Exploring the Fine Arts Industry

Exploring the Fine Arts Industry
Posted on 04/25/2017
Theatre ECE

With a passion for theatre and music, it made sense for SHS senior, Lauren Boyd, to look for avenues to explore and develop skills in the area she wishes to pursue during her postsecondary education.  Boyd expressed an interest to both SHS Career Coordinator, Liz Kluver, and music teacher, Katie Kardell, during the spring semester of her junior year, about creating a class that would further foster her interest and knowledge in the area of fine arts. Kluver, always willing to help students explore their areas of interest, got to work to create the Music and Theatre Extended Career Experience (ECE).  She worked with Kardell to create a curriculum which would meet the standards of previous ECEs, with an emphasis on the arts. 

The original project was a 24-Hour Musical, and Boyd began her senior year with the intent to produce and participate on stage in a 24-hour musical, which would have entailed choosing a Broadway show to perform.  “The original intention was to cut the show to run about an hour, instead of the usual 3 hours, cast the show, bring in the cast and crew for one evening and spend the next 24 hours rehearsing, building set, and preparing to perform in order to create a fully staged and memorized product,” said Boyd.  However, after Boyd chose the show she wanted to produce, she learned that the rights for the show did not allow cutting or performing in the capacity she had planned, and doing the show in its entirety was not feasible due to the time limit and financial budget set.  To remedy the situation, Boyd said, “So I geared up for second semester with a new project which had already been thought up: a professional voice recital.”  The recital entitled, “The Roads Not Taken,” will take place on Friday, April 28th at 7:00 pm in the Spencer High School Auditorium, and will feature Katie Kardell and Jessica Schable, with accompaniment by Stephan Baker.

Though Boyd had one class period devoted to the ECE first semester, and two periods second semester, she spent countless hours outside of school creating an online presence, job shadowing, rehearsing and finding sponsors.  In order to bring the event to fruition, Boyd created a Facebook page and a website, found additional artists and musicians, nailed down a performance location, helped develop a lighting and sound design and created staging and blocking, to name a few of her accomplishments.   When asked about the year-long experience, Boyd said, “This has given me the opportunity to use project-based learning in my specific career field. I have spent this year networking with professionals in the fine arts field, both in our area and in larger metropolitan areas, such as Des Moines and Iowa City, shadowing several artists, and working on the planning and directing side of performance.”  

The experience has brought about a tremendous amount of learning, and Boyd shared, “I have learned so much more about the producing and planning behind a professional performance. Because most of my roles in the theatre have been acting on stage or doing makeup behind the scenes, I have not had the chance to try my hand at directing, producing, and essentially being responsible for the success of an event.” Through the process, Boyd even found an unexpected passion for directing and event-planning which she might explore in her future endeavors. This fall,
Boyd will be attending Minnesota State University, and plans to major in Musical Theatre, with a minor in Music.  The ECE has heightened her excitement for her career plans by giving her the opportunity to consider many different paths within the fine arts industry, rather than solely focusing on stage performance, though Boyd hopes to perform in a large, metropolitan area and teach privately, upon graduating from college.

In addition to Kardell, Schable and Baker, Chad Irvine will be playing drums, and there will be performances by Matthew Sather, Jared Gerlock and Kase Kardell.  Boyd would also like to thank her sponsors, Farmer’s Bank, The Merrill Company/Arnold Motor Supply, H & N Chevrolet Buick, Spencer Fine Arts Boosters and Drs. Geyer & Binzer Orthodontics PC.  Hy-Vee will be providing cupcakes during intermission, and water will be provided by Schoeneman’s.  Coffee and lemonade will also be served.  Though the event is free, with seating on a first-come, first-served basis, Boyd will be accepting free-will donations which will fund Iowa All-State Chorus Camp Scholarships. These scholarships will help send Spencer vocal All-State auditionees to summer camp in order to prepare them for All-State auditions in October.  For more information about the recital and Boyd’s experience, go to: https://theroadsnottaken17.wixsite.com/theroadsnottaken.