The JCHS drama department is one of the many amazing opportunities our school has to offer. As a freshman, I came into JCHS as a shy, quiet girl without a place. I decided I wanted to take an elective, and since I can barely draw stick figures, I went with Theater Lab—Ms. Russell’s “intro to acting” class. I walked in on the first day, horrified—I was the only freshman AND the only girl in a group of seven other sophomore, junior, and senior guys. At first, I didn’t know how to react, but I crept into class, and I ended up loving it. In my class, I learned various acting methods and techniques, but I also discovered new ways to express myself and something I’m now really passionate about.
This year, I am a part of the fall musical, The Sound of Music—a classic Rodgers and Hammerstein. I play Sister Margaretta, the mistress of the postulants who is kind of a softy. Through this experience, I’ve learned much more than acting like a nun. Not only have I improved my singing capabilities, but I have also learned how to step outside of my comfort zone and set myself up for new opportunities. When you are in a production with 30+ cast and crew members, you have the chance to work with many different people who all have something to offer. You learn new acting skills and styles, while also learning how to truly be a team player. Putting on any production takes a lot of time and effort, so it is essential that everyone works together and does their very best.
Personally, being in a play at JCHS is not only about putting on an amazing show in the end, it’s about the process. The performance is what is seen in the end, but what isn’t seen is everything that happens over the course of rehearsal. One of my favorite parts of being in the cast is making new friends. Working with people with the same interests as you is great in so many ways. The members of the cast and crew help create a fun, comfortable environment that leads to growth in your character and yourself. I have been able to bond with people in other grades, some of whom I never would have talked to if we weren’t put together. And working for so many hours, we end up making jokes and just having a good time, which creates a positive energy, and more importantly we get to know how the other cast members contribute, which adds to the overall environment. We get to see everyone in their element, all natural and free, which I think is really meaningful. It is an amazing feeling to grow so close to your fellow actors, watch them grow, and then see everyone come together for the final product—to see that it really pays off. Being in a play is a team effort, and by the end, we’re not just a team, we’re a family.
Joining the JCHS drama department completely changed my high school experience. As a member of the cast, I have the opportunity to grow as an actress and as a person by learning from my peers and director. I have been able to explore my love for performing in ways I never thought I could, in addition to making new friends along the way. I am so thankful for the incredible opportunities that JCHS has provided me, and the many things I have learned from the experience.
JCHS is grateful for generous operational, programmatic, and financial support from:
The Jewish Community High School of the Bay (JCHS) is a unique college preparatory high school committed to integrating deep learning, universal wisdom, and Jewish values. We empower each student to embrace her or his Jewish identity, generate empathy and compassion, delight in lifelong education, and improve the world.