Dramatic Arts education is an important means of stimulating creativity in problem solving. It challenges students’ perceptions about their world and about themselves. Dramatic exploration provides students with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have the means to express. A student can, if only for a few moments, become another person, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions to real problems—problems from their own life, or problems faced by historical figures or characters in literature. This can happen in a safe environment, where actions and consequences can be examined, discussed, and in a very real sense experienced without the dangers and pitfalls that such experimentation would obviously lead to in the "real" world.
• Narrative Pantomime Stories: These are lessons that involve Narrative Pantomime—a technique in which the teacher or leader tells a story and each student, usually working independently, "acts out" the story.
• Physical and Pantomime Activities: These activities all teach physical control and pantomime communication.
• Improvisation Activities: Virtually all Creative Drama involves improvisation, but these classes focus in part on building improvisation skills.
• Role Drama Activities: These lessons use the technique known as Role Drama, in which students are in a role and must make choices and relate to each other in their respective roles.
Fall: A one-act drama, usually a comedy, 30-45 minutes in length involving 10-15 students onstage and 2-4 more behind the scenes. Students audition for all roles. Open to Upper School students in good academic standing.
Winter: A musical production, usually in conjunction with Musical Theater International’s Broadway Jr. series. Involving 25-40 students onstage with 3-5 behind the scenes. Students must audition for lead roles, but chorus members need only sign up.
Spring: Talent Show open to all Upper School students through audition.
All shows and drama classes take place in The Maxwell A. Sarofim ’05 Performing Arts Center. Students are involved in all aspects of the productions from set building to sound and lighting. Recent upgrades to the lighting system enhance our productions and allow students to run the lights with minimal supervision. The sound system uses 3 choir microphones that hang down from the ceiling. These are supplemented with wireless microphones.