My favorite time of the year is soon here; I love Marist’s Summer Pre-College Program. Don’t get me wrong, I cherish the academic year with my college theatre students, who accomplish great things. This year we staged successful productions of Bonnie & Clyde and Godspell, and next year I am excited for The Diary of Anne Frank and A Chorus Line. But my favorite part of the Marist year is my time with rising juniors and seniors in high school in our two-week summer courses. The campus is picturesque and the Hudson River is sparkling; students live and breathe the college experience around the clock; we start from scratch and together we grow and learn so much in two weeks. Perhaps what I love most about the experience is the comradery that develops between students, and between the faculty and students. We keep our programs small so that it is intimate experience where we create an interactive learning opportunity while building friendships that last much longer than two weeks (earlier this week I had lunch with two of my graduating Marist seniors who did pre-college with me in summer 2010!) It’s what makes Marist Pre-College so unique and different from other summer programs.
These courses are designed for beginners yet it embraces those with passion for their respective academic fields. For my theatre course, the material is best explained in five words, “the page to stage process”. We read plays, we dissect the plays, we study the roles of theatre artists, we learn acting technique, and we perform scenes from plays. We also attend theatre, including a backstage tour on Broadway. It is an all-encompassing theatre experience, rewarding and fun, and my favorite two-weeks of the year.
On behalf of the Marist Pre-College faculty, I would like to congratulate all of the students who have already made the decision to join us this summer. We welcome you to the Marist community, and look forward to welcoming you to campus in a couple of weeks.
–Matt Andrews, Associate Professor and Director of the Marist Theatre Program, is Director of the Summer Theatre Performance Institute. Professor Andrews teaches Acting I, Acting II, Acting III, Musical Theatre and Directing at Marist, as well as directing musicals and plays on campus.