HIGH SCHOOL THEATRE ARTS PROGRAM
Our High School Theatre Arts Program seeks to develop the theatre artist, scholar, and advocate in preparation for professional transition into the theatre arts world or study at competitive B.A. and B.F.A collegiate/conservatory programs. Although these courses are categorized as Technique, History/Literature/Criticism, Performance, and Interdisciplinary, artist-scholars will be engaged in practices of these categories throughout their theatre studies. Artist-scholars successfully completing middle school theatre training at SPA will have:
1. A Wide Survey of Acting Techniques and Styles for the Theatre Stage
2. A Wide Survey of Movement Techniques for the Theatre Stage
3. A Beginning Knowledge of Reading and Understanding Sheet Music
4. An In-Depth Understanding of Vocal Placement and Breath Support
5. An Advanced Beginner to Advanced Knowledge of Musical Theatre Dance Technique and Choreography
6. Strong Audition Technique and Ability to Select Active Monologues and Songs
7. An Advanced Understanding of Playwriting and Play Structure
8. An Advanced Beginner to Intermediate Knowledge of Technical Theatre
9. An in-depth understanding of Play Production
10. A Wide Survey of Theatre History from Antiquity to Present Day
11. A personal canon of self-written and produced new works.
12. A Diverse and Varied selection of dramatic literature.
13. An Opportunity to Explore Interdisciplinary Theatre Creation.
INTRODUCTION TO MEISNER/ LABAN CHARACTERIZATION (LEVEL 1)
In this course, artist-scholars will focus on methods within the Meisner Technique of acting as well as the Laban Characterization Technique, culminating in scene work and the creation of a personal monologues. Artist-scholars will also engage in the practice of scene analysis and character analysis work, identifying GOTE, three-character play performance and direction.
INTERMEDIATE SCENE STUDY/ INTRODUCTION TO VIEWPOINTS (LEVEL 2)
In this course, artist-scholars will deepen their Meisner training and begin training in Viewpoints Technique, culminating in small scene devising with and without words, and creation of their own three-character play. artist-scholars will also continue building their scene and character analysis work through the study of a contemporary one-acts written after 1970. The class will culminate with deeper analysis and performance of scene and monologue work in verse.
ACTING THE CLASSICS/ PLAY ADAPTATIONS (LEVEL III)
In this course, artist-scholars will research, analyze, perform and present a full length play written before the 18th century. Directed by faculty, artist-scholars will fully delve into the style and form of theatre pre-Realism in order to expand their skills and perspectives as actors and artists. Following this performance, students will a adapt a piece of literature analyzed in their English course to inspire an interdisciplinary approach to theatre creation.
CHANCE THEATRE (LEVEL IV)
In this course, artist-scholars will continue refining their actor’s inner resources, further developing the actor’s performance techniques and text analysis skills. Artist-scholars will dive into the practice of democratizing the theatrical form, with the idea that all artists, inclusive of designers, are participating in an equitable practice of failure and success. Each student will be responsible for learning all characters of one full length 80-90 minute play, as well as deepen their skills in Classical Theatre skills as supporting characters in that year’s production.
SURVEY OF THEATRE HISTORY (LEVEL I and II)
In this course, artist-scholars will be introduced to a survey of theatre history from Antiquity to the 18th Century. Artist-scholars will engage in works, styles, and forms from Greek, Roman, Medieval, French Baroque, Spanish Golden Age, Elizabethan, Latin American Baroque, African, Chinese, Indian, Japanese playwrights and societies.
THE -ISMS: THE WORLDS OF THE PLAY (LEVEL III)
In this course, artist-scholars will be introduced to a survey of dramatic literature focusing on the various -isms which began during the 18th century to the present. These -isms include Naturalism, Realism, Dadaism, Expressionism, Surrealism/Theatre of Cruelty, Theatre of the Absurd, Black Arts Movement Postmodernism, and Agitrop theatre forms. The primary question of this course is to analyze various ways the mirror of theatre can be tilted to analyze, critique, present, and dismantle cultural norms and socio-political ideology.
CONTEMPORARY THEATRE SURVEY(LEVEL IV)
In this course, artist-scholars will be introduced to contemporary artists as they navigate post-modern themes beyond the 1980s. The authors and plays chosen for this course are curated by surveying industry actors, directors, dramaturgs, and producers asking them, “If there is a playwright or work you would want young artist-scholars knowing before they enter the theatrical world as adults, who would or what would it be?”
Musical Theatre History and Analysis
One of young actor's favorite loves is the Musical Theatre Stage. In this course, student's will learn how to see beyond the song and dance and into the cultural and scholastic relevance of the musical canon through rigorous research, considerations, and analysis. Who exactly is Kate kissing, and why?
VOICE AND MOVEMNT
Musical Theatre Dance and Laban for Actors 1B
This course will continue deepening student's technique training in Meredith Monk's Vocal Technique, Laban Movement Technique, and Musical Theatre Dance technique started in their 8th Grade studies.
Intermediate Viewpoints and Musical Theatre Dance for Actors 2
Building on practices and techniques developed in Voice and Movement I, artist-scholars will expand their knowledge of Viewpoints and will open up their knowledge of Linklater vocal exercises. Through the progression of the class, each artist-scholar is expected to achieve a working knowledge of the International Phonetic Alphabet. Resonance, placement, and range, are further developed.
STAGE CRAFT FOR ACTORS (Level I and II)
In this course, Artist-Scholars will be able to identify terminology, tools, and procedures used in basic technical applications within a theater production. Students will create artwork for campus events and productions, as well as complete in class projects. Simple hand tools, basic power tool use, and safety practices will be prominently discussed before the use of application in any project. Students in this class will use their theatre background to complete projects.
DIRECTING, DRAMATURGY, AND PEDAGOGY FOR THE STAGE (Level III)
In conjunction with Middle School Ensemble, artist-scholars will have hands-on experience directing younger peers in scene-work as the ensemble prepares for their first semester play and showcase. Directors will learn how to prepare and submit a Director’s prompt book, developing a deeper understanding of how lights, sound, set, and costume helps to further tell a story. Each director will have a group of actors in which to produce a series of short scenes and monologues.
The Monologue Portfolio and Career Preparation (Level IV)
In this course, artist-scholars will deepen their understanding of crafting a monologue in preparation for an audition. They will know how to effectively create mental imagery, connecting to emotional truth and invisible others. The Artist-scholar will also research LORT theatre companies, exploring the robust professional regional theatre scene across the United States.
Theatre Praticum: One-Person Show and Beyond
As Sondheim suggest, this course allows our top seniors to start "putting it together." This course allows seniors to use their 5-7 years of training at SPA to shine through the create of a one-person show and the devising of their own musical theatre works. This course is available to those who have exceeded the expectations of their training, and is moving towards High Honors in Conservatory Training.