Harrison High School students and teachers participate in the 20th Annual New York State Theatre Education Association Student Conference in Callicoon, New York in January. NYSTEA is a strong, statewide organization of theatre educators who promote and support theatre education for students in grades pre-K through 12. NYSTEA believes that theatre is an essential component of a pre-K-12 education for all students. Studying theatre in schools develops abilities needed for the 21st century including critical thinking, problem solving skills, applications of technology, social responsibility and creativity.
This conference creates an opportunity for approximately 800 high school students from all over New York State to come together for a full weekend if learning and peer interaction. These students attend workshops given by colleges, universities, and other theatre professionals, as well as networking with one another and experiencing a variety of performance through the conference.
“NYSTEA was an awesome experience!” said Harrison Sakai, an HHS student. “The energy from the other kids and desire from everyone to push above and beyond made it such an awesome environment to be in for theatre- especially as a high school student.”
For the Student Conference delegates, this conference is a highlight of their high school career. In the over 100 workshop offerings, students received expert instruction in technical theatre, acting, dance, and voice. Meeting and sharing interests with other similarly-minded students from every region of the state is paramount in working collaboratively, gaining self-confidence, and exploring new areas of learning. This conference is a testament to how “theatre transforms students’ lives.”
“It was really amazing for me. It really allowed me to get out of my shell and meet people who had the same love for theater as I did. It was definitely a great experience and I won’t be forgetting it anytime soon for sure.”
The eleven HHS students who participated were: