The Drama Program
Bancroft Middle School Performing Arts Magnet

Current drama students have appeared on 24, The Cat in the Hat, Akeelah and the Bee, and That's So Raven. Students have also been featured in national commercials and print campaigns. Previous students have appeared on Moesha, That â??70s Show, The Drew Carey Show, and in many other shows and films.

The Drama classes begin with a variety of improvisations and oral presentations that help students become comfortable with public speaking and performing. Assignments focus on volume, enthusiasm, eye contact, and body language.

Students study story structure, also called the plot pyramid, before writing dramatic and humorous scenes. Students also learn the traditional screenplay format in case they wish to write for film or television later in life.

Next, students act out their own scenes with the help of other actors. They also perform monologues, which they can use for auditions. Finally, students write and perform their own stand-up comedy routines.

In addition, the Drama classes cover acting styles and audition techniques. Students are also given a broad background in theater history, which is supported by a field trip to the Getty Villa.

Finally, the magnet sends mailers to agents, urging them to meet with students that are seeking representation.  

The Drama classes produce presentations for the holiday show, a Cinco de Mayo assembly, a Black History Month assembly, and the spring play. This year, they are also producing a DVD. Through a grant with the Wheel Smart program, the drama students are filming humorous and serious scenes that encourage students not to drink and drive.

The Drama classes at Bancroft are taught by Mr. Kennedy, who studied at the Lee Strasberg Institute in New York City. Mr. Kennedy also studied at the Groundlings Theater in Los Angeles, and was in the Groundlings' Sunday company in 1996 and â??97. In addition, he co-wrote two plays that were produced in Los Angeles.

Mr. Kennedy possesses a Master of Professional Writing degree from U.S.C., a B.F.A. from New York University, and a teaching credential from the California State University at Northridge.

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