High school drama classes not only serve as engaging electives for teens, but they also increase academic performance in students and instill an appreciation for the arts. Taking part in training, experience and education are steps to take to achieve a career goal as a high school drama teacher.
Some people feel they have a natural talent for the stage. However, certain types of training are needed in order to become a drama teacher. College level and private courses prepare you with essential theater knowledge required for teaching not only aspiring teenage actors, but directors, producers, technical staff, costumers and stage hands. Acting methods, lighting, sound, set building, directing, history, movement, voice and business are classes you can take to boost your knowledge in theater. Having a foundation in these areas gives you a solid background for teaching high school students the basics of drama.
Putting your training to work by auditioning for community or professional shows is the one way to build your performance and career resume. Schedule auditions by looking on the internet or local newspapers. Depending on the show, you will need to prepare a monologue or a song and provide a head shot with resume to show your experience in drama. If you are not cast in the production, ask the director if you can help in another way. Working in the box office, ushering, helping the publicist or joining the technical staff are all smart ways to build experience and make connections that may help you when applying for future jobs.
Theater and English are two popular college majors that prepare adults for teaching drama. A theater major prepares you for your career through knowledge and hands-on experience. Whether your specialty is straight drama, music and theater or technical staff, you will learn the ins and outs needed to become an expert in your field through courses such as specified acting methods, voice, movement, set building workshops and lighting and sound design. English majors learn about the literary elements of theater and are encouraged to take part in acting classes and college performances. Helpful courses between both majors are dramatic criticism, directing, theater history and general performance workshops. Depending on your state's education requirements, you may also need to take part in a secondary education program and finish a theater education certificate.
Other Important Notes
Along with your dedication to training, experience and degree choice, you should attend local and professional performances. Familiarize yourself with the names of popular actors, directors and playwrights that make an impact on drama culture. In addition, familiarize yourself with guidelines from the American Alliance of Theater Education, a non-profit organization dedicated to ensuring that quality theater arts is provided to students across the country. Understanding the AATE mission statement and researching the effects of theater arts on young people will help you in interviews with future employers.
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