The upper school drama program builds on the curriculum of the middle school to hone the building blocks of acting technique. With units on Shakespeare, improvisation, playwriting, scene study, audition technique, directing, and comedy, students are given a wide array of performance opportunities to develop their inner artists. They learn to appreciate art for art’s sake, but they also learn the interdisciplinary value of theatre by applying textual analysis and problem solving skills to creative situations. Theater teaches important skills for actors and non-actors alike. Perhaps the most important of these skills is teaching students to think creatively, which will prepare them for whatever path in life they may choose.
Upper school drama is a workshop-based class. This means students learn a particular skill at the top of class, such as how to mine Shakespeare’s words for the inherent blocking, and then apply the skill to their own practice. They then perform their work for their peers for feedback. Upper school drama students learn not only acting technique, but how to reflect upon their own practice and that of their peers.
With each performance task, students learn how to break down a text, find a character motivation, command the stage with purposeful movements, develop their voices, and create engaging, authentic staging. In learning the basics of acting technique, students also learn how to collaborate with others, gain confidence when public speaking, and develop a clear sense of identity.