Drama

“I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being.”

–Thornton Wilder (1897–1975), Pulitzer Prize winning American playwright and novelist

ECR Drama is an award-winning high school drama program committed to excellence. We provide our students with the opportunity to develop their acting, singing, dancing, musical and technical theater skills through dynamic course work and a variety of festival and stage productions. We strive to offer a safe, broad and rigorous artistic education that will help build any student’s confidence and prepare them for successful careers in college and beyond.

Meet the Drama Teacher

Hello and Welcome! My name is Jonathan Harveson but the students call me “Harvey”. I am ecstatic about being the latest addition to the Drama legacy at Elco that has been an instrumental part of so many lives. It was clear to me from day one that I was surrounded by talent and passion. The students have been taught by wonderful teachers over the years, and all I have to do sometimes is just not get in the way.
I have been teaching English for about fifteen years, and half of that has been an English/Theatre combo. This is my first full-time Drama only position, and I am beyond thrilled to be doing it for my second year. I earned my undergraduate degree (BFA in Acting) from the University of New Mexico, my Master of Arts in Teaching from Chapman University, and graduated from a method acting two-year Meisner program (Baron/Brown Studio) in Santa Monica. My wife, Shannan, is an elementary teacher and I have three children. One starting middle school and the other two in high school. Busy, but we love it!
I eagerly (sometimes not I’ll admit) look forward to what this new distance-learning challenge in our lives has to offer, and I consider myself blessed beyond all measure to be doing it at El Camino Real! #GoECRDrama

Course Descriptions

Festival
This class is only open to 9th graders and 12th graders. The 9th graders are either auditioned by me or recommended by their middle school drama teacher, while the 12th graders are chosen by myself. The 9th graders perform in the DTASC (Drama Teaches Association of Southern California) JV Fall Festival, the DTASC JV/Varsity Spring Shakespeare Festival, the Speak To Power Festival, and the One Acts Festival. The 12th graders get to further their artistic gifts by stage directing the 9th graders in their festivals. Friends and family are invited to FREE evenings to see their students pursue their passion. It’s a win-win class for all!

Intro to Theatre
This is a great class for students in grades 9-12. It’s perfect for the student that knows a little or nothing about Theatre/Drama. The first several weeks are spent doing ensemble work—exercises that help the students to break outside of their comfort zones. Basically, “the basics”. Stage presence/movement, pantomime, creating a character, voice projection, relaxation techniques, visualization, memorization, establishing a warm-up routine, accents, some improvisation, stage acting technique, mirrors, theatre history, scene analysis, and script analysis. The class culminates with performing a monologue first semester, and an entire scene by second semester. It’s always a joy to see a student blossom from a shy and timid person, to a confident and capable individual!

Improv/Theatre II
This class is also open to grades 9-12, but it’s meant for students that have fairly extensive Theatre/Drama experience, but can’t make the time commitment that Play Production brings with it. In addition to re-visiting the basic elements of the Intro to Theatre class, the students will go more in-depth in the process. Other possible skills they will explore are: stage combat, method acting techniques (esp. Meisner), stage make-up, emotional recall, dance, dramatic writing, and film acting techniques, etc. This is a perfect class for the “drama kid” with a busy life!

Play Production
This class is the “AP” of the Drama program. This class can only be taken if you have Elco Drama experience. All students in this class must go through a step-by-step process, and it culminates with an extensive audition process where they must present a memorized monologue, song, and pitch a show of their choosing. (More details will be given when appropriate)

If you are used to being the “stage star”, and thinking of yourself as “the talent” only, then this class isn’t for you. It is ALL about teamwork. The students always say, “Teamwork makes the dream work.” So true! Putting on a production is the epitome of a collaborative process. Expect a few weeks of some LOOONG days every semester.

The class is broken up into six different committees: Tech, Set, Props, Costumes, Programs, and Publicity. The students are responsible for ALL aspects of a show. From the designing the program and poster, promoting the show in the halls, classes, and social media, to designing the costumes, props, building the set, lighting the stage, and designing the sound… oh yeah, and ACTING/SINGING in the production at the same time! Because the students are all carrying a full case load of classes, you’ll soon find out it’s all about time management and hard work. Yes–passion plays a huge part, but when the recipe calls for passion, blood, sweat, tears, sacrifice, humility, and time–the end result is a Play Production masterpiece!

Clubs

Thespians
Thespians Club’s purpose is to welcome and encourage theatre lovers of every race, gender, creed, grade level, and orientation into one all-inclusive social club. Our goal is to bring together the most determined, passionate, hardworking, and loving drama enthusiasts into one big happy family and community. Students in the club can also earn participation points by going to events and such which goes towards qualifying for a lifelong membership with the ITS (International Thespians Society) for their senior year.