Theatre is offered for students in Kindergarten through High School. Our program has a tradition of excellence including several state meet appearances and multiple state championships in One-Act Play.
Lower School students learn the basics of theatre through games, activities, and performances to begin a lifelong enjoyment and appreciation of theatre. Creative dramatics and scene work/monologues are used to introduce students to acting techniques and character development. Younger lower-school students may perform in chapel and older students perform in the Black Box and on the Kirby Commons Mainstage.
Middle School students build significantly on existing skills. Classwork focuses on characterization, playwriting, and playwrights’ contributions to theatre, while improvisation, creative dramatics, and scene work are used to help students challenge and strengthen their acting skills and explore the technical aspect of scene work and scenography. Students begin to develop their “critical eye” for the arts, questioning and defending artistic choices made by themselves, their peers, and outside organizations. Performances are presented on the Kirby Commons Mainstage and other found spaces on campus. Older middle school students are invited to participate in the PSIA One-Act Play competition.
High School theatre promotes depth of engagement and lifelong appreciation for theatre through a broad spectrum of teacher-assigned and self-directed study and performance. This course goes more in-depth, incorporating advanced performance techniques including but not limited to Anne Bogarts’s Viewpoints, Frantic Assembly’s movement theatre, and Psychophysical Actioning to strengthen student acting and directing skills. Through improvisation, script writing, aesthetic creation and collaboration, actors refine their working knowledge and independent thought, articulating and justifying their creative choices. Students’ “critical eye” becomes more developed and significant mastery of artistic choices becomes evident. Performances are presented in a variety of settings including proscenium, promenade, and arena. High School students have the opportunity to audition for and compete in the TAPPS One-Act Play competition in the fall and TAPPS Speech events in the spring.
Shane Strawbridge is the Director of Theatre; he is the recipient of the 2022 Linda Wolfe Leadership Award for 2A, presented to the Fine Arts Teacher of the Year in TAPPS.