Theatre is the gateway to thrilling adventure in an imaginary world!

Mr. Paul A. Orsett, Theatre Arts Educator

Email: porsett@wcpss.net                    Phone: 919-562-3600 X22217

Website: www.wakefieldtheatre.net

Extracurricular Ensembles

In addition to the free regular classroom showcases, other performance groups and small ensembles are organized during the year for other performance experiences.  Participation in these ensembles is an added time commitment and members are expected to attend all extra rehearsals.

Drama Club – This is theatre group open to the whole school.  Students do not need to be in a theatre class to participate.  There are monthly meetings for ongoing projects as well as theatre games and social activities throughout the year.   This is a great way to get to know other students active in the theatre department.

International Thespian Honor Society – The Wakefield High School theatre arts department sponsors ITS Troupe # 6326.  Students are eligible for induction if they have acted or worked production for shows and accumulated 100 hours.  Students must pay a yearly membership fee.  Benefits include: one year subscription to Dramatics magazine, Membership Card, Membership Certificate, Eligibility for Thespian and WTC Scholarship programs and other benefits throughout their high school career.

Wakefield Theatre Company – This is an auditioned group chosen from the entire student body.  Auditions are held for main stage productions over the course of the school year.  Participation in this ensemble is an added time commitment and after school rehearsal time is mandatory.  Wakefield Theatre Company hosts artists and speakers who actively work in the performing arts. The company periodically sponsors a trip to a major theatre city.  Some past examples include New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Orlando and London. 

Daily Classroom Procedures

The following are classroom/studio/rehearsal guidelines and are in effect at all times.

  1. The rooms are kept orderly and neat. All backpacks, textbooks, and personal articles must be stored in designated locations as specified by the teacher.
  2. All electronic devices must be in the “OFF” position and stored in book bags or purses immediately after crossing over the threshold of the auditorium. Permission may be granted by the teacher for educational use. Permission must be granted for each occurance.
  3. All students will be in designated seats/areas at the tardy bell! (do not procrastinate)
  4. Water only is allowed in an ORIGINAL screw top bottle only. No flavored waters or opaque containers are allowed. Students will not be excused during class to get water.
  5. You will be issued 3 Locker/restroom passes per quarter.  Use them wisely, as you may not leave the room for any reason other than an emergency.  Passes may not be used the first and last 15 minutes of class or during Pride Time.  You must have a sweeper pass or Common pass if you are late to class. Students may not take cell phones with them when they use the restroom or exit the room.
  6. Gum and food/drinks must be disposed of appropriately upon entering the auditorium.
  7. All written assignments handed in must be on loose-leaf paper, written in standard blue/black ink or typed and printed using a word processor (Arial FONT 12 pt). Assignments may be submitted to your respective teacher as attachments as a .PDF format only through CANVAS.  Emails will not be accepted..
  8. Weekly Skills Assessment (WSA-100 points per week) is REQUIRED and the highest percentage of your grade! In the event of a documented (Physician’s note) physical condition, a student will sit in his/her usual seat and participate through active listening and script study. 
  9. The construction workshop, paint shop and all other equipment are not to be used unless a student is properly supervised and specific permission has been granted by the teacher.
Performance/Field Experiences

Performances/Field Experiences are considered necessary laboratory experiences for theatre arts classes and are mandatory.  Lack of attending the required number of events will result in a lower term grade.

  • To receive credit for a WTC performance, students must sign in with their teacher immediately following the performance, turn in a ticket and program, and write a two page typed in depth critical review. This is turned in no later than the MONDAY following the performance*. 
  • To receive credit for community performances, a ticket and program OR photo of you at the venue are required as well and a two page typed in depth critical review.  This is turned in no later than the MONDAY following the performance*.  Students must submit at least ½ of their required critiques before the end of 1st  If there is an odd number due the higher “half” will be due first term.  (3 due = 2 first term, 1 second term.
  • Below are the requirements for specific classes:

*Evaluations are a CRITICAL exploration of elements and techniques studied in your particular class.  Papers that focus on the synopsis of the show (telling me the story) will NOT receive credit.

Level I classes:                 Must attend TWO (2) approved theatrical performances over 90 minutes.  One must fall into each grading period. 

Level II classes:                Must attend THREE (3) approved theatrical performances over 90 minutes.  One must fall into the 1st grading period.  The second two must be done during the 2nd grading period. 

Level IIIH classes:             Must attend Four (4) approved theatrical performances over 90 minutes.  Two must fall into each grading period.

Level IVH classes:            Must attend Five (5) approved theatrical performances over 90 minutes.  Two must fall into the 1st grading period.  The others must be done during the 2nd grading period. 

Ind. Study classes:            Must attend Five (5) approved theatrical performances over 90 minutes.  Two must fall into the 1st grading period.  The others must be done during the 2nd grading period. 

If students are in more than one theatre arts class, (IE: Drama II/Tech. Theatre) they must attend the highest number of performances required and write an evaluation for each class specifically pertaining to the aspect of curriculum.  All papers MUST be turned in through CANVAS.

Regular WTC performances are held in Wakefield High School Studio or Auditorium.  Community performances are held at various sites.  Site locations are available through local news media.  If there is a legitimate financial hardship, please speak to Mr. Orsett during the first week of classes and we will work out ways to attend the mandatory performances.  “If I don’t know, I can’t help!”

The Wakefield Theatre Company productions are an inexpensive or FREE way to attend your field experiences! If a student is actively involved in a WAKEFIELD THEATRE production or on running crew for the show, they may forego the critique in lieu of their participation in the production.  This must be approved by Mr. Orsett in ADVANCE and documentation must be submitted through Canvas!


Your critique must include a cover sheet, your ticket stub, and your program.  The cover sheets should be formatted like the example including the italicized play title, the producing company, the theatre space where you saw the show, they date you attended, the play, your name, your course and level, and your class period.

Double check the basics before turning in your critique as follows:

  • 1” Margins
  • Arial 12 point font
  • Double Spaced
  • No skipping lines between paragraphs in scholarly writing!
  • Check spelling & grammar (do not depend on spell/grammar check to pick up all errors)
  • Back up broad generalizations with specific examples.
  • Begin with a brief summary. The bulk of your paper should then be comprised of description and analysis/evaluation of your experience of attending the play.


Presented by Wakefield Theatre Company

Memorial Auditorium



John Smith

Theatre I

1st Period

Some Suggestions for Finding & Attending Plays

There are several ways to get free or inexpensive tickets.  For just about all of them, YOU MUST PLAN AHEAD!

You can . . .

  • House Manage or Usher (take tickets, assist patrons with seating, etc.) for WTC productions (FREE!)
  • Act in, or work on the running crew for WTC productions (two week commitment: FREE!)
  • Attend “pay what you can” night of a professional show’s run (CHEAP to FREE!)
  • Attend student night for many shows in the area (Ticket are usually between $10-$20)

“But I don’t have a car and my parents are both surgeons who have to work late and save lives and they can’t leave in the middle of surgery to take me to a play . . .”

That’s OK!  Be nice to your theatre classmates and to the environment and hitch a ride . . . then you have someone to discuss the show with after the performance!

“But I don’t have internet access at home so I can’t look for plays or order tickets . . .”

That’s OK!  You can go to the media center before or after school or during your lunch period to use a computer or read a good old fashioned newspaper.

Some Venues in the area (there are many more!):

Local High School Theatre Productions

Various school websites

Playmakers Repertory Company (UNC-CH)


University Theatre (NC STATE)


Raleigh Little Theatre


Bare Theatre


Burning Coal Theatre


Broadway Series South(Memorial Auditorium)


North Carolina Theatre


Theatre in the Park



Criteria Rubric











Instructions for Formatting were followed:  12 point font, 1” margins, 2-4 pages, Double Spaced






The critique begins with a very brief summary of the play, in the writer’s own words (of course)






The paper is rich with details and specific examples from the production.  These details are used to illustrate the writer’s opinions and evaluation of the production.






Supporting documents are turned in:

-ticket stub


-photo of you at the venue






Honors Credit

All students taking Theatre IIIH, IVH, and Technical Theatre IIIH must complete an honors project for the year. (There will be a mid-term progress check prior to winter break for year-long classes and a progress check after the first grading period for semester classes.)

Project Scope

To be determined each year and include an acting and technical theatre component.

Grading/Make-up Work

Weekly Skills Assessment                       40%

Students are expected to develop an understanding of theatre arts and demonstrate comprehension through assessment of skills during lesson presentation.  Students are not evaluated on the amount of talent or skill they possess but will be evaluated by the degree of effort put forth in class, therefore daily attendance is extremely important.  (WSA = weekly skills assessment) 

Daily Attendance

Each student has the responsibility to attend classes regularly.  Due to the ephemeral nature of class time experiences, excessive absences can affect the student’s individual grade negatively. 

Performances/Projects                             20%

Acting students will periodically be evaluated while performing individually or in small groups.  Each student will be graded on proper staging, vocal projection, articulation, and improvement throughout the process of rehearsal.  There will also be a weekly juggling quiz for appropriate students to evaluate progress on concentration and multi-tasking.

Skills/Test                                                    20%

Technical theatre students will periodically be evaluated individually or in small groups on concepts learned in class. These can include but are not limited to: Safety, Set Construction, Lighting Practices, Sound, Costumes, Props, Stage Management, etc.  These projects will be evaluated to ensure complete understanding of lessons being taught.  For their own safety, Students MUST wear lace up shoes in order to participate in crew work.

Critiques                                                       20%

Performances/Field Experiences are considered necessary laboratory experiences for theatre arts classes and are mandatory.  Lack of attending the required number of events will result in a lower term grade.

Pride Time

Pride Time is an intervention offered during the school day that is in place for all students. It is 30 minutes of time during each week. Students can make up work or gain remediation during this time. Any student with a grade 75 or below in class must report to Pride Time on the day designated for that class period. Teachers may also require students to attend as needed.  If a student’s grade is a 75 or above they can report to the main gym, Media Center, or cafeteria. Students must report to a Pride Time classroom or one of the 3 designated locations in the building. Students who do not attend required Pride Time will be referred for skipping. Teachers are required to have their grades updated in Power Schools at the close of the day on Friday.

Make-up work

Any student who misses a class due to an excused absence is entitled and expected to make up missed assignments.  The student is responsible for getting the missed assignments from the teacher and scheduling times to make up any missed assignments or tests.  Assignments that are assigned prior to an absence will be due upon return; this includes tests that are scheduled for the day of return. 

If the make-up work has not been assigned in advance, for absences of one (1) to three (3) days, the student will have a minimum of one (1) day for each day absence to complete the missed assignments.  For absences exceeding three (3) days, the student will have a minimum of two (2) days for each day absent to complete missed assignments. 

Students will receive full credit for all make-up work following an absence as long as the work is completed within the prescribed time limit and to teacher expectations.  Students will not be able to receive any grade higher than 70% for work due to unexcused absences.  Make-up work can be arranged with teachers.  Students will be given full credit for semester exams.

For late work, students will earn a minimum of 70% of the grade they would have received if turned in on time for academic classes. (60% for honors)   Work that is submitted on time and meets the minimal completion requirements will receive a score no less than 50%.  Teachers do not have to accept late work after one week prior to the end of the grading period.

Anything not addressed here will be consistent with the Wakefield High School make-up work policies.


The students of Wakefield High School are committed to being honest and responsible in the completion of academic materials and interactions with the school administration and community. Cheating, stealing, plagiarism (passing off another’s work, words, or ideas as one’s own), and lying (including willful distortion or misrepresentation) are considered violations of the Honor Code. Through a joint fulfillment of this code, students and faculty will achieve their fullest potential in academic excellence and character. 

A decision about “why” you have chosen not to abide by one of the non-negotiables is not an option. Students are expected to comply with all rules and regulations set forth by WCPSS and Wakefield High School. Failure to comply with these 5 expectations may result in OSS.

  1. CLASS OR PASS – If you are in the halls, you must have a pass and it must be presented when requested by an adult.
  2. STAY OR PAY – If students are out of place and are approached by any adult, they must remain in the presence of that individual until the issue is resolved.
  3. COMPLY OR GOODBYE – Students are expected to follow the rules while on campus. Failure to comply with reasonable requests may result in OSS.
  4. ON TIME OR SERVE TIME – Students are expected to get to class on time. Failure to comply will result in ASD, Saturday Detention, and OSS.
  5. TRUTH OR CONSEQUENCES – Students are expected to display the highest level of integrity. Cheating, lying, stealing, & falsification will not be tolerated.  

Social Media

Per the Wakefield HS Honor Code, students are expected to display the highest level of integrity.  With the unavoidable presence of online media, students must be cautious about their public profiles.  Posts on Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Vine, etc. while meant to be private can often become public knowledge.  Make smart decisions and think before posting.  A disregard for the reputation of Wakefield or Wakefield Theatre on these accounts will lead to a disciplinary referral to administration.


Mid-term Exam

There is NO MIDTERM exam for theatre class however there are progress checks throughout the term.

Final Exam

The final exam is an integral part of a student’s grade.  The exam grade is based on successful assessment of concepts learned in class and may contain a performance grade and written grade for all actors and technicians.  There may be final exam exemptions based on WHS policy.

***SENIORS:  Incomplete critiques (field experiences) may affect your exam exemption status.  Please plan accordingly. ***

A         89.5-100                    B         79.5-89.4                   C         69.5-79.4                   D         59.5-69.4

F          Below 59.4               

Please use this space below to make any notes you need clarification on prior to signing.


I have thoroughly read through the Wakefield Theatre Arts Handbook and understand and will abide by all policies. 

_____________________________________________                 _______________

Student Signature                                                                           Date

_____________________________________________                 _______________

Parent/Guardian Signature                                                            Date

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Class Enrolled                                                                                 Period