Public Speaking/Drama

Public Speaking/Drama is an elective class that includes rhetoric and extemporaneous speech, improv games, scene and character study, performing monologues and multi-person scenes, as well as learning to be a more sophisticated audience member and a better listener. Students develop confidence and teamwork and learn to communicate clearly and effectively, and to use words to resolve conflict. Students are taught to be comfortable in their own skins, as well as to take on someone else’s persona. Skills learned in this class are useful in every aspect of life.

Witness Theater

Witness Theater is an intergenerational "journey" that provides a unique opportunity for high school seniors to connect with Holocaust survivors. Students and survivors meet once a week from September through Yom Hashoah. In these meetings, students gain a profound appreciation and first-hand understanding of the Holocaust, while survivors learn to deal more effectively with the pain of their past by expressing it. Eventually, with guided facilitation by Sally Shatzkes, Drama Therapist/Director, a dramatic performance of the survivors’ stories emerges and is performed on Yom Hashoah for the public. Witness Theater enables the survivors to tenderly pass their memories and legacies from one generation to another. 

Hebrew Play

The Jason Botnick Memorial Hebrew Play, an annual Chanukah tradition , is one of the highlights of the school year. This musical theater experience involves students from all grades with a variety of talents. Students can work onstage or behind the stage as they build their skills, develop lasting friendships, and share their accomplishments. Past productions include Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, The Wizard of Oz, Aladdin, Peter Pan, Little Shop of Horrors, Les Miserables, Fiddler on the Roof, and The Lion King. 

Classic American Film

This independent study course introduces students to iconic films, directors, writers, and actors from the past as well as the role Hollywood has played in our history, mirroring both the good (patriotism, tolerance, idealism) and bad elements of American society (like racism and sexism), and sometimes acting as a precursor to real events. The course includes film analysis, working through and directors’ choices and actors’ decisions; what works and what doesn’t. Students will come to understand the evolution of, and influence on, the genres and characters such as: blockbusters, anti-heroes, fantasy, rom-coms, buddy movies, musicals, thrillers, war films, westerns, etc. The‘playlist’ includes movies directed by John Ford, Alfred Hitchcock, Ernst Lubitsch, Steven Spielberg, Orson Welles, Billy Wilder, and many more. 

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