Should the Play Count as an Art Credit?
The Packer fall and spring theater productions are of popular interest amongst the Upper School student body. For those involved it can be an extremely time consuming commitment, which is why it has come under deliberation as to why participation in neither of the Packer productions counts as a semester art credit.
When students were asked if they believed the play and musical should count as a semester art credit, they all answered similarly.
“I think it definitely should [count as a credit] because improv counts as an art credit, and that’s performing arts, and so is the play,” said Lily Hupfel (‘20).
“I think [the play] should be considered half a credit… because one play is like half a year, it kind of equals out,” said Dylan Ng (‘20).
However, the head of Packer’s art department and the director of the Upper School productions, Ali Boag, had a different response.
“This does come up from time to time… As chair of the arts department and as the theater teacher, I think that the teaching of theater class is very important,” said Mr. Boag. “The problem that arises is quite simply that if we were to say that participation in the play gave you an equivalent credit, people would abandon arts courses in the curriculum in droves. You would therefore not have a chorus, you would not have a lab band, you would not have an orchestra in the same way that you do now.”
Packer offers a strong and varied arts program to students. There are twenty eight different arts courses available to high schoolers. In Mr. Boag’s opinion, the importance of the art department comes largely from the dedication and enthusiasm of the students. He believes the arts program at Packer would suffer if students were allowed to meet the art requirements outside of the classroom.
However, Mr. Boag is well aware that taking part in the play or musical is a large commitment.
“It does seem potentially unrewarding on paper, in a ‘is this going to help me get into college’ way, and I do understand that is a real thing,” said Mr. Boag. “There must be a way of making it count and I’m interested in pursuing those ways.”