As the final year of middle school rolls around for eighth-graders at Valley Park Middle School, the Grade 10 production class at Garneau gave them a glimpse at life in high school. Titled, ‘How to Survive High School’ the play is the primary project for the course, teaching students to use script, a step up from ninth grade where students learned playwriting and direction. Students had various roles including acting, stage crew, lights and sound, and promotion.

The cast performing the play in the cafeteria for Valley Park Middle School students. Photo: Justin Ye

The play consisted of eight chapters, each running three to five minutes long. The students created the chapters from their high school experiences, many specific to Garneau, from the Romeo and Juliet corridor, to hanging out in the library, to going to prom. Each chapter is interspersed with advice for eighth and ninth grade students.

“There’s a lot of positive energy going around,” Mr. Teres, the class’ teacher, commented. “It’s a huge learning process. Even the smallest movements have to be rehearsed and you have to make it so that it resonates with your own experiences.”

The play’s opening night took place on 7 December during period 5 in the cafeteria for Valley Park students, and at 7 pm open to other interested viewers in the community. It was a huge success, reaching an audience of over four hundred.

The class will be performing again during class on 14 December in the drama studio as well as two scenes during the Christmas show.