March 24, 2017

High school students to learn how to create theater

by Andrea Hahn

CARBONDALE, Ill. – Fast, fun and loud – that’s the description of Drama Daze at Southern Illinois University Carbondale. 

The SIU Department of Theater Drama Daze, set for Tuesday, March 28, in the McLeod Theater, is a day of workshops and performances from 9 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. Three hundred or so students from nine area high schools and Shawnee Community College, plus a few home-school students, will attend. 

The idea is to help students understand what it takes to create theater. Workshops include stage combat, playwriting and musical theater dance. A technical theater “Olympics” turns puppet making, mini-costume design and stage lighting into competitive activities, along with a tool-using relay. When the students have a moment to sit, they’ll see select scenes from this year’s Big Muddy New Play Festival highlight, “Torak the Inadequate.” 

The “loud” part is the spirit award, chosen by decibel level. 

SIU theater students serve as supervisors, coordinators, workshop presenters and group leaders for the day. The students will also have a chance to meet College of Liberal Arts Dean Meera Komarraju and representatives from the Office of Admissions. Susan Patrick Benson, director of undergraduate studies for theater, organizes this event. 

High schools from the following communities are participating: Carbondale, Elverado, Flora, Freeburg, Herrin, Johnston City, Mount Vernon, Nashville and Ramsey. 

For more information, contact Vincent Rhomberg at