Portland Teen Places 3rd
at August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals!
Click here to read more and see photos from the trip.
Back from a whirlwind weekend in New York City, the August Wilson Red Door Project is proud to announce that Roosevelt High School Senior Alexis Cannard brought home the 3rd place prize at the national August Wilson Monologue Competition National Finals at the August Wilson Theatre on Broadway.
Alexis says of her experience, “No other competition has allowed me to grow in the way the August Wilson Monologue Competition has, and that’s what makes it so much more than a competition. Not only did finalists received professional training, but we watched each other grow, and became family because of it. The title didn’t come without the sweat and tears the AWMC staff helped me put into the work, which has made me a better performer and human being."
August Wilson's monologues have just been compiled into a new
tool for actors. Read more in this article from Playbill.
“This is where kids find their passion and their dreams.”
— Jo Strom Lane, Director, RHS Theatre Arts Program
The following article appeared in the St. John's Review and was written by Mark Hubbard
Community Celebrates Grand Opening of Roosevelt High’s New Performing Arts Center
Roosevelt High School (RHS) recently celebrated the grand opening of its new Performing Arts Center on its St Johns campus. The Performing Arts Center is part of the new $90 million construction project at Roosevelt High. In addition to the the Performing Arts Center, the construction project encompasses a new Science and Technology Center, Media Center, Sports Complex and new student spaces for work, study and social activities.
Ribbon Cutting Ceremony
The Performing Arts Center opening included a ribbon cutting ceremony and a stage performance by the RHS student-run Opening Act Theatre Company. The ribbon cutting ceremony and subsequent stage performance were attended by students, families, teachers, RHS alumni and boosters, and members of the Oregon Education Association and North Portland Neighborhood Services.
“Ten years ago, when I was hired to bring the theatre program back, I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would be standing in a brand new state of the art theatre,” said Jo Strom Lane, theatre arts teacher and director of the RHS Theatre Arts Program. “This is where kids find their passion and their dreams.”
“Something I like best about the new space is that it’s easy for students to get involved,” said Breely Buttitta, sophomore and Thespian Troupe officer. “It’s nice to have a new space where students can get creative on equipment that would be used in a professional level experience like on Broadway.”
Student-Run Theatre Group Performs
The Opening Act Theatre Company performance, titled the Social Justice Theatre Project, included short scenes, poetry and monologues, all with an overarching theme of social justice. The moving multimedia performance tackled gender, race, sexism and immigration issues, all inspired by the students’ personal experiences. A question and answer session between the students and audience was held after the performance.
“The Social Justice Theatre Project was a really good experience that dealt with a multitude of issues pertinent to today’s society,” said cast member Molly Byers, a junior and Thespian Troupe officer. “Gaining a sense of accountability for how our production was put together and learning how much goes into it was really valuable.”
“Theatre made me better and helped me overcome my anxiety,” said cast member Helen Tuttle, a sophomore and Thespian Troupe officer.
RHS Theatre Program Expands
The Opening Act Theatre Company is the resident production company within the Roosevelt Theatre Department, which offers a wide variety of career readiness courses, including theatre production management, stage design/tech, and a three-year multilevel program in acting. The program also includes Thespian Troupe #7289, a part of the International Thespian Society.
“In addition to learning acting skills, the students are working with high-tech lighting and sound equipment that is industry standard,” said Lane. “These kids are learning career skills that they can apply to a number of different professions.”
“It has changed my life for the better because of Ms. Lane’s support, encouragement, and providing opportunities,” said Alexis Cannard, senior and four-year theatre student. “For example, I’m taking an all expenses paid trip to New York City as the August Wilson Monologue Competition finalist.”
“Because I’ve worked in this program, I’ve been able to accrue a professionalism that I don’t think I would have found otherwise,” said junior Amanda Ryan. “Ms. Lane treats us like adults and she expects adult level responsibility.”
To see a video about the construction of the RHS Performance Arts Center go to: https://www.pps.net/Domain/149.
Mark Hubbard is a parent volunteer on the RHS Site Council, a group of parents, students, teachers and administrators that work on curriculum, student issues, and community outreach at the school. He can be reached at email@example.com.
Fine & Performing Arts
As the Fine and Performing Arts department, we believe that ALL arts (art, dance, media arts, music, and theatre) are academic and vital to EVERY student in their preparation for their lives past high school, including college and career. Once students complete their matriculation, we want students to:
- ~ be aware of arts as a legitimate career-path and/or its influence on other career choices,
- ~ engage in critical thinking on a variety of levels in Bloom’s taxonomy,
- ~ feel empowered to showcase their own creative voice as a developing artist,
- ~ experience intellectual and emotional growth, and
- ~ demonstrate the skill and knowledge required to participate in the professional arts community.