Theatre

Upper School Theatre Courses

Upper school theatre courses are open to grades 9–12 and are full credit courses. Acting courses are offered as Acting IA and Acting IB (Grades 9 & 10) and Acting IIA and Acting IIB (Grades 11-12). Acting IA and IIA curriculum will be offered during the school year 2014-15. Both Acting I and II can be taken twice.

Acting IA

(Grades 9-10

This course will feature the basic acting techniques of Sanford Meisner and the vocal and body energy work of Arthur Lessac. Students will apply these two organic approaches to monologue and short scene work from the contemporary theatre. The course of study also includes mask work, sign language as an art form, improvisation, the development of the Commedia dell’Arte stock character – Zanni, and the production of a full-length play. The curriculum is concluded with the creation of an original theatre piece for ENVIRO, our biannual site specific performance inspired by design, architecture, setting, nature, and function. ENVIRO is based on the work of award winning director/ choreographer Stephen Koplowitz. (Offered in 2014-2015.)

Acting IB

(Grades 9-10)

This course continues the study and application of the Sanford Meisner and Arthur Lessac techniques to monologues and short scene work. Stage makeup design and application, tabletop and found object puppetry, improvisation, the development of the Commedia dell’Arte stock characters Pantalone and Il Capitano, and the direction of and performance in a series of ten-minute or short plays complete the curriculum. (Offered in 2015-2016.)

Acting IIA

(Grades 11-12)

This course continues the study and application of the Sanford Meisner and the Arthur Lessac techniques to contemporary monologue and scene work and to selected plays of Anton Chekhov. The curriculum continues with rapier and dagger technique, phone book characters (names randomly selected from the phone book to be developed into fully realized characters used in an improvisation,) and, as their final performance, an original theatre piece created and produced by the students. The year is concluded with the creation of a second, short (3-5 minutes) theatre piece for ENVIRO, our biannual site specific performance inspired by design, architecture, setting, nature, and function. ENVIRO is based on the work of award winning director/choreographer Stephen Koplowitz. (Offered in 2014-2015.)

Acting IIB

(Grades 11-12)

This course continues the study and application of the Sanford Meisner and the Arthur Lessac techniques to contemporary monologues and scene work. The curriculum continues with rapier and dagger technique, tabletop and found object puppetry, the development of the Commedia dell'Arte stock characters The Lovers and Il Capitano, an original theatre piece based on a historical or social event, and finally, the creation of short plays inspired by fairy tales and Greek and Roman mythology. (Offered in 2015-2016.)

Acting: Periods & Styles (Advanced)

(Grade 12)

Acting: Periods and Styles (Advanced) concentrates on the periods and styles of the theatre. Specific assignments include: chorus work from Greek tragedies and comedies; movement and character study of the Commedia dellíArte; monologue and scene work from the Elizabethan, Neoclassic, and Restoration periods, Existential and Absurdist plays, and the contemporary theatre. The class also studies and practices rapier and dagger technique.

Production

(Grade 12)

This course concentrates on the technical aspects of theatre: lighting, sound, set construction, and prop-making. Full-year course, 1/2 credit.

 

The Beginning Acting class can look forward to movement work, makeup, improvisation, mask work, scene study, and tabletop puppetry.

The Technique class is back with Lessac vocal work, directing haikus and “The Jabberwocky” from Alice Through the Looking Glass, and acting in and directing ten-minute plays. The Advanced Acting class will be off and running with Greek chorus work, Shakespeare, rapier and dagger, Commedia dell’Arte, Moliere, Congreve, Sartre, Genet, Ionesco, contemporary theatre, and tabletop puppetry. Mrs. Martineau would like to stage some of this exciting work at Bluff Point in Groton and in the arboretum.

The Production Class will be “hanging out” in the lighting grid and learning to use the sound and dimmer boards.

The Thespians will prepare for the fall tour performance. We have the Winterfest performance, working tech for Compchorea, planning NYC theatre trips and Random Acts of Theatre for March-Theatre in the Schools month, and the spring Thespian Tour. Seventh and Eighth Graders are welcome to join in the fun! Lots to do, Thespians. Get ready and get involved!

All of the acting classes as well as the Thespians will perform at extended acting assembly in the fall. A teaser assembly for the fall play will also be presented.

 

Audition materials for both Second Class (fall play) and Into the Woods (spring musical) are available.