The theater program not only nurtures the talent of those who aspire to become performers or theater professionals, but also gives students the confidence to stand in front of and perform before groups of any size.
In the 6th grade, students learn the basics and history of theater performance. They experiment with various theater techniques to create original work and explore various ways to self-express and tell stories.
Seventh grade theater majors study the foundations of theater and use their theatrical skills to produce original performance work. There are myriad opportunities to delve into theatrical elements that include writing scripts, improvisational techniques, pantomime, character development, and stage movement. At the end of some units, students participate in evening showcases where they practice the skills they have learned by performing for parents and their fellow thespians. At the end of the year, students begin to prepare for high school auditions (that take place at the start of the 8th grade) by developing and practicing a monologue.
In the 8th grade, students fortify the theatrical skills they have developed the year before. They begin the year by preparing for their high school auditions; this involves reviewing pantomime and improvisation, and continuing monologue work begun in June of the prior year. Students read and analyze various texts to expand their understanding of character development and the design process. It’s in this final year when students are immersed in acting to practice and hone skills, and to produce a final scene using the scene study process. Built into this intensive year is the study of proper vocal practices and singing on stage. As in the 7th grade, 8th grade theater majors present in evening showcases.
Sometimes, 7th and 8th grade theater majors have the opportunity to see various, limited, full-scale theatrical productions via a unique partnership with the New Victory Theater in Manhattan.