Creating a New Pathway for Students

Happy New Year! Each year the challenge is to decide what I should share in this blog post. This fall, we started a new course at Concordia, and I think it is very much worth sharing with you all.

One of the Graduation Pathways that students can select is Theater. To be a Pathway option, there must be six courses from which students can make a choice. We did some shuffling around of courses last year, and I realized that we needed a sixth course in theater. After studying the Indiana Department of Education’s website, I discovered a course titled, “Special Topics in Theater.” In short, this course is designed to allow students to select any topic related to theater in which they have interest. Working in tandem with me, we design a curriculum that fits their interests and come up with a capstone project on which they spend the semester working. In addition, a unit on Theater History was included, as was a mini-musical performance, utilizing the talents of each member of our group.  

For our “inaugural” running of this course, fifteen students were enrolled and came up with an amazing array of projects. There were several who studied choreography, a couple who studied makeup, one who studied costuming, one who delved into musical theater history, two who spent time working with lights and sound, several who wrote their own show or monologues, one who constructed set pieces, and one who prepared monologues. Most of the students were able to work with a mentor who is an “expert” in their field and get some extra tips and support for their project.

I would like to share a sampling of a couple of those projects with you. Samantha Hoffman studied theater makeup through history. Here is a brief look at the project she completed: Sam Hoffman Video. Curry Jackson teaches dance. Here is part of her project, working with one of her students, Bronson: Curry Jackson Video. The final samples I have for you are two other students who completed their project on choreography, Addie Kaiser Video and Devin Hairston Video

God has blessed our students with so many talents and this is just a small sample of all the wonderful projects that students in this course were able to complete this past semester! I am so thankful to be able to serve at Concordia and work with these amazing young people, who will make such a huge impact on the people whom they encounter and the places where they serve.

To God be ALL the glory!

Chris Murphy,
Director of Theatre