Drama v. forensics

From Dr. Seuss to Annie Oakley, the efforts of the drama department are well known at Northwest. The forensics department is a much smaller group that deals with acting and speaking, yet is very different than the drama department.

The Drama department is one of the largest groups in Northwest. It needs to be. In order to get a production out of the department, you need actors, technicians, people working in costume and makeup, set designers, directors…you get the picture. The drama department is a close-knit group all working towards a common goal: put on a fantastic production.  Every member like part of a giant Rube-Goldberg machine: you need everyone or it call kind of flops.

“My favorite thing about drama is the satisfaction of running through a show without a noticeable glitch,” said sophomore Grace Wilkinson.

Drama can be competitive. Thespians compete at the Thespian conference and we can vote on who was the best actor in a production on Star Night. It can take anywhere from weeks to a few months to put play or musical together.

Forensics is smaller in many ways. It has a smaller class and smaller pieces. (The longest events in acting and speech are ten minutes) It also offers three categories; debate, acting, and speaking. Instead of working together in a big group, students in forensics prepare their events in their class, and compete individually. During the forensic season, students can go out on the weekends and school nights and perform their prepared pieces that range from dramatic acting, to improvisation, to humorous skits, to speeches and activities such as student congress. Some events require lots of practice and memorization outside of school while others need lots of research.

Forensics is a good match for people who like the idea of drama but would prefer performing in front of only one person or want the option to pick and choose their pieces, not have a director choose. Since so many tournaments happen during the season, students are also able to pick and choose when they perform to accommodate their otherwise busy schedules.   On the subject of tournaments, every participant is required to wear dressy items (no costumes) and tournaments are not necessarily even confined to the Wichita area.

Both groups require quite a bit of time and practice.  However, they are both different when you look at structure, activities, scheduling and the amount of people needed to put one single act on. Forensics is more about competing in individual events and drama is more about one large group effort. However, both activities have stood the test of time, from the Greek plays that were performed to large audiences and the orators of ancient Egypt that eventually mushroomed into what we now call forensics.  Go on and give either (or both!) a try.

A Rube Goldberg Machine-http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=K_XSJ3isDuY