Student interest declining in speech and drama electives

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Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in “Murder’s in the Heir.” Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Cliff Danza

Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in "Murder's in the Heir." Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press
Junior Judah Olsen and senior Hailey Tallman (center) were actors in the Drama Department’s play, “Murder’s in the Heir.” Credit: Johnathan Carriger/The Foothill Dragon Press

Foothill has a host of electives that fulfill the fine art subject requirement in the A-G requirements for college.  However, speech and drama classes have seen a decrease in students in recent years. 

In Speech I and II, students research and present a variety of informative speaking, dramatic speaking, and debate.  Students in Drama and Oral Interpretation work on comedy skits, improvisational games, genres of drama and more.  

“A few years ago, I only got 20 kids to sign up for speech, and they canceled the class,” speech teacher and advisor Jennifer Kindred said.

Speech has enough students right now, but more students are needed to fill in for the seniors and students who won’t be returning.

“I need to maintain the same number of students that I’ve had in the past,” Kindred said. “Right now I have about 45 in the class, so it needs to be at least 40 for the class to run.”

Drama teacher Karen Rodrigues is also in need of new students for next school year.  There used to be two classes of Drama, but was reduced to one this year.

“We have very few returning because we had such a large Drama 2 group this year, and so yeah, we’re looking for a bunch of students,” Rodrigues said.  “The only reason I’m concerned is because I love the class and I want to keep it going, I don’t want it to continue to decline.”

 Junior Mahaila Woods is a drama student who started performing when she was three years old.

 “I thought this class would help a lot in learning new things, and it really has,” Mahaila said.

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 Despite the lack of interest that Rodrigues has seen, she is hopeful for the future.

“I would love to have two classes again. I’m not going to hold my breath, but I’m excited that’s even a possibility,” she said.

What do you think?