charging a ticket price for our production, however, if you would consider making a donation to the Twain Theatre program instead, we appreciate any amount you are able to give at this time.
We hope to be back on stage soon and thank you for your support.
Mark Twain Theatre Department Events and Fundraisers:
2020-21 Info below! Dates are tentative.
Unfortunately, at this time, Theatre events are currently on hold. Please check back here or on our social media pages as we begin to plan and implement activities.
Drama Club is happening virtually this year! Drama Club is Thursdays from 4:00 - 4:45. For more information, email Ms. Lebowitz at firstname.lastname@example.org
Theatre at Mark Twain Middle School takes on three forms:
Theatre Arts Classes
- Theatre Arts Productions
Students can take part in any or all forms – you don’t have to be in class to take part in the after school activities and you don’t have to take part in the after school activities if you are in class! The choice is totally up to you!
Theatre Arts Classes
Beginning Theatre Arts
In Beginning Theatre Arts students learn:
Parts of the stage
- Pantomime- How to use their bodies and facial expression to tell a story
- Voice- How to speak clearly, loudly, and with expression
- Improvisation- How to think on their feet
- Basic performance techniques
Beginning Theatre Arts helps give students the basic tools and confidence for getting up in front of their peers. These tools with help them with presentations in other classes as well as at activities outside the school environment.
Students will be introduced to the basic concepts and skills of technical theatre elements, design, and construction through a variety of group discussions and dramatic activities. Students will explore the relationship of plays and musicals to technical elements, design and implementation.
It is required for students to have completed Beginning Theatre Arts or Tech Theatre in order to enroll in Advanced Theatre Arts.
Students can take Beginning Theatre Arts during first semester and the semester Advanced Theatre Arts during the second semester of the same school year. There is also a Full Year Theatre arts class for 8th graders who took Beginning Theatre Arts as a 7th grader. 7th graders who complete the semester Advanced Theatre Arts class can enroll is the semester or full year class as 8th graders.
Some things students learn in Advanced Theatre Arts are:
- Acting Techniques
- Shakespeare- both language and history
- Technical Theatre
- How to create, produce, and perform their own show
Advanced Theatre Arts is for the student who wants to expand on the baics learned in Beginning Theatre Arts and take their performance abilities to another level. Students will learn how to prepare different types of texts to go “from page to stage.”
Drama Club is an after school activity that takes place every Wednesday during both first and second blocks. Drama Club focuses primarily on Theatre Sports – an improvisational sport that challenges students to think on their feet and create scenes and characters from minimal information. The concept is very much like the TV Show “Whose Line Is It Anyway.” A few times a year, middle schools from around the county compete in Theatre Sports Competitions which gives students a chance to enhance their skills and meet others. Students who participate in Drama Club decide what games will be played each day and vote on who will represent Twain at each upcoming competition. Drama Club includes other theatre activities based on the desires of the students who attend. We may work with scripts, watch movies, or even collaborate with Video Club to make a movie. It is totally up to the students!
Each year, Mark Twain Middle School puts on a full theatrical production. Past shows include Beauty and the Beast (2018), Get Smart (2017), Seussical (2016), Alice in Wonderland (2015), Willy Wonka (2014), The Phantom Tollbooth (2013), The Wiz (2012), Snow White and Seven Dwarfs of the Black Forest and Final Dress Rehearsal (2011), Annie (2010), Nothing but the Truth (2009), Charlotte’s Web, the musical (2008), Up the Down Staircase (2007), and Grease, Jr. (2006).
Performances alternate between a musical and non-musical production each year so that students have a chance to do both while at Twain.
For Students Who Want to Perform: Auditions are open to all students and rehearsals are three days a week from 2:30 – 5:30. The week prior to the performances, dress rehearsals can last until 8:00 or 9:00 pm in order to get the show in tip top shape! There can be rehearsals on non-school days as well. Information about the play selection, auditions, rehearsal and performance schedules are available to interested students by December. Auditions are typically scheduled eight to ten weeks prior to performances.
For Students Who Do Not Want to Perform: Student not interested in being onstage have ample opportunity to participate by working on the technical aspects of the play. These areas include stage management, lights, sound, props, costumes, make-up, set building, choreography (musicals only), and graphic design. After school commitment for technical students is dependent on the needs of the show and the amount of students involved.
For information about Theatre events throughout FCPS. check out the FCPS Fine and Performing Arts Calendar
For information about the Theatre Arts Directors Association (TADA), check out their website.