Theatre

Theatre classes offer the extensive study of theatre and its literature including acting, observation, and presentation. Our curriculum consists of monologues, scene work, and the design and direction of sound, sets, and lighting. Students build confidence as they transform observation, sensitivity, and imagination into believable stage characters.

Two musicals and one dramatic play are staged each year in the 500-seat Performing Arts Center. Students operate the state-of-the-art sound system, computerized lighting, and full-fly scenery equipment in all three full-scale productions.

Beginning Drama

This course is an introductory theatre workshop for students with or without previous experience in the performing arts. It covers an introduction to theatre, inner resources for the performer, movement for the stage, improvisation, theatre games to enhance acting technique, script reading, theatre history, performing scenes, and a monologue. Class exercises are designed to open the imagination, expand physical awareness, and spark interest in human behavior. Improvisation exercises are used to build confidence that translates into believable actions onstage. One era of early Western theatre history is explored with an examination of how drama reflects the style, taste, and social attitudes of that historical time period. Students are encouraged to see several theatre productions each semester and report on their observations.

Intermediate Drama

This course is a theatre workshop for students with some experience in the performing arts. It covers work on vocal production, storytelling, characterization, play analysis, improvisation, theatre games to enhance acting technique, script reading, theatre history, performing scenes, and a monologue. Intermediate Drama allows further development of the basic lessons learned during the first year. Vocal and movement work become more advanced, and acting assignments require more creativity. Students are challenged with dramatic material most likely foreign to their own experience. Theatre vocabulary terms, such as action, objective, motivation, and choice, are defined and used in role development. Students see at least four theatre productions and report on their experiences. An additional theatre history unit on Asian and Medieval theatre is introduced, and students perform several scenes and a monologue throughout this course.

Advanced Drama

This is a theatre workshop for students with previous experience in the performing arts. Building upon earlier classes, students will continue to explore various aspects of the performer’s art. Topics include units on several aspects of play production, including design projects in costume, make-up, scenery, stage lighting, and sound for the theatre. Working in proscenium and arena stage forms, the students practice creating stage movement and pictures that are meaningful and adapted to the playing space. Other units involve writing a short dramatic dialogue, improvisation, theatre games to enhance acting technique, script reading, a Renaissance theatre history project, and performing scenes and a monologue.

Rehearsal and Performance

This class is a performance-based theatre workshop for students with previous experience in the performing arts. Building upon earlier classes, students will continue to explore and refine various aspects of the performer’s art. Lessons at this level come primarily through the experience of performance and acting exercises. Topics include units on acting, directing, producing, technical theatre, improvisation, theatre games to enhance acting technique, script reading, and performing scenes and a monologue. A unit on important aspects of 19th- and 20th-century theatre completes a four-year cycle of theatre history. Students see at least four theatre productions and report on their experiences.

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