Welcome to the Stage.

The Bronx Prep Performing Arts Academy offers 5th-12th grade students an intensive Performance Studies experience spanning speech, theater, musical theater, stagecraft, directing and more.

Friday, November 30, 2012

Director Shaquasia Harvey: The One Acts, In Her Own Words

Being a director was a great experience for me. Not only did I meet new people, but I also learned a lot about myself.

Before directing “Oscar and the Lady in Pink,” I had passed my cast members Rachel and Kelvin in the halls many times without conversation because were in different grades and I thought we wouldn’t be able to connect. Now I see that I actually do have a lot in common with the two. We all share a love for acting, voicing our opinions, and solving creative problems. If I hadn’t directed this play I wouldn’t have met these amazing people, who I can now call friends--or even my family.

While directing this play I also learned a lot about myself. I learned that I should engage in more activities that I wouldn’t usually do, because I really enjoyed being a director. I got to see something that I created come to life and that made me feel really proud. Another thing that I learned is that the person in charge is not the only person who can contribute ideas. During this process Rachel and Kelvin had great ideas that were used, and the play wouldn’t have been such a success had they not voiced these suggestions.

I look forward to being a director again. I can’t wait to meet more new people, work together with others to see a project through from beginning to end, and hopefully learn more about myself in the process.

The Cast of the One Acts Celebrates Their First Rehearsal at "The Point"

Thursday, November 29, 2012

One Act Director Clementina Nyarko: "What I Learned About Time Management"

Directing the “Superheroes” poetry performance in the One Act Festival was an experience I will never forget. It taught me a lot about the importance of time management and communication. 

I loved my cast of “superheroes” from the first day I met them. I had always wanted a little sister... and now I had six! They were all so hyper and energetic so I couldn’t help but form bonds with them. When I saw my girls yelling out all their great ideas and sharing their excitement with each other I began to envision the final performance and I felt a big thrill.

That said, I soon began to realize that regardless of how much I wanted to be there to direct my cast every day and get them ready for the festival, I had too much on my plate. Being a part of the Academy meant dedicating my Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays to coaching my performers. However, Mondays were already set aside for student council meetings, Wednesdays were dedicated to college classes on 42nd street and on Fridays I had youth meetings at my church. I had no idea how I was going to manage all of my commitments.

I managed to find coverage so that I could fulfill my other responsibilities, but this was taking a toll on my actors. Two weeks into rehearsals my Superheroes had gone through four different directors. I recall seeing Alexia and Marlin one Thursday while transitioning to class and being bombarded with questions about why I'd quit the Academy, why I didn’t want to coach them anymore, and what was going to happen to the show. My heart immediately sank. I did not want my cast to think I did not want to be with them. I decided that if I really wanted to be there for my cast I would find a way. At first I was very stressed out about this. What I did not realize is that it would actually be much more simple than I’d thought.

I communicated with the student council mentors and they allowed me to be excused from meetings until the One Act Festivals were over. Once I got that out of the way I cleared my Fridays by communicating with my parents. I managed my Wednesdays so that I could spend two hours with my cast before I left to go to my classes. Managing my time allowed me to feel less stressed and at ease with everything that was going on in my life because I knew I had some control over it all.

I’m glad I was able to learn such a valuable skill while giving back to the Arts Program at Bronx Prep by coaching the middle school. It’s an experience I will always keep with me for reference when life hands me too challenges and I find myself feeling overwhelmed. I know now that by prioritizing activities and communicating clearly, I can find the right balance.

The "Superheroes" Rehearse at "The Point"