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The Shield

Co-curricular Corner

A Brief Guide to Arts Activities at MHS

Julia Gusmano, Audrey Diggs, and Sammie Maygers

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Writing Workshop

If you are at all curious about the writing and publishing process, Writing Workshop may be the ideal environment to foster and grow your interest.

This co-curricular activity meets during Gold specialty times, and is headed and supervised by English teacher Ms. Kitty Yanson in room 104. It is a group activity based on open-ended analysis and acceptance; participants can submit any written work they have created to be read aloud and constructively criticized by students who share a passion for written language in all its forms. Following the advice of your peers often pays off in a stronger written work and enhanced writing skills, but writing Workshop is also a group which respects the will of the writer, and all decisions regarding a work-shopped piece are left to the writer.

If any student is interested in discussing poetry and prose, or in displaying works of their own, please feel free to drop by and sit in on a session to experience this community of Mercy writers in person.



Madrigals is a group of students from all classes coming together to share their passion for singing. The Madrigals are led by Sr. Helen Doherty, RSM and meet on Red and Gold Specialty times in the choir room near the auditorium. Auditions are held at the beginning of the school year, and all are welcome to set up an audition time with Sr. Helen.

The Madrigals sing at masses and hold two concerts each year, one in the winter, around Christmas time, and one in the spring. There are three sections that one can be placed in depending on their vocal range. These are soprano, second soprano, and alto. Sr. Helen will decide what section you belong in if you decide to join us this school year. No previous music experience is necessary! You do not need to know how to read music to be in Madrigals.

If anyone is interested in joining Madrigals please see Sr. Helen or email her at [email protected]



Footlighters is all about the theater arts: costuming, makeup, acting, theater technology, and advertising. All of these different aspects of theater are addressed by different groups within the co-curricular, such as Children’s Theater, a group that performs at different centers off-campus and is working on creating a movie this year. Footlighters is headed by Mr. Stoddard but controlled and administered by appointed students who serve as secretaries, monitors, and moderators. Different activities include prop creation, sound and lighting control, scriptwriting, acting out dialogues, and learning marketing techniques.


Spring and Fall Plays

Students who are serious about honing their theatrical skills should consider audition for either the Spring or Fall Play. Membership in Footlighters is not required to audition, nor is any previous experience in theater, and the auditions themselves generally consist of a brief dramatic reading. The only real prerequisites are a professional attitude, firm commitment, and a willingness to expand your comfort zone.

The shows are directed by Mr. Raymond Stoddard, and cast members meet after school on a daily basis, generally from around 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm. Initial rehearsals consist of gradually working through the script, running lines and perfecting blocking as you go. The week before opening night is an especially large time commitment, with the cast meeting from 9:00 am to 5:00pm on many days to build and paint sets, hang lights and stage dress rehearsals. The payoff is incredible though; cast members have the opportunity to put on three professional-grade performances in Mercy’s beautiful auditorium, and bond with cast mates through the shared experience of creation.

Even if being in the spotlight just isn’t your cup of tea, volunteers to do the very necessary tasks of costuming, stage-managing, working the tech booth and set building are always in demand, so if any of these other areas of theater interest you, please consider speaking to Amanda Green, who can be contacted at [email protected], about taking part.



The Shield is Mercy’s own student news journal, and members of the Shield co-curricular have the privilege of researching and writing some of the first articles to be posted to our brand-new website. This group meets during Red specialty times in room 104, and is under the guidance of English teacher Ms. Kitty Yanson. Meetings emphasize student independence and autonomy; students are given the period to conduct interviews, take photographs, do research and type up their stories in the Knott Lab.


Dance Troupe

Mercy High School’s Dance Troupe, headed by Ms. Gloria Lang, is dedicated to choreographing, practicing and performing dance routines.  To view the full article, click here.



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The student news site of Mercy High School
Co-curricular Corner