Grade 7 and 8 students who perform in the Middle School musical elect the drama class during the first trimester, which provides the vehicle for preparing the play. Grade 8 students learn about theater as an art form through an introduction to dramatic literature, the job of the actor, and theater history. Preparation for the Middle School play forms the center of the first trimester drama course.
Musical (Fall Trimester only)
Students will learn, rehearse, and produce the Middle School Musical which will be performed at the end of the trimester. The show will consist of acting, singing and dancing, and will utilize everyone in the class. Auditions will be scheduled before the end of the school year, and the show will be announced upon arrival in September. Participation in this course includes some required attendance outside of school hours, including two Saturday rehearsals, four after school rehearsals, and two evening performances. There is no maximum class size. Students will be required to provide for themselves appropriate attire, including footwear, for moving on stage.
Technical Theatre (Fall Trimester only)
In this collaborative lab course, students will learn the principles of producing the sets, props, costumes, and lighting for a theatrical production. Important skills include: construction, reading a script for technical needs, stage lighting, how to acquire and construct props and costumes, and how to operate as a backstage crew. This will culminate in the students producing the technical needs for the Middle School musical and serving as the crew during the rehearsals and performances.
Stage Makeup & Special FX - Fall & Spring Trimester
Introduction to the art of theatrical make-up design and application. Techniques for producing character, old age, fantasy and special effects makeup. Through demonstration and discussion of various design and application styles, students will create original designs based on the needs of productions. “From page to stage” is our philosophy and in this spirit, we will create elderly characters, swap your gender, create terrifying zombies and much more!
*Requirements for course: Prerequisite of World Drama OR Classical Stage Performance, access to printer, personal device for internet usage, “work clothes” that can get messy, and a $60 makeup kit that will be purchased specifically for each skin tone (please note, this makeup kit is more than enough material to sustain you through senior school.)
Classical Stage Performance
In this course, students further develop the skills learned in Grade 6 World Drama, with increased focus on use of language and characterization. Students will explore expressive physicality, character qualities, line interpretation, subtext, and playing intention. Students will use the structure of a condensed play by William Shakespeare to develop these skills while also exploring the history of the playwright and his work. The class will perform for the Middle School student body.
Comedy in Action
Comedy in Action combines an in-depth exploration of clown and physical comedy with movement training, puppetry techniques and slapstick, focusing on playing with objects, furniture, walls and doors, and engaging with the physical space. We like to think of it as “clown parkour.” Clown and prop play are at the core of imaginative acting and foundation for successful performers.
Starting with inspiration from a beloved children’s book, parables and historical tales, each week we venture on a brand new dramatic adventure of our own making. Students work with classmates to create new characters, dramatic situations, and opportunities for creative and heroic problem solving. The emphasis of this course is to build a strong collaborative company where all talents are explored and utilized. This could be in the form of a musical instrument, an imaginative painting ability or even somersaults. Along the way, we encounter costumes and props that engage the senses. The result being: students learn the collaborative process of storytelling and the vital role dramatic arts plays in our society.
Students will learn and choreograph dance styles from old-school to current hip-hop, as they also study the influence of jazz dance on this popular form.
Students will learn and practice various ballroom styles including waltz, tango, salsa and swing. These formal and social dances will benefit students as they transition into the Senior School dance curriculum, as well as any outside event where they can showcase their dance prowess.