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      High school students get a lesson on stage

      Upper Michigan high schoolers got a lesson in stage acting Friday. Northern Michigan University's High School Theatre Day invited over 100 students to spend the day learning from faculty and theatre majors. The high school students acted out all kinds of fun situations to beef up their improv skills. "I love improv! I've been wanting to do it ever since I saw Second City here at NMU. It was really funny and entertaining and I would love do it," said Olivia Anderson, sophomore at Superior Central High School. It was in one of a series of workshops at the inaugural High School Theatre Day, lead by the faculty and students in the Forest Roberts Theatre.

      Stage Fighting is one of the more popular workshops. They've learned how to slap, punch, and tackle. "I thought it was pretty cool because I had never seen how that was done, and it felt pretty realistic, and I think it kind of looked that way, too," said Imari McKinney, freshman at Marquette Senior High School. From there, it escalated to a sword fight demonstration by the theatre majors. Everything about the field trip was hands on, placing these young performers on stage in front of their peers. "Interactive learning is just a lot more fun...For the kids to really learn something and take away from it, it's important for them to get up and give it a try," said Ansley Valentine, Director of Theatre at NMU. The students learned how to incorporate emotions into acting and when it's good to improvise versus sticking to the script.

      "I think it's a great experience for anyone who could come. I'm new to this whole drama thing, and I'm glad some schools actually allowed us, the Rapid River kids, to come over, and I think it's the best thing so far, and I'm excited to take back the new stuff I've learned to our drama club," said James Ayotte, sophomore at Rapid River High School. The faculty and students hope to make this an annual event.