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Swansea High School theatre students get creative with technology

Swansea, SC - Theatre and drama classes face unique challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic, and SHS students are taking on that challenge with creativity and technological innovation. Along with a teacher-created curriculum in a virtual format, students are also utilizing home videos and video chat to participate in performance activities such as improvisation practice, script readings and monologues. Theatre student John Fetner stated, “Recording myself was weird at first, but now I don’t mind at all!”

The SHS theatre class uses video chat on multiple laptops to allow virtual students to perform with partners and participate in group activities. A hybrid student in the classroom, for example, can perform a duet performance, face to face, with a virtual student, regardless of the six feet of social distancing. “I wasn’t sure how we were going to do this, but the technology and our imagination is making it possible,“ said student Jacob Burkes. Furthermore, several virtual students can join on each video chat for whole-class activities while still allowing room for social distancing among the hybrid students in the classroom.

In addition to video chat, virtual students can also video some of their performances from home. For some assignments, students have presented monologues, mime and character development activities of themselves on video; in other cases, students have invited family members and friends to participate in the performances.

Pictured: Hybrid student Camilla Milagros Padilla Ramirez performs with fellow virtual student Jonah Isaac-Brooks on the computer. Students in back from left to right: Crystiaunna Tannert, Amy Morales-Romulo, Kayli Smith and Emma Smith

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