New English teacher, Hager, launches club.

    Crookston High School has a long list of after-school activities that it offers to its students. Recently added to this list is the Junior High Drama Club which is offered to 7th and 8th graders at the high school throughout the year.

    Last spring, the high school was looking to hire someone to not only teach English in the classroom, but to also teach drama on stage. Kristi Hager, who met the criteria for the English teacher position, was also a good fit for running the drama club, considering she worked with Children's Theatre Company in Minneapolis for many summers. Hager wanted to provide the high school with, "drama opportunities for junior high kids."

    Kick off for the club started in September, and since then members have met every Monday after school, either in Hager's room or in the auditorium. "We have 10 members right now," mentioned Hager. With a small group, she added, it's easier to build relationships with those the students will be performing on stage with.

    Besides getting to know their co-performers, club members have already gotten a good grip on learning the basics of drama. "We've talked about parts of a show, and all of the things that being on stage requires," said Hager. Included in those stage requirements are costumes, which the students worked on designing last week.

    Everything the students have learned will be put to the test when the group performs for elementary students later this year. "We will be going to the elementary schools to perform sometime after Christmas, during second semester," added Hager. By that time, the students will have a better understanding of what it takes to perform on stage in front of an audience, she said, and will be more at ease doing so.

    With drama experience in junior high, the club members will be more prepared once they  reach the age where they can participate in the high school's One Act Play, musicals and plays. "I want to provide the junior high kids with an on stage opportunity that will make them more comfortable with performing," mentioned Hager. Not only will the students be more comfortable with on-stage performances,she added,  but also with the students who they may be performing with for the rest of their junior high and high school careers.