Theatre Arts

Through classes in improvisation, mime, scene study and play production, you’ll develop the skills of both vocal and physical expression. Rehearsal and performance of classic and contemporary plays, along with student-generated and original scripts, provide you with the opportunity to develop communication, collaboration and cooperation skills too.

Through theater courses, you’ll have the opportunity to

  • Collaborate with your peers while learning stage design and technology.
  • Strengthen your theatrical and acting techniques while building an ensemble.
  • Study the history, methods and goals of spoken word and perform your own work.
  • Get experience in stage design and technology starting in middle school and put your skills to practice in upper school.
  • You can even learn costume design with an experienced designer.

Theater Department Highlights

  • The Blackbox Theatre features state-of-the-art lighting, quadrophonic sound systems and a fully-equipped scene-building shop.
  • The Theatre team also joins forces with music to produce a musical.

Theatre Arts Course Catalog

Middle School

Grade 6

Intro to Theatre

This class explores foundations of the art of theatre through creative drama, improvisation, and other interdisciplinary arts activities. Students learn to use their “theatre voice” to express aspects of their identity and their community.

Grades 7 & 8

Middle School Theatre Production

This full-year course aims to strengthen students’ theatrical and acting techniques while building an ensemble and a sense of community through live performance. Students audition, rehearse and work toward staging performances of full-length plays and musicals. The performances reflect Applied Theatre pedagogy, with a strong concentration in critical thinking, student-centered dialogue and social justice issues that matter most to students. This class partners with the Middle School Stagecraft and Technology course to create full and innovative productions. We empower theatre students to inspire positive change and transformation of the world in which they want to be active participants. Prerequisite: Successful audition or approval of theatre director.

MIDDLE SCHOOL THEATRE COLLECTIVE

Ancestral Storytelling

Ancestral Storytelling offers fun as a vital part of how students can locate their own identities through activities based on Theatre of the Oppressed. Students collaborate on creating short scenes and monologues to create a sense of belonging by examining how our personal connections, communities and values influence our relationships to our origins, and who we'd like to become in the future.

Suzuki and Viewpoints

Suzuki and Viewpoints presents an active exploration of the physical aspects of theatre related to time, space and kinesthetic awareness, as well as response to surrounding environments. Suzuki is a Japanese movement technique that strengthens an actor’s will and brings out each student's unique personality and stage presence. The experience can help students succeed at whatever challenges they may face in the world.

Young Playwrights Program

The Young Playwrights Program explores the fundamentals of writing for the stage. In this class, students collaborate in small groups and learn how to write original scripts, then the plays are performed by the opposite groups. The course is a wonderful way for students to find their own voice.

Middle School Stage Design & Technology

Middle School Stage Design & Technology introduces students to theatrical engineering and technology working together to produce events in the theater and around the school. This is a hands-on, project-based course open to all seventh and eighth graders interested in technology, carpentry, drafting and engineering, costuming, design, art, architecture, electronics and more. Some after-school, evening and weekend availability is required, depending on event schedules. Prerequisite: Completion of Middle School Theatre Production/Intro to Theatre or teacher approval.

Upper School

Acting & Directing

Advanced Theatre Production • Grades 9-12

A full-year course designed to strengthen each student’s theatrical and acting techniques while building an ensemble and a sense of community through live performance. Student's audition, rehearse, and work toward sharing performances of full-length plays and musicals. Our performances are based in Applied Theatre pedagogy, with a strong concentration around critical thinking, student centered dialogue, and social justice issues that matter most to students. This class collaborates directly with the US Stage Design and Technology class to create full and innovative productions. We empower theatre students to inspire positive change and transformation in the world they want to be active participants in. Audition or pre-requisites required.

Performance Lab • Grades 9-12 

This is a full-year course designed to strengthen each student’s theatrical and acting technique while building an ensemble and a sense of community. Students work toward sharing small group performances and solo project performances that are based in Applied Theatre pedagogy. Students work closely with published playwright’s work and write and perform their own original pieces. Students will also be introduced to theatrical conventions and the methodologies of Brian Way, Dorothy Heathcote and Gavin Bolton, specially “Process Dramas.” Theatre students in this class experience a strong concentration around critical thinking, student centered dialogue, and social justice issues that matter most to them.

Stage Design, Costume Design & Technology

Stage Design and Technology • Grades 9-12

US Stage Design and Technology is a projects and service-based course that supports the production of all Northwest theatre performances . Alongside and supplemental to our hands-on work, we’ll discuss our participation in and the ever-evolving role of art in a changing world in a changing climate. We’ll also explore theater’s contributions to social movements and technological innovation throughout history.

Costume Design 1 • Grades 9-12

Costume Design 1 introduces 9th-12th grade students to the fundamentals of costume design. Through demonstrations and hands-on projects, students explore the tools and techniques of costume crafts, including sewing, patterning, millinery, hair and make-up. Students in this course also support theatre performances.