Feature: M-A Drama's Hidden Gem: Backstage Bear Garden
Walking down the D-Wing, one might be surprised to see painted wooden mustaches adorning the top of an enclosed wooden structure. To the members of M-A’s drama community, those mustaches enclose a beloved garden shared by Ms. Zwicker-Sobrepena’s classes.
The garden area has always been attached to the drama classroom, something Ms. Z and the drama community are grateful for: “I know not every classroom has it, so we are lucky to have a place back here. Especially one designed so nicely to hang out in.”
According to Ms. Z, the garden was created around six years ago by Betsy Farzi, the mother of a drama club president; she designed the layout of the garden and started planting.
In this past year, Ms. Z’s stagecraft classes have added benches and pathways to the ever-changing area. She mentioned a few of the changes to the garden due to: “a huge bee problem with the lavender.” Since then, the plants in the garden have been selected to maximize work and minimize bee stings.
In terms of its use, Ms. Z stated that her students come to the garden to eat, hang out, and complete English and Drama assignments.
As of this November, the garden will be named the ”Backstage Bear Garden” and a sign will hang outside to inform all who pass by.
The garden itself is full of student art projects, including painted stones, mosaic tiles, and set projects including a Scooby Doo Mystery Machine cutout.
“We thought, ‘Why not make it a mustache garden?’ The Mystery Machine was a stagecraft car project…It’s a fun way to decorate the garden with theater stuff that was made by students here at M-A. Even all the benches were made by students…a lot of sweat went into building the garden.”
In the future, Ms. Z plans to add a table with an umbrella to provide more shade and comfort from the heat of the afternoon sun. She also looks forward to adding more mosaic tiles as stepping stones around the garden.
The drama garden provides a respite from the rigors of high school life and is enjoyed by a significant part of M-A’s community.