Students in the Drama Program work to develop communication skills, leadership and an increased understanding of themselves. In the first two years of the program, the focus is on working on projects communally. In the senior years, the program is designed to allow students to begin to take ownership of their artistic accomplishments.
Units of Study
Acting Skills – Throughout the program, students work on aspects of acting technique including voice and speech, movement and body awareness, self-exploration, theatre games, mask, mime and acting for the camera.
Theatre Tech – Stage and set design, lighting, sound, maquette-building, stage management, marketing, business proposals, theatre organization and other aspects of the production process allow students to learn about backstage organization.
Playwriting and Script Analysis – Through the study of plays, scene analysis and watching and reviewing live productions, students learn the structures of plays. Opportunities are provided to write original plays and produce them.
Theatre History – Students research and do assignments on the history of theatre through the ages.
Performance – Students are involved in a variety of performance experiences in Drama including scene work, directing, improvisation and developing plays for Children’s Theatre. These opportunities give students experience in developing character and working with the fundamental elements of theatre. The program culminates in a large-scale main stage production put on by senior students.
Applicants to Drama Program will attend a Group Audition Workshop (90 minutes) and an Individual Audition/Interview (30 minutes).
Group Audition Workshop (1 ½ hours)
The group workshop is similar to a large portion of the Drama Program and, through several activities, improvisations and movement exercises done by students during this segment of the audition, the audition panel will be able to view the following:
- the students’ ability to interact with others
- whether students are helpful to one another
- the ability to listen willingness to take suggestions
- problem-solving skills
- the ability to focus throughout the activities
- working on a task in an uninhibited way
- persistence in a task
- coordination and physical learning ability in the movement sequences
A series of warm-up stretches and exercises for flexibility will precede the activities taught at the group workshop; please dress in a manner that allows for movement. Wear loose and comfortable yet neat clothing.
Following the group workshop, students will write a short essay reflecting on the activities of the group audition.
Report to the room indicated for the Group Audition Workshop at least 20 minutes before the time indicated and check in with the Drama Teacher or Student Helpers stationed there.
Individual Audition/Interview (30 minutes)
All applicants will have a performance audition and interview with the audition panel and this will last approximately 30 minutes. Candidates will be in pairs for this portion of the audition. Each candidate will perform his/her 2 monologues solo (in the presence of the panelists only) and then the 2 candidates will work together on an improvisation and the cold-reading of a scene (provided by the panelists).
The interview will be conducted solo. Give yourself plenty of time before the audition to relax and get mentally prepared. Final selection is made after viewing students at both parts of the Drama audition.
Monologues *ATTENTION - WE HAVE REMOVED THE MONOLOGUE "TALKING WITH..." BY Jane Martin, from the female monologues!
Each candidate will perform two (2) monologues. Both of the monologues are to be studied and completely memorized prior to the audition. During the performance of the monologues, the audition panel will be looking for the following:
- the ability to create a believable character
- believing in yourself as this character
- use of imagination
- physical communication
- expressiveness in the face
- expressiveness in the voice – using a variety of levels
The paired candidates will be asked to do an improvisation. In an improvisation, the students create a scene based upon an idea provided by the audition panel (e.g. you will be given a situation/scenario which could be real or could be imaginary – we wish to see you explore the journey of your characters). The length of the improvisation may be from one to three minutes. The panel will end each improvisation when appropriate. During the performance of the improvisation, the panel will be looking for the following:
- physical communication of the character and the ideas
- some sense of beginning, middle and ending
- use of the imagination
- ability of the student to become someone new
- ability to be directed (e.g. the panel may suggest some changes to the way the student is presenting the story)
- ability to accept the suggestions and ideas of your partner
- ability to communicate with each other through the improvisation
- degree of spontaneity
- genuine response to the suggestion
Cold or Sight Reading
The paired students will be asked to read a short passage that neither has seen before. During the reading, the panel will be looking for the following:
- ability to read with inflection in the voice
- creating a believable character in the moment
- ability to be directed (e.g. the panel may ask for the reading to be done in a different style by someone of a different age)
- ability to communicate with each other through choices made (e.g. what does your character want from the other character?)