Titan Drama Lives On


Julian Leal, Writer/Editor

Langston Hughes Academy is a relatively small charter school. It doesn’t have as many facilities as most public schools do elsewhere (a library, nurse’s office, or theater, to name a few). The spirit of LHA and its extracurriculars is anything but humble, however.

Students and staff utilize every resource available to liven the school spirit beyond the classroom. They take every chance to meet with those who share the same interests and passion for involvement as them, even with packets of homework ahead of them. These people spend hours after school training for their next volleyball match or mock trial, contributing to the competitive image of a “Titan.” A Titan fosters creative expression just as much as athletics.

Titan Drama is one of this image’s many facets. It is LHA’s prevalent domain of performance art, creating opportunities for students to shine before an audience. Students meet every Monday after school in Ms. Sampley’s room (501) to read aloud scenes from a play and discuss upcoming theater activities. Ever since its inception in 2014, the Titan Drama program has put out numerous plays, talent shows, and musicals. It employs students in the production of and participation in such events. Members of the Titan Drama program spends months auditioning and rehearsing for the annual fall and spring productions, finalizing their efforts in theaters around Stockton or within an LHA classroom (for more intimate productions).

These opportunities also extend behind-the-scenes. After a few years of experience (most likely during their junior and senior year), students may opt to take on the role of producer, stage manager, or assistant director, to name a few other positions. Paired with Titan Drama is Titan Builds. This program teaches participants the nuances of set building along with construction safety/etiquette, painting, and improvisation. Students meet every Thursday after school (by the sheds behind the school) to learn from Ms. Sampley and an adjunct theater technician. Both programs encompass the cohesive beauty of a theater production.

Titan Drama also takes students on off-campus ventures. While more centered around Ms. Sampley’s elective Drama class, she has taken many young thespians to exclusive viewings of Frankenstein, Fences, and Murder on the Orient Express as produced by Sacramento Theatre Company (STC).

Ms. Sampley has made constant efforts to promote the performing arts at LHA, especially with Drama. Due to a diminishing budget and low turnout for play auditions, however, there will not be any theatrical productions this school year.

There are still opportunities for those who crave the spotlight, however. LHA will be hosting an Open Mic Night for the dedicated performers among our Titans in May. Auditions for the event were held this Friday, April 21, 2023.

{I will update this article as soon as I have exact dates and times.}