GCS Drama Department
The Gaston Christian School Drama Department offers college preparatory courses in both performance and technical theatre. Classes are currently held in a specifically designed learning cottage while performances are staged in the school gymnasium allowing for creative freedom in set design and construction. The department eagerly anticipates breaking ground for the school’s fine arts building which will house all of the fine arts departments. Classes are taught by Les Schofield and Maralie Medlin, a father-daughter team whose primary goal is to build students’ self-confidence, critical thinking skills, and collaborative work experience that will ensure success in a variety of collegiate and career fields. Former GCS graduates have pursued theatre degrees at UNC-Wilmington, UNC-Chapel Hill, UNC-Greensboro, Western Carolina University, Palm Beach Atlantic University, and Sarah Lawrence College.
About the GCS Drama Department
The Gaston Christian Players was formed in the spring of 2008 with its inaugural performance of Little Women. The Players maintain a three-production season from year to year. Any student who takes drama classes is considered a Gaston Christian Player, but those who are dedicated and committed to the program may continue to participate even if not enrolled in the classes.
The Honors Drama Class of 2010 in NYC.
Honors Drama Class 2011.
Drama at GCS is concerned with developing the creative imagination within each student by providing a nurturing environment for its expression. As part of the long history of Christian involvement with the fine arts, our program seeks to impart all the various aspects of theatre in a way that enables each student to be a redemptive presence on and off the stage. Students will learn the basics of drama: theatre terminology, theatre etiquette, theatre history, the production process, acting skills, technical aspects of theatre, and play analysis. They will also acquire the fundamental value of mutual respect as well as greater self-confidence. This is a vigorous program where each student will display her or his understanding of these concepts through performance, writing, and daily class exercises.
Honors Drama involves the applied study of theatre vocabulary, reading and writing of theatre literature, acting, and technical theatre. Acting experience in Honors Drama continues and refines the exploration of the concepts of self, body and voice work, improvisation, and acting techniques. Theatre study at this level places a greater emphasis on the execution of skills, ensemble work, and collaboration with other student artists. Students use a wider variety of theatre literature and styles from theatre history and various cultures in forms of theatre and theatre related media through informal and formal productions.
This program creates the opportunity for students to learn the necessary skills for successful theatrical design and production. Students will gain theoretical and practical competence in scene design, set construction, lighting, sound, stage direction, and all other aspects of stagecraft. As a “hands-on” course, students are required to help design and construct the sets for all drama productions as well as provide support for other activities at GCS as needed.
This course offers an introduction to the history, concepts, and techniques of theatrical costuming. Students will learn and practice costuming techniques (hand sewing, machine sewing, patterning, etc.) as well as examine costuming history and design. In addition to completing coursework, students will collaborate with the drama department to provide support for its productions.
International Thespian Society
According to the organization’s website, “the International Thespian Society (ITS) is the Educational Theatre Association’s student honorary organization. ITS recognizes the achievements of high school and middle school theatre students. Since 1929, EdTA has inducted more than 2 million Thespians into ITS. That number continues to grow, with more than 36,000 students from around the country being inducted each year” (schooltheatre.org).
GCS is currently in the process of applying to charter a Thespian troupe for the 2016-2017 school year. More information will be available in the fall of 2016! Until then, please visit the site for the ITS Thespian Handbook.
If you would like to apply for induction into ITS, please fill out the GCS ITS Application and return it to Mrs. Medlin ASAP.
Alumni in the Theatre
Kristina Auten is a theatre artist currently based in New York. She is particularly interested in new play development and blending classical texts with modern interpretations to create newly devised theatrical work.
After graduating from Gaston Christian School in 2011, Kristina studied at the University of North Carolina Wilmington where she double majored in English literature and theatre performance.
After graduating from the University of North Carolina Wilmington in 2015, Kristina was accepted into Sarah Lawrence College’s MFA program for Theatre Arts. She’s currently completing her master’s degree and plans to graduate in 2017. At Sarah Lawrence College, Kristina has been able to study all aspects of theatre including directing, acting, playwriting, costume design, and dramaturgy. She has also been a teaching artist through Sarah Lawrence College and works with students from kindergarten to high school teaching theatrical skills in the classroom.
Honors and awards include the Terry Roger’s Scholarship for directing, the Doug Swink Scholarship for theatre excellence, UNCW Dean’s List for all four years, and completed honors work in theatre at UNCW on a thesis entitled “A Caryl Churchill Experimentation and Exploration.”
Kristina Auten, Class of 2011
Photo by Regan Springs