Although not formally chartered until two years later,
the origins of the YVHS Theatre Company began in 1994 by Mrs. Sharon Kalkoske.
While not a formal student organization, 1995 saw the club’s first production,
a successful evening of one-act plays.
During the following school year, Mr. Robert Montgomery
joined the staff of YVHS and, together with Mrs. Kalkoske, co-directed the
club’s first full-length production. Alan Ayckbourn’s Absurd Person
Singular was performed to small but appreciative crowds in February, 1996.
Also created during this school year was an early edition of an improvisational
comedy troupe. Named Dog’s Breath Theater, this troupe performed at
the high school and also at College of the Desert’s One-Act-a-Thon.
Prior to the 1995-96 school year, Drama class was limited
to a 0-period enrichment class held twice a week. During the second
semester of that school year, however, the first full-fledged Drama class
was offered at YVHS. Taught by Mr. Montgomery, the class focused on
improvisation, acting exercises, monologues, and short scenes.
The YVHS Drama Club was officially chartered at the start
of the 1996-97 school year, with a membership of 32 students. This year
saw the arrival of Ms. Kara Martin to the YVHS staff. Mr. Montgomery
and Ms. Martin co-directed A.R. Gurney’s play The Dining Room in November
of 1996. Although not an official club production, members of Mr. Montgomery’s
Drama class took the children’s play Larger Than Life to four area elementary
schools. Yucca Valley’s official improvisational comedy troupe, “Shaken,
Not Stirred,” was created during the winter of 1997 and had its first performance
at the 1997 Rock-Off. The troupe performed again in the First Annual
Spring Play Festival, held in May. Also on the bill were one-act plays
directed by Ms. Martin and Mr. Montgomery. The year ended with the club’s
first awards banquet, designed to honor those students who participated in
the year’s productions.
In 1997, the YVHS Drama Club affiliated itself with the
International Thespian Society of Cincinnati, Ohio, and became I.T.S. troupe
5589. Through this affiliation, the Drama Club members gain greater
opportunities to further their interests in theatre through participation
in area, state, and international conferences, and through Dramatics magazine,
the official magazine of I.T.S. There were nine charter members.
The trimester system was introduced at the start of the
1997-98 school year, eliminating the Drama enrichment class, but adding more
opportunities for interested students by offering five sections of Drama I
and one section of Advanced Drama throughout the course of the year.
A Playwriting class was also created.
In December of 1997, fifteen Drama Club members attended
a performance of the award-winning musical Rent at the Ahmanson Theater in
In 1998, the first acting trophies were given by the
club. These awards were established to recognize deserving actors and
actresses for their portrayals of characters in the club’s productions.
Also, awards were established for Thespian of the Year, Honor Thespian, and
Committee Member of the Year. For the first time, members of three
full-length productions were honored at the program.
At the start of the 1998-99 school year, Shaken, Not
Stirred was invited to perform at the Water Canyon Coffee House. Three
full-length productions were again performed during the year, among them
another traveling children’s play. A.B.C. (America Before Columbus)
was performed at four area elementary schools. At the end of the year,
YVHS principal Mr. Douglas Weller purchased new curtains for the club’s performance
space on the Multi-Purpose Room stage.
The 1999-2000 school year proved to be extremely eventful
for the Drama Club. The first official performance was presented by
Shaken, Not Stirred during the first week of November. Later that month,
packed houses witnessed The Diary of Anne Frank, and in February the club
presented a fast-paced, three-man interpretation of all 37 of Shakespeare’s
plays. Finally, with the arrival of Mr. Bill Barrett as YVHS’ new band
director, the Drama Club produced its first ever musical, Little Shop of Horrors,
in May. At the end of the school year, Mr. Montgomery resigned his
position at YVHS in order to work on his Master’s degree.
The 1999-2000 school year was also a busy one in terms
of extra trips. In January, 20 members of the club attended a performance
of Les Misérables at the Ahmanson Theater. Finally, several members
of the club traveled with Mr. Montgomery to London, England in June to see
two plays and tour such important theatrical landmarks as Stratford-on-Avon
and the Globe Theater.
During the 2001-01 school year, Mr. Barrett took over
as Drama Club advisor. Mr. Robert Knapp directed the fall play, and
in February the Drama Club presented a sketch comedy exhibition courtesy of
Shaken, Not Stirred, followed by a student-written one-act play. The
spring musical, Grease, was another co-production between the Drama and Music
departments, with Mr. Barrett and Mia Griswold, student, sharing the directorial
duties. At the beginning of April, Mr. Montgomery announced that he
would return to YVHS during the 2001-02 school year and resume his duties
as Drama Club advisor.
With Mr. Montgomery’s return in the summer of 2001, it
was decided that a name change for the club was in order. The YVHS Drama
Club became the YVHS Repertory Theatre Company, thereby more fully reflecting
its role as a semi-professional, fully operational theatre troupe.
Arguably its most successful year yet, 2001-02 saw Theatre
Co. present a full season of three shows to packed houses. Principal
Vonda Viland purchased a sound board and microphones for the Performing Arts
Department, greatly improving the sound quality in the MPR. The spring
awards ceremony saw two milestones: three Honor Thespians, and a remarkable
thirteen inductees into I.T.S. In February, eighteen members attended
a performance of Into the Woods at the Ahmanson Theatre. Finally, this
year also saw the introduction of a Musical Theatre class, which split its
time between preparation for the spring musical and the study of American
Although much of campus life was in flux during the 2002-03
school year (going through three principals in six months), Theatre Co. remained
as consistent as ever, producing three shows and inducting a record 15 members
into the International Thespian Society.
The 2003-04 school year was notable for two main reasons:
the spring musical, A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum, boasted
Theatre Company’s first multi-story set, and the spring awards dinner saw
19 new members inducted into the International Thespian Society.
The International Thespian Society was formed in 1929
as a means to recognize high school theatre students across the country
and internationally. The international offices are based in Cincinnati,
Ohio, although the impact and importance of the organization now reach all
corners of the world, attracting as many as 3,000 theatre students
and teachers annually to the International Thespian Festival convened each
Because it is an honorary organization, recognized by
all colleges and universities, membership must be earned. Students
qualify by working in all aspects of play production – acting, set construction,
stage management, costumes, publicity, etc. One point represents approximately
ten hours of quality work. Students are eligible for membership upon
earning ten points. Points may also be earned by working in community
theatre productions with the prior approval of the troupe sponsor.
Theatre work in other high schools also qualifies, and Thespian membership
is transferable from school to school.
Students at Yucca Valley High School have the opportunity
to work on productions throughout the year. Productions are open to
non-Thespian members as well. Thespian points may also be earned by
attendance and participation in regional and state play festivals sponsored
by California Thespians, and area, state, and international Thespian conferences.
Upon earning induction into I.T.S. troupe 5589 (which
takes place at the annual awards banquet in June), a student may become
a lifetime member of I.T.S. by paying the membership fee.
Upon earning membership, new Thespians receive a card
that indicates eligibility. Once they have been inducted, students
receive a certificate and can earn service stars for each ten points earned
Theatre Company members can earn different yearly and production awards
as outlined in the Theatre Company constitution.
At the discretion of the Theatre Company sponsor, up to two Thespian of
the Year awards may be given annually. The recipients are those Thespian
members who have done the most for the good of the company during the year
in terms of performance, production, and attitude, and the recipients are
presented a trophy.
Finally, all graduating seniors who have accumulated 60 or more Thespian
points will be awarded an Honor Thespian trophy in recognition of their
consistent dedication and quality work.
Thespian points may be earned in many areas besides acting on stage.
Many students in past years have been invaluable workers backstage and have
never appeared in a production. To recognize these students and to
clarify the production staff positions, a detailed description of all available
non-acting positions is included later in this handbook. Students who
are not cast are encouraged to continue their interest in theatre by assisting
in other areas; there are no nonessential positions in theatre.
Involvement in Theatre Company productions is open to
all students at YVHS. Members of Theatre Company and students enrolled
in Acting I or Acting II are highly encouraged to participate actively as
cast members or as production committee members. Students enrolled
in Musical Theatre are required to participate in the spring musical in some
capacity. Any non-Theatre Company members who are cast in a production,
or who wish to work on a production committee, must first join Theatre Company
by paying the required dues.
FOR AUDITIONS & AUDITION PROCEDURES
1. The auditions will usually be closed.
Students should report promptly at the designated time.
2. Be sure to fill out the audition form that
contains basic information about yourself.
3. Read the script, if possible, and become familiar
with the characters and story line.
4. Choose a character that you would like to be
considered for and study that character as much as possible.
5. Practice becoming that character and develop
some believability that you are the character as you deliver his/her lines.
6. Be fully prepared to deliver a character’s
portrayal from one particular cutting of the script.
7. As you audition, you will be considered for
the part that you are presenting; however, you will also be considered for
every other part, as well. Your chances of getting a part are not limited
to just one part.
8. If you wish to be considered for only one particular
role and no other, be sure to indicate that on the audition form.
9. The director may ask you to pantomime or improvise
a scene or activity.
10. If you are employed, involved in a sport,
or other extra-curricular activity that will be in conflict with the rehearsal
schedule, do not audition for a part without informing the director, in
advance, of scheduling problems which might arise. Keep in mind that
committee work is much more flexible in scheduling around other activities.
All rehearsals are required and excuses for the above items will not be
acceptable. Excused absences must be arranged with the director at
least 24 hours in advance, submitted in writing, and verified by a parent.
1. The director analyzes the script and visualizes
particular character traits. He judges the particular demands that
the role requires.
2. The director constantly reviews the most significant
requirements of each role and evaluates the skills and abilities of those
who are auditioning. The director must equate the demands and the
3. Casting is done through the procedure of typecasting.
This means that actors/actresses and roles are matched as perfectly as possible.
This also means that the actor/actress has some natural qualities and abilities
demanded by the role (height, weight, facial characteristics, etc.).
4. Casting by ability is also a good method used
in conjunction with typecasting. An actor/actress is cast in a role
because of his/her emotional stability and maturity and his/her abilities
to portray a character different from oneself.
5. Vocal qualities that may be looked for by the
director are tonal qualities, breath support and control, intonation, diction,
and rhythmic accuracy. Vocal qualities of interpretation include tempo,
phrasing, expression, and dynamic levels.
6. A cast needs to have a variety of vocal qualities
and body types. The element of sameness tends to confuse an audience,
making it difficult for the audience to differentiate quickly and accurately
between characters. The same problem arises if two actors have the
same vocal qualities.
7. For crowd scenes or “walk-on” non-speaking
parts, the director wants a variety of body types but avoids extremes.
A walk-on actor must contribute to the scene when s/he enters on the stage.
The walk-on actor role is not a consolation prize, but a real and vital
part of the production.
8. A director looks for actors who can work comfortably
with the other cast members and who will cooperate with the total production
staff. The efficiency and smooth running of the production is of the
9. In a regular play, the final casting decision
is made by the director. In the event of a musical, however, the final
choice is a joint decision made by the theatre director, musical director,
10. No specific written or vocal explanation concerning
the decisions of the casting procedure is ever given (although students
may ask for general comments regarding their performance in the audition).
The director decides and makes his decisions for the good of the total production.
The director’s choice and decision is final.
11. The final casting is not influenced by seniority
of the student in the school program. A student is not cast in a particular
role because s/he had a leading role in a previous production.
12. A good cast must be a group of individuals
who are willing to put aside their own distinct likes and dislikes and develop
a unified working ensemble that has, as its chief and ultimate goal, the
highest quality theatrical production that can be achieved.
A student may be suspended or removed from a production for any of the
1. Failure of attendance (five excused or three unexcused absences)
2. Excessive lateness (five tardies)
3. Lack of cooperation
4. Display of bad attitude
5. Being placed on probation due to missing three monthly
6. Other behavior that could be detrimental to the production
as described in the YVHS Student Handbook.
1. When a time is set for rehearsal, please be
prompt. If you are early, use the spare time for study and practice.
2. Carry two sharp pencils and erasers at all
rehearsals. Indicate in the margins of your script all blocking and
suggestions that concern your part.
3. Be proud of your bit part. Work at it
until it becomes outstanding.
4. When the crew needs the stage, keep out of
the way. Stage managers and crew have work to do – and in record time.
Respect them as authorities during final rehearsals and performances.
Be known for your cooperation.
5. Wear clothing that is comfortable and
allows you to move freely. This includes footwear; you should not be
barefoot onstage at any time unless the director has asked you to be because
the part requires it.
6. Don’t use props offstage for any reason.
7. Use your own script. Don’t borrow.
8. While backstage during rehearsals, talk with
others only in a whisper. A whisper doesn’t carry far, but an undertone
9. Learn to take criticism gratefully and gracefully.
10. Become critical of yourself.
11. Stand in place for your entrance fully one
or more pages ahead of time. Take the responsibility yourself for being
12. Listen and react in character while onstage.
13. Keep happy without becoming careless or thoughtless.
14. Don’t allow disappointment to get the best
15. Speak no lines onstage except your own.
16. Make no movement during performances except
in character and as previously rehearsed.
17. When listening to rehearsals out in front,
tell the director if you cannot understand a player’s lines.
18. Listen intently to all directions given to
19. Don’t try to direct fellow actors. Leave
that to your director.
20. Keep your body and mind 100% efficient.
21. Help other players memorize lines when they
wish your assistance.
22. Be patient with those who do not adjust readily
23. Be willing to make your dress and hair style
accommodate the character you play.
24. Be tactful, tireless, and uncomplaining.
25. Continue to desire for improvement.
Correct any thoughts that you are playing better than others, or that this
audience won’t know the difference between a good and an inferior performance.
Instead, search to find every way you can improve your acting.
26. Become observant. Notice people’s walk,
action, voice, reaction, stance, and mannerisms. Remember your observations
– some of them may prove to be very useful.