Lower and Middle School students stage a major Christmas musical each year. Eighth-grade students perform a play or musical in the spring. And student-made films and skits are an integral part of many classes K–12.
High School actors stage two shows a year—one play and one musical—at two different venues, based on production needs.
While theatre participants have a rigorous rehearsal schedule, they also have a lot of fun during the creative process. Working in a collaborative environment, students accept responsibility for different functions and tasks to make the production a success. Together we work to to challenge ourselves and to bring the audience a story that touches the mind, body and spirit.
High School Theatre Curriculum
Led by a professionally trained teacher, our acting classes are classical in nature, focusing on the techniques of Sanford Meisner, Stella Adler, Lee Strasberg, and Konstantin Stanislavsky. Students work on Emotional Recall and use the imagination to stimulate emotion and involvement in a play, scene and/or monolog’s imaginary circumstances. We observe each actor’s behavior, making sure the scene reflects what is going on between all the individuals in the moment. As a result, the actors learn how to respond more freely and spontaneously, both physically and vocally.
Eventually, more detailed imaginary circumstances are added to the exercise, and it gradually becomes a kind of improvised scene. When this is fully developed, the actors will be ready to start working on monologues and scenes with actual scripts. Together we work on breathing, voice and body exercises; and on character and courage through improvisation and scene-work. Students are quizzed on memorization of lines and their ability to apply an understanding of basic dramatic concepts like motivation, obstacle, action, and beats.
By reading, discussing and responding to students’ acting techniques, we learn as a group that while acting is primarily about technique, it is also about courage, instincts, choices and character.