AP literature class putting their own spin on classic theatre


Taylor A. Johnson

Mrs. Kelly Dreher’s AP Literature classes are preparing for end-of-the-year performances of their own original plays.

Zoe Evans, Staff Writer

AP Literature teacher Mrs. Kelly Dreher is planning on presenting the talents and knowledge of her students in a dramatic setting.

“The kids can set their play in any time period or place they wish; my aim is the story becoming a seamlessly inter-woven plot in which we are not focused on the books from whence these characters came so much as engrossed by the story they are unfolding on the stage,” Mrs. Dreher said.

Mrs. Dreher has developed a plan that really lets her students input their imaginations into the stories that they will read this year. Students will select characters from the works they are studying in AP Literature, then write and perform plays based on the interactions those characters might have.

“I am intrigued myself to see where the stories go: What would happen if Dorian Gray met Lady Macbeth?” Mrs. Dreher said. “Might Jay Gatsby and John Proctor have made interesting neighbors?”

The students’ stories must be original, and they must memorize their lines and perform them at the end of the year. Most students are excited and hope to have a positive experience with the production.

“I’m extremely excited about it,” junior Jennifer Williams said. “I think it’s going to be loads of fun to put on, and hopefully it will be entertaining and unique.”

Williams says that while they’ve only read one book, The Picture of Dorian Gray, so far, she wouldn’t mind playing the character Sibyl Vane.

“I think it’ll be a good time,” junior Jackson Bieger said. “I’ve always liked acting, though I’m awful at writing.

“I’m excited to see what people who are funnier and more talented than I am come up with.”

Bieger is considering portraying Lord Henry from The Picture of Dorian Gray as part of his project.

“He’s this crazy manipulative dude, who can just twist anything he wants his way,” Bieger said. “Real stand up guy.”

Mrs. Dreher, having spent 16 years in drama herself, and having been a theatre director, is as excited as her students are about the project. She will guide and aid the students’ plays. She also hopes to costume them and create sets for each group’s production.

Each group will also have its own performance. While not yet sure of the location, Mrs. Dreher does not wish to intrude on any of the theatre department’s use of the stage or other Bearden facilities. She hopes to have a Friday night, Saturday matinee, Saturday night, and Sunday matinee showing.

“This PBL project will hopefully serve several purposes for me,” Mrs. Dreher said. “It will physically show me the comprehensive knowledge of my students regarding the extensive amount of literature we’ll be reading throughout the year.

“It keeps all our literary works active in their minds as they prepare for the AP Lit Exam in May, and it teaches my students to write collectively and work collaboratively, thus requiring them to teach and learn from each other.”