The Start of Something New: Community Service in the Theater

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The Start of Something New: Community Service in the Theater

The stage crew is getting the stage ready for rehearsal.

The stage crew is getting the stage ready for rehearsal.

The stage crew is getting the stage ready for rehearsal.

The stage crew is getting the stage ready for rehearsal.

Abby Prior, Staff Writer

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Students at Trottier Middle School need at least two hours of community service in eighth-grade. Those two hours can be almost anything as long as it’s helping your community. For example, sometimes in the spring, there’s an announcement in the morning saying that people can help clean up the area around Trottier. Sometimes, there are events going on at Woodward or Neary, and they need volunteers to help out.  It can also be activities, such as Project Unify or Peer Partners. The deadline is somewhere around May, so students in the eighth grade have a while to decide, but usually, it’s better for students to take care of the requirement December through February.

I chose to do community service for the musical purely because I thought it would be fun, and it was. It has really helped me stay on task and feel important and relied on in different situations. I felt like most of the sixth and seventh graders really looked up to me and are just plain interested in me and how my day went, etc. It was really nice to actually feel a part of something and included. What I did was pretty simple. I took attendance, recorded some scenes and dances on the iPad, copied and passed out papers, and helped teachers with a variety of tasks.

As the musical started rolling and the scenes were basically perfected, I started to work backstage, which was much more stressful. I helped sixty cast members go on when they were supposed to, helped with scene changes, and assisted Mrs. Cohen with props and costumes. This helped me develop communication skills to help things go smoothly. Community service is very beneficial in helping students develop skills. PrepScholar said, “For example, students may learn that they have excellent skills in coping with a crisis or other stressful situations, or may learn that they find taking charge of a team to be a struggle. This kind of exposure to different situations can then teach students how to further develop skills that they have, and how to work in areas they struggle in.”

This year was the first time the theater had a volunteer helping the program.  Mrs. Alzapiedi said, “One day, I literally just saw you looking at the community service board.  Then I thought how good you’d be helping us out during the musical, and it just kind of evolved from that.”  According to Mrs. Alzapiedi, a lot of positive things came out of having a volunteer help during the rehearsals, especially things that could help the musical in the long run. I learned a lot from doing the musical, and I’ll miss seeing the musical coming together. It was really fun to do, and it took up only a portion of time.  It was a great activity to get involved in, and I would totally recommend this to upcoming eighth graders next year and in the future. It really helps students feel like they are apart of something, and honestly, it helped me keep busy. The best part is a volunteer could just do auditions or the whole play or musical. Not only did I exceed my community service requirement, but it was also “the start of something new” for me.