Carihi’s Christine Knight won the Association for BC Drama Educator’s Drama in Education Teaching Award for 2016-2017. Photo by Jocelyn Doll/Campbell River Mirror

Campbell River drama teacher recognized for ‘banner year’

Last year was a banner year for Christine Knight and the Carihi drama department.

Not only did the put on their annual musical, large ensemble play, and participate in Canadian Improv Games, they also hosted the North Island Drama Festival and went on to the provincial drama festival with their play Aunt Leaf.

Knight, the drama department lead, was recongized for her accomplishments with the Association for BC Drama Educator’s Drama in Education Teaching Award for 2016-2017.

“We teach in a remarkable strong zone for drama education fuelled by a number of outstanding teachers,” said Colin Riddell, Carihi teacher, in the nomination letter. “It is common for drama teachers around here to do a huge amount, so I would often not look at a colleague and see them as much different than the dozen others we work with. In this case I think (Knight) has simply had a career capping year, and I believe it deserves to be acknowledged.”

Knight has been teaching for 24 years. She started in Coquitlam, taught in Port Hardy and has been at Carihi for the last 10 years.

She was hired at Carihi to teach English, but slowly took over the drama department.

“It was only a matter of time,” she said with a laugh. “Teaching English is rewarding but not in the same way as teaching theatre. I’ve gotten most of my reward as a teacher from being a drama teacher I would say. You spend more time with the students and …the keeners are part of your program for the whole time.”

This year there are eight full time drama classes including improvisation for the first time, last year it was only a club.

“There are just tons of improv games, there are so many, but we also do activities that teach the rules of improv,” she said.

The improv team competes in the Canadian Improv Games, making trips to Courtenay throughout the school year and heading down to Victoria for the finals.

But it isn’t all fun and games.

‘The acting class is working on a class play and doing scripted work, script interpretation…and doing games and activities that make them into more aware people and better actors,” Knight said.

Last year the department performed The Addams Family musical and the play Aunt Leaf.

“They just worked well together and they were kind to each other and they were so committed to the work,” Knight said. “I don’t have good work unless they are willing to do the work. The show doesn’t work if they are not willing to meet the challenge, and they did and they continue to do that.”

This year Knight chose the musical Beauty and the Beast and for the drama festival they will be performing The Ash Girl.

For more on Knight’s work at Carihi and her recent award, head to campbellrivermirror.com