Syllabus 21-22 Printable Docx

Welcome To Viking’s Virtual Theatre Class:


Theatre focuses on fostering the knowledge, understanding, values, and life skills necessary for students to develop character and become positive members of the community and society. THIS IS CONSIDERED A CORE SUBJECT AND THE GRADE MOST Definitely COUNTS!  Parents and students may read class updates at:   email address:


There are some obvious things that need to be observed in class.  This is a participatory goal centered class; it means you need to be present to earn a grade and set and meet goals.  You will not receive daily participation points for days you are not in class, however due to the number of days we meet this will not impact the grade until you miss six or more days (I do not count the first 5 missed classes for an excused absence). Should you miss six or more days of class for vacation or illness or just because, a second live performance essay or a two-page paper on William Shakespeare will help to make up to 50 points (five days of classes). This additional work is your responsibility to complete. You may also turn in this additional work to improve your grade. I have attached two student/parent contracts outlining expectations. This contract needs to be signed and returned by Tues., January 25 to Google Classroom.


NOTE: Each student is required to watch one theatrical (stage) performance this quarter/semester. Everyone will have the opportunity to see one production during class. Concerts do not count; there must be a plot and you cannot have been in the production yourself.  You can also attend a show; other schools’ shows and professional performances, if the current COVID situation changes.  Students can also watch a performance in video format (ex. – Netflix, YouTube, Hulu, Amazon, PBS).  Please, see the attached checklist for this assignment (write the paper within four school days after viewing the production). 


What types of subjects does drama cover?


Costume Design          Music         Production          Direction            Literature        History       Public     

                          Speaking               Art                Acting              Reading                   Film            Math

Sociology                      Psychology                           Philosophy                             Make-up Design          


Tips for Success:


  1. Save all handouts, quizzes, notes, tests, etc. (keep a neat class folder).

  2. Pay attention; take good notes (stay organized).

  3. Complete all work in class. (8th production-7th script writing-6th forensics)

  4. Use your Agenda every day, every time. (I check these for points from time to time.)

  5. Study for Tests and Quizzes (there won’t be many)

  6. Help each other.  Practice common sense.

  7. If you don’t understand, ask me for help.

  8. Read and follow all directions.

  9. Accept only your highest quality work.

  10. NOTE: Participation, preparedness, and behavior (counts as 55% of your final grade).


Grading and Assessment:  I will grade on a point scale:


5          Exceeds class expectations = A++  (Few will receive this grade)    “Wow, that’s impressive!”

4          Consistently demonstrates acceptable achievement = A    “You did it!”

3          Demonstrates a developing understanding        = B    “Getting there,”

2          Demonstrates partial understanding = C    “Still needs some work,”    

1          Demonstrates minimal understanding = D/F    “We need to focus, here.”


Quality work is the goal for the class; this requires hard work.  No matter how hard I ask you to work; I will work as hard or harder.  Break-A-Leg (good luck), I hope you enjoy your drama class. 


All about Mrs. Pionke



This is my twentieth year teaching and I am nearing the end of my career.  I came into the profession late after a career in dental hygiene.  I have also worked as a school secretary at Woodview School in Grayslake, a band/color guard director with Grayslake Central HS and owned a cheesecake business.  I taught theatre and motion picture history at Palombi Middle School in Lake Villa for four years.  After the elimination of the theatre/film program, due to budget cuts, I taught social studies and language arts.  I have attended several colleges and universities, but received my teaching degree from Northeastern IL Univ.  I served a term on the National Board of Directors for the Educational Theatre

Association (EdTA) and I now serve on the foundation committee for EdTA and give workshops.  I am currently on the IL Thespian Board of Directors and do work with the IL Board of Ed.  I am also a voting member of the American Film Institute.


My students, friends, and family are my foundation and they definitely make me a better person.  I am a widowed mother of three.  My son, Will, is an award nominated producer and writer in the television/film industry.  He has worked on Empire, Divergent, Sense8 and several other movies and series. He has just wrapped the fourth Matrix film with Warren Brothers and a new television series, 61st Street, with AMC.   Megan, my daughter, is the band director at Park School Campus in Grayslake and marching band director at Grayslake Central High School.  She is also an Ambassador for the MS Society. Corey Ames, my son-in-law, is the band director/woodwind specialist in the Lake Forest school system.  I am grandma to their ten-year-old daughter, Brennan (Bren) and their two-year-old daughter, Ellison (Ellis). Kassandra, my niece, whom I helped raise due to the death of my sister, is mother of eleven-year-old Avelyn Starr (Ava) and a two-year old boy, Oberlyn (so I am also a grauntie).   Viking drama still has two productions planned for this school year (the winter play-One Stoplight Town and Dinner Theatre), but we still need some district guidance on what these will look like. We completed EMMA: A Pop Musical in December.


I grew up in Green Bay and Milwaukee, WI areas.  Yes, this means I am a loyal Packers fan and stockholder/owner.  I have lived in IL the past 34 years, but I consider myself a WI girl through and through.  I had one older sister and have one older and one younger brother.  My Dad and Mom are enjoying life in Milwaukee.  My husband was from Waupaca, WI and I still travel frequently to visit the area. I spend a great deal of my time with my children and grandchildren.  My family likes barbeques/picnic, movies, sports, travel, holidays and concerts together.  They have taught me how to be a better person and important values that I hope to pass on to you. 


I am good with words.  I have written a children’s book, Bouncing on Grandma’s Knee. I am currently completing a theatrical play; The Girls’ Room and I am a contributor to four new musical productions Girlhood, The Island of Unforgotten Toys, The Mystery of Custodia and Miley Chase the Science Ace with TRW and CPA Productions. I also edited and contributed to the play Peter Pan & Wendy with Playscripts, Inc.  I like to speak, write and read words.  I love to craft a show and I am pretty meticulous in the quality I expect from a performance.  I like most genres of music, movies, Cubs/Brewers Baseball, Packers/Badgers football, Blackhawks hockey, Manchester United European Football (Soccer), any Univ. of WI sport, spending time with my two Russian Siberian Forest cats, travel, gardening, fishing, surfing the internet, camping, museums, historical landmarks, antiques, theatre, and too much TV (when I have free time).


I like to work with students who work hard, don’t complain and always try to improve on their last work.  Completion of your work and being respectful and courteous to others is a big key to succeeding in my classroom.  I want every student to be the best possible person that they can be.


Break-A-Leg this Year!

 Drama Live Performance Assignment


(Read this carefully students & parents.  All of your questions are answered below.)


This is a 38-year-old state requirement at Viking!!!  It is not a requirement that came with this teacher.  You and your parent will be signing a contract stating that you understand this very simple assignment.  Most all of your work in this class can be done very easily and within the school day.  The only homework you should have is this live performance essay and possibly to study for a test in 6th grade.  You will need to view a live play performance during this quarter or semester depending on your grade.  You do not need to pay money to accomplish this; there are a number of free online shows.  You will need to find a production you wish to watch online through YouTube, Hulu, Netflix, Amazon, PBS live performances on TV, or recordings of live performances.  Concerts such as Blue Man Group or programs such as Disney on Ice DO NOT fulfill the requirement.  Operas and ballets will meet the requirement. There needs to be a plot and it needs to take place in front of an audience.   A movie version of a musical WILL NOT count (Ex.: Wizard of Oz w/Judy Garland).  Movies take months to shoot and edited; they are not the spontaneous like live theater, which changes with every show (Repeat: You need to view a taping of a live show.)


You must have viewed the play this quarter or semester, not last year, etc.  You also cannot have been in the production; it is very hard to be objective when you were in the show.  The essay should be at least one page typed, double spaced, with 12 font and a heading.  If you cannot type you may hand write NEATLY, single-spaced on lined paper, both front and back, in black or blue in ink with a heading.  Include a ticket or program, if applicable.  If you watch a video of a program please include the name of the theater the production company, and the date you watched it.  The essay should summarize the story and include your opinion of the performance.  That means it is at least two paragraphs, roughly 300 words.


This is what we call a self-directed or student-directed assignment.  It is vitally important for you to be able to understand this type of learning.  Most of your high school and your entire college career will be based on this type of learning.  Students are given deadlines for where their progress should be during a project with a final date for all elements to be turned in.  Understand that once you attend high school there is a zero-tolerance policy on late work and zeros don’t average into a grade well.  It hurts your grade dramatically.  This essay is worth 80 points.  You will have four school days after viewing the live performance to complete your essay.  Once you view a show, it is a simple one-page essay two paragraph essay of at least 300 words.  The sooner you get this done the better!  Since you have several weeks to complete this assignment, it will be due on time even if you are sick or on vacation!


Requirements Checklist:


  • Viewed a performance (can be on video or TV, also)

  • Must be a play with a plot (Not a movie version of a play, concert, or ice show, but a live taping)

  • Heading (include a name, class period, and date)

At least one-page hand written -single spaced -front and back -black/blue ink     OR

At least one page typed one side -Double spaced-typed 12 font typed (Pages-PDF)

  • At least two QUALITY paragraphs (1-show summary/plot and 2-your opinion)- 300 words in length

  • If you attended a show, attach ticket, program or parent note to confirm viewing date

  • If you watch a television program or video, you must include name of production comp & date


The last possible due date is no later than Wednesday, October 13 the paper is due within four school days after completion of the performance viewed. It can be turned in in hard copy on paper or emailed to


Follow the checklist above and you have made met ALL the requirements