Presentations in class, public speaking, and drama, are all essential elements of our high school curriculum, but many students find the challenge of the junior year dramatic monologues to be the most intense form of public presentation. Having had the experience of writing short stories in the 10th grade, and the 10th grade play, the juniors combine their creative writing and dramatics expertise in the dramatic monologue. The juniors create a character, think of a dramatic scene, write a monologue of three to five minutes, commit it to memory, design the blocking, create a costume, and perform it for the school. Rites of passage are never easily traversed, and this is one our students treasure. Seniors take pleasure telling the juniors about their dramatic monologues, and the sophomores watch the juniors’ performances with thoughts of next year.
The dramatic monologues presented this year represented a fascinating array of characters in wildly different circumstances. Performances ranged from a woman trapped in an airplane crash, a patient confronting the meaning of his illness, a basketball player struggling with his daemons, to a cynical television anchor, an accident-prone night guard at a museum, and a yoga instructor working out her frustrations. The creativity in the writing, the dramatic sensibility in the characterization, and the dedication required to memorize the performance was wonderful to see. We are proud of the way this year’s junior class accepted the call to adventure and so beautifully performed their rite of passage.