Mr. Smith Goes To The Dungeon

It’s always interesting to see what is going on behind the scenes. And nothing more more interesting to students than to see what makes their teachers tick, right?

Case in point: This week Scott Smith is debuting a Kickstarter for his latest off-hours project – a tabletop game called “Dungeon Drop.”

Yep, one of the teachers who offers the Winterim, “Beyond Monopoly: Board Game Design,” is producing an actual game of his own invention – neat how that works!

Scott Smith and “Dungeon Drop”

Growing Up Gaming

“I grew up with gaming as a thing, you know?” explained Scott when he visited the Communications Office to show us the new game. “I’m a father now, but I’m kind of part of this first generation of people that aren’t innately averse to gaming.

“But at this phase of my life, just sitting down at the computer and doing that type of gaming is not so appealing anymore,” continued Scott. “Board games are a wonderful way to make gaming a part of your adult life; where you can sit down at a table with your friends… [and] I can game with my kids and it feels good.

“We’re talking together and we’re sharing actual time at a real table together,” said Scott, with a smile. “As opposed to the kind of guilt that goes along with just staring at a screen.”

Dungeon Drop: Game-Play

With a quick paced game like “Dungeon Drop,” there’s very little staring at any one thing. Check out the game-play video from Tantrum House, who reviewed “Dungeon Drop,” below:

The impetus for Smith’s game was a contest on “Game Crafter“; a game design competition, which employed restrictions that had Mr. Smith’s mind churning (about a game that needed to be constructed only from “bits and pieces”).

“I kept thinking about it and just was on ride home from the grocery store one day and came up with this idea,” said Scott. “I was going to design a game that didn’t have any [board or traditional printed components] and I wanted a way to visualize something cool that made sense to me.”

Voila! Thus was born the unique design for “Dragon Drop.”

Creating Abstraction

“So basically the whole idea for the game was kind of circumventing the restriction of having this really abstract game. I wanted to actually be able to see a ‘picture’,” explained Smith. “So I came up with this idea that you drop all these random pieces, but once you understood what you were looking at… you actually started to visualize an actual dungeon on the table.”

And as far his team, Scott was thrilled to see both the game, and the team take shape.

“Everybody wants this; this feeling that a whole small team of people are working really hard together for the same goal… So that’s another great thing.

Scott Smith

“And in the Winterim, that’s a part of it, too,” added Smith, who saw shades of his own process in the work of his students. “For their final project, the students are in a small group and trying to work to each other’s strengths.”

English, Art… Game Design?

Looking at Mr. Smith, and watching him explain the ins-and-outs of the rules, and the game’s design, it was fun to think that the once English teacher, turned Art teacher, may now carry the title “Game Designer.”

“Oh, right now I still say I’m an arts teacher, which is absolutely true,” said Smith. “That is what I do for a living.

“But yeah, the more you do some of this stuff, the more you do start to incorporate it into your language of who you are.”

“Arts Week” Features Six Nights of Performances

Lawrence Academy’s Visual Artists, Thespians, Musicians, Singers, and Dancers featured during the Spring Term Arts Showcase

Even as Lawrence Academy inches ever closer to the inevitable post-graduation slow down, both the weather and the calendar are heating up.

As a reminder, make sure to peruse the upcoming schedule of performances during LA’s Spring Term Arts Showcase – a.k.a. “Arts Week.”

Commencing Friday, May 17, and continuing through Friday, May 24, a dozen performances and ehibitions will grace our spaces and stages.

Friday, May 17, 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM Honors Art Opening, Conant Gallery
7:00 PM – 8:30 PM New England Brass Band with LA Singers, RMPAC

Monday, May 20, 2019
7:30 – 8:30 PM Student Production: “Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons” in the Theatre Classroom

Tuesday, May 21, 2019
6:30 – 7:30 PM Spring Music Ensemble, Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center; Music Recital, Lalu Saldanha ’20, follows in the Recital Hall

Wednesday, May 22, 2019
6:30 – 7:15 PM, Music Recital, Justin Chen ’19, Conant Art Gallery
7:30 – 8:30 PM Student Production: “Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons” in the Theatre Classroom

Thursday, May 23, 2019
6:00 – 7:00 PM, Spring Visual Arts Opening, Williams Gallery
7:00 – 8:00 PM, Spring Dance Performance, Black Box Theatre

Friday, May 24, 2019
6:30 – 7:30 PM, Spring Music Recital, Recital Hall
8:00 – 9:00 PM, Spring Dance Performance, Black Box Theatre

Performance information subject to change; watch this space for additions…

Students Set to Stage “Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons” May 20 & 22

Lawrence Academy Juniors Rachel Gallant & Mia Gage present Steiner’s play

On Sunday, May 12, Director of Theatre Joel Sugerman announced:

“Here is a performance that you should come to if you like good theatre: Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons – the final performance of a theatre intensive independent by juniors Rachel Gallant and Mia Gage, Monday and Wednesday, May 20 & 22 in the Theatre Classroom.”

The Goodreads.com synopsis reads:

The average person will speak 123,205,750 words in a lifetime. But what if there were a limit? Oliver and Bernadette are about to find out.

“Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons Lemons” imagines a world where we’re forced to say less.

It’s about what we say and how we say it; about the things we can only hear in the silence; about dead cats, activism, eye contact and lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons, lemons…

Sounds so intriguing! Break a leg Mia and Rachel

“Complex Systems” – Works by Simko & Zipeto Coming to LA’s Conant Gallery

Opening on April 5, 2019, at 6:00 PM at Lawrence Academy


Complex Systems

Lawrence Academy welcomes the works of Laurie Simko & Diana Zipeto

Complex Systems

Opening Friday, April 5, 2019 6:00-7:30 PM

Live music and refreshments…

On display through May 6
in the Conant Gallery (entrance on Rt. 40)

Gallery Hours: Monday-Friday 9 AM-4 PM, Saturday and Sunday 12-4 PM

LA’s Winter Musical “Once On This Island” Debuts Thursday, February 14, at 6:30 PM

LA’s winter theatre performance, Once On This Island, premieres next Thursday, Feb 14, 6:30 PM and Friday-Saturday, Feb. 16, 7:30 PM.

We hope to see you there!

In the pics below, the cast for the musical got to rehearse on stage with the set. Thank you for the photos, Mrs. Cooper:

The show opens a week from today in the Richardson-Mees Performing Arts Center (RMPAC)…