Open Forum

New Junior Troupe Advice?

  • 1.  New Junior Troupe Advice?

    Posted 10-23-2020 09:34
    I just chartered our my first troupe last year, and I've never had the opportunity to actually be in a troupe myself when I was in school.  I've been directing my middle school's theatre program for about 8 years now, and we have a really strong number of students who participate in our productions.  I'm mostly wondering how Troupe directors keep the troupe business/meetings from feeling exclusive in a way that makes other students who participate regularly in productions from feeling left out?

    Our school has used Schoology for years, and I have a large group in our schoology community that is in our Club page that I post all our updates and communications to. I am inducting our first 48 students into our new Troupe, which is a small number compared to the 150 students who are on our club page (some are former members who want to stay in touch.) I'm feeling worried about creating a new troupe page so I can communicate more clearly with those students about our induction ceremony, officer elections, and other troupe business, because I don't want the other students to feel... "other."

    Any advice or personal experiences would be greatly appreciated!

    Lauren van Thiel
    Nazareth Area Middle School Theatre Teacher/Director
    Nazareth, PA

  • 2.  RE: New Junior Troupe Advice?

    Posted 10-26-2020 21:26
    Edited by Allan Meads 10-26-2020 21:26


    We started our junior troupe two years ago. Just like your program we have a huge involvement, cast and crew. We have 8th grade leaders who are also officers. Co-Presidents, Co-Vice, Co-Sec, Co-Treasurer, and Co-crew leaders.  Students in 7th grade who are interested email the troupe director and explain why they would like to be considered for the position. They are selected by the director. Each co-officer has a specific position. For example, social media, school and community outreach and publicity. We offer many opportunities for students to strive for induction. We have seen that students like something to earn. I too was concerned that students would feel "other". However, students know that even when they earn junior thespian that they are still responsible to participate in meetings, activities and encourage our incoming students to want to also earn junior thespians. They are to act accordingly and we have zero-tolerance for bullying. From our experience, students work harder and are more dedicated to our drama program since adding the troupe. Having conversations with parents and the students and explaining the idea really helped us and more parents encouraged their child to get involved. It was a great decision.

    Allan Meads
    Drama Director / 88027 Troupe Director
    Springfield Township Middle School
    Oreland PA