Archive for August 13th, 2011

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Middle School Theater Classes

August 13, 2011

Troy Howard Middle School

Jason Bannister will be one of the few middle school theater arts teachers in the Maine Public School system this fall. Bannister, who taught 4th grade and 7th/8th ELA for the last 8 years, will be teaching theater arts full time to all 7th/8th graders at Troy Howard Middle School. In the past, students at THMS took visual art all three years (6th-8th), along with music 7/8. They were not taught theater arts, as required in the Maine Learning Results. With Bannister teaching theater arts, students will have the special opportunity to meet standards in music, art and theater during their 3 years at the middle school.

Bannister, who has a B.A. in Theater and M.A.T. in Education, is very excited to be teaching theater to the kids. He will be able to bring his experience as a professional actor into the classroom. As a former ELA teacher he will be able to work with the other academics in the school to incorporate their curriculum into the class, using their ‘texts’ in performance. With the stage right next door to his new, large classroom
space, Bannister hopes to offer many different activities, including acting, stagecraft, writing, filmmaking, and dance.

In addition to the class, Bannister also directs the school’s drama club, Center Stage Ensemble. Under his tutelage the club performs a fall play, a winter musical, and hosts the newly created Maine Student Acting Competition. The MSAC offers middle school students from around the state a day-long acting/singing/dancing tournament. In its first year in 2011, the MSAC had five schools competing, with around 30 competitors. Next year Bannister looks to double that. Anyone interested in learning more about
the MSAC can go to http://mainesac.wordpress.com/ or email jbannister@rsu20.org. You can also learn more about THMS’s drama club at http://thmsdrama.wordpress.com/ and Jason Bannister’s classroom at
http://thms.rsu20.org/performingarts/.

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