A coeducational day school serving students JK-12

Upper school students transformed the fall play into a virtual, interactive experience, complete with an engaging website and a cutting-edge Zoom performance. Twenty-one students presented "Lucy Westenra is Not (and Will Never Be) a Vampire" from 20 different locations on October 28-30, 2020. The play, written by Latin alum and current lower school assistant teacher, Marjorie Muller '13," is based on Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula."

The production of presenting the virtual performance took careful planning and technological skill. Each student used a green screen (coupled with a chroma-key green virtual background) on Zoom. Back at Latin, a "mission control" center utilized brand new technology that was developed during the pandemic to route the live feeds of the actors on Zoom and make them appear in the custom configurations on screen. First, ZoomOSC software allowed "mission control" to see the location of each actor on the Zoom feed (top left, center right, bottom middle, etc.). Then software from Troikatronix called Isadora merged the performers onto shared backgrounds to make them appear like they were in the same location, plus it layered in video and audio effects. 

Actors view of Zoom

This is an example of the actors' view of Zoom. One of the Zoom "participants" is a view of the finished live feed of the show, so the actors can see where they appear on the screen to make sure they are facing the right way if they are interacting with another actor. The actors can't watch the Twitch live stream because it is several seconds behind the real-time Zoom.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

Working alongside upper school technical theater teacher Thad Hallstein, the show's student stage manager, Natalie R. '22, called out all of the screen configuration changes and audio and effects cues. This included giving the actors their cues in the Zoom chat as well as communicating with the actors in a separate group text chat for other directions. The student computer control operator, Elliot K. '22, then executed the cues in the performance software. He also served as an emergency understudy to step in front of a green screen set up at Latin should an actor's WIFI drop out or they lose connection with them on Zoom. Shane Enderle, a member of Latin's IT team, monitored the feed from the performance software to ensure the video and audio functioned properly in the live stream.

Software routing

This is a view of the complex configuration using Isadora that routed the actors' individual video feeds into the performance software and controlled how the actors appeared on screen.

 

Directed by upper school drama and technical theater teacher Frank Schneider, the show was viewable on Twitch, a live stream tool that was embedded on the website quincymorrison.net, which the students created specifically for the play.

View of streaming to Twitch

This is a view of one finished scene that streamed to Twitch, the live-streaming tool that the audience uses to view the performance.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

 

Arts

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Upper School Fall Play: Not Your Average Zoom

Upper school students transformed the fall play into a virtual, interactive experience, complete with an engaging website and a cutting-edge Zoom performance. Twenty-one students presented "Lucy Westenra is Not (and Will Never Be) a Vampire" from 20 different locations on October 28-30, 2020. The play, written by Latin alum and current lower school assistant teacher, Marjorie Muller '13," is based on Bram Stoker's classic novel "Dracula."

The production of presenting the virtual performance took careful planning and technological skill. Each student used a green screen (coupled with a chroma-key green virtual background) on Zoom. Back at Latin, a "mission control" center utilized brand new technology that was developed during the pandemic to route the live feeds of the actors on Zoom and make them appear in the custom configurations on screen. First, ZoomOSC software allowed "mission control" to see the location of each actor on the Zoom feed (top left, center right, bottom middle, etc.). Then software from Troikatronix called Isadora merged the performers onto shared backgrounds to make them appear like they were in the same location, plus it layered in video and audio effects. 

Actors view of Zoom

This is an example of the actors' view of Zoom. One of the Zoom "participants" is a view of the finished live feed of the show, so the actors can see where they appear on the screen to make sure they are facing the right way if they are interacting with another actor. The actors can't watch the Twitch live stream because it is several seconds behind the real-time Zoom.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

Working alongside upper school technical theater teacher Thad Hallstein, the show's student stage manager, Natalie R. '22, called out all of the screen configuration changes and audio and effects cues. This included giving the actors their cues in the Zoom chat as well as communicating with the actors in a separate group text chat for other directions. The student computer control operator, Elliot K. '22, then executed the cues in the performance software. He also served as an emergency understudy to step in front of a green screen set up at Latin should an actor's WIFI drop out or they lose connection with them on Zoom. Shane Enderle, a member of Latin's IT team, monitored the feed from the performance software to ensure the video and audio functioned properly in the live stream.

Software routing

This is a view of the complex configuration using Isadora that routed the actors' individual video feeds into the performance software and controlled how the actors appeared on screen.

 

Directed by upper school drama and technical theater teacher Frank Schneider, the show was viewable on Twitch, a live stream tool that was embedded on the website quincymorrison.net, which the students created specifically for the play.

View of streaming to Twitch

This is a view of one finished scene that streamed to Twitch, the live-streaming tool that the audience uses to view the performance.

Students developed problem-solving, creative-thinking and technology-building skills, which they will use to revamp theatrical performance experiences for years to come.

 

Arts

Explore Our News & Stories

Fourth grader's poem on social issues

One of the fourth grade classrooms passionately discussed social issues and the impact they have on our world. These lessons stemmed from their yearlong unpacking of identities and coming together as a classroom community. 

In the spring, fourth graders participated in the opinion writing unit, which focuses on understanding how to take a stand, set a clear thesis statement, give supporting reasons, and back up their thinking with evidence.

The first project in this unit was for students to create social issues acrostic poems, where certain letters in each line spell out a word or phrase. This assignment helped students to think about issues going on in their world. They generated their own list and discussed what each issue means and means to them.

Fourth grade's list of important social issues

A list of important social issues generated by a fourth grade classroom with the help of fourth grade teacher Amanda Schirmacher, assistant teacher Ada Tan and support staff teacher Endia Moore.

These conversations were also supplemented with books as well. The issues they chose for their poems were ones that they felt strongly about in this moment–many about animals, as the 9- and 10-year-old brains adore their animals!

Students were pleased to show off their work to a very special visitor, Head of School Randall Dunn, during their classroom gallery walk.

Randall Dunn at fourth grade gallery walk

Head of School Randall Dunn visits the fourth grade's gallery walk.

Then the students dove deeper into the social issues and identified one that they care deeply about, researched the issues, and then wrote a five-paragraph essay on the issue. 

To view more of the students' acrostic poems, browse the photo gallery below.


Academics

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National Association of Independent Schools logo

Congratulations to Head of School Randall Dunn for being named Chair of the Board of Trustees of the National Association of Independent Schools (NAIS)--a nonprofit membership association that provides services to more than 1,900 schools and associations of schools in the United States and abroad, including more than 1,600 independent private K-12 schools in the U.S.

This appointment follows Randall’s three years of service in the role of Vice Chair and will be a continuation of his nine years of service on the board so far. As Chair, Randall will assume We all take away more than we give. NAIS and the experience on the board allows us to lead and enhance our own schools with a greater perspective and to serve as ambassadors for the value and relevance of independent schools as whole.
Randall Dunn, Head of School at Latin School of Chicago and Board Chair of NAIS
oversight of the board as they collaborate closely with Donna Orem, president of NAIS to forward the vision and mission of the organization, which is to “...co-create the future of education by uniting and empowering our community through thought leadership, research, creation and curation of resources, and direct collaboration with education leaders.”

Randall views this volunteer role as an important learning opportunity for him--and the other trustees. “We all take away more than we give. NAIS and the experience on the board allows us to lead and enhance our own schools with a greater perspective and to serve as ambassadors for the value and relevance of independent schools as whole.” 

In addition, Randall’s leadership role keeps Latin at the forefront of the most important information and trends impacting our students.  

Read more about Randall's appointment in an article published by The Forum, Latin's student-run news publication.

Congratulations, Randall! 

See the full NAIS Board here.  

Our Voices

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Middle school student and a teacher at Origami Club

Middle school students participated in in-person clubs for the first time this year–and they had a blast! With the gorgeous spring weather, the students even got outside for knitting club. Check out the knitting club and origami club!

 
 
Student Life
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Upper school student athletes on Signing Day

We are so proud of our student-athletes who have committed to playing a sport in college next year!

Eli A. will be playing baseball at Denison University; Peter B. will be running cross country and track at Kenyon College; Molly C. will be on the equestrian team Baylor University; Colin C. will be playing soccer at Wesleyan University; and Blake D. playing golf and ice hockey at The University of Tampa.

Cole F. will be playing soccer and track at Oberlin College; Sujan G. will be playing tennis at Bowdoin University; Anees G. will be playing tennis at New York University; Natalie M. will be playing basketball at Johns Hopkins University; Marianne M. will be running track at Harvard University; Charlie M. will be rowing at Loyola Marymount University; and Bea P. will be running cross country and track at Middlebury College.

Noah R. will be running track at Lewis and Clark College; Ashley R. will be swimming at Carleton College; Matthew S. will be playing baseball at Bates College; Olivia S. will be running cross country and track at The George Washington University; and Ava T. will be playing volleyball at The University of Arizona. Congratulations to our student-athletes!

Go Romans!

Athletics

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