Art and Drama Club

Art and Drama Club

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Angel Ferguson

Have you ever had a love for the arts, so bad that you wanted to join a club just for it? Well this year, for the first time in a while, the Art & Drama clubs are shut down for now. March 11, 2020 was when the United States declared Covid-19 as a global outbreak. Not long after that declaration, everything shut down, including schools. All clubs and sports were cancelled. 2020 became the known as “the worst year in modern history.” After five long, excruciating months of waiting to head back to normality, the decision was made. July 28, 2020, “Gov. Lee, the Department of Health, and Department of Education released the State’s safe reopening plan for Tennessee schools,” says the TN Covid-19 Timeline, “Gov. Lee signed an executive order to allow contact sports and extend local authority for mask requirements…” Not long after, some schools around the state of Tennessee opened back up. When our schools opened up, so did contact sports and certain clubs. Unfortunately at our school, Art and Drama was shut down. (To view more information about the Drama and Art clubs, along with other clubs, view Vanessa Kirby’s article, “2020 vs. MCJH Clubs.” CLICK HERE)

School Clubs and Covid-19 Interference

The main reason that Art and Drama was shut down, was due to none other than Covid-19. In the Drama Club you have to be really close to each other and there is going to be a lot of talking. Of course, a lot of talking and being close together would spread many airborne particles possibly carrying covid. Another thing would be props. The actors, actresses, and backstage workers pick up props, and if they aren’t sanitized, could spread covid to the next person who pick the prop up. According to Mrs. Gregory, one of the Art & Drama directors, “We weren’t given a protocol. We can’t perform if we don’t how to protect ourselves.” Without any guidelines to tell the staff what they need to do to protect themselves, their show can never go on. The same goes for the Art club. They may not be able to make their masterpieces if they’re out for covid. They share most of their supplies, and in doing so, they are sharing the virus.

The Cafe-Torium Issue

Remember when we were sitting and eating lunch in the gym? Yeah, me too. Now, we’re sitting together in the auditorium eating lunch. Another big change, and another big issue concerning the Drama club. They cannot just simply practice in a class room, they need to practice where the audience will be. Due to the cafeteria being moved to the auditorium, they can’t practice on stage. The “lunch room” stays in the same place day in and day out. This obviously prevents them from being able to go after school and practice with all the things standing in their way.

Resolving the Issue

Even though the Art & Drama clubs may be shut down, that doesn’t mean the show can never go on, and art may never flourish. I have some ideas that may be ideal for both of the clubs.

Outdoor Performances

It didn’t occur to me until later, that drama could do possible outdoor performances. This allows some of the cast and crew to socially distance and be able to practice. Of course, all props would need to be sanitized, unless gloves are provided. This also allows some students to enjoy some sun and get some fresh air. Still, some students parents may not be able to pick them up after school.

Zoom Meetings

I get it, some people dreadfully hate them, but the idea of after-school zoom practice wouldn’t be so bad. Students involved could log into zoom, join a meeting, and practice with fellow classmates from the comfort of their own home. On the contrary, some students may not have internet at home, some may not participate, some may not have good signal, and ect. Since those issues can and cannot be fixed may not be the best choice, but it is not the worst.

At Home Masterpieces 

For the students that want to join art club, at home art club would be a great choice. If a student has free time, whether on the weekend or during the week, they can draw or paint whenever they like. This allows the student to have enough time to work on their art, rather than having only the afternoon to finish. There could also be a google classroom dedicated to the students that went virtual.

The Art & Drama club is something that students with creative minds love to do, for some it’s like a safe place, that’s why it’s important for us to come up with many ways for this club to get up and running again for the students and staff.

So what’s your opinion on the shut down of the Art & Drama club? Do you have any suggestions to bring it back for this year?