The Theatre Program at St. Andrew’s offers students two avenues by which to immerse themselves in the art of theatre: via for-credit academic courses of study, or via involvement in one or more of the three major productions put on by the Theatre Program each year.
In the fall and spring productions, we tackle drama and comedy of various time periods, ranging from Shakespeare’s Much Ado About Nothing and Arthur Miller’s The Crucible to Woody Allen’s Don’t Drink the Water and David Lindsay-Abaire's Rabbit Hole.
In the winter we produce a musical, performed with live orchestra comprised of student and faculty instrumentalists. Recent musicals include The Pirates of Penzance, Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, West Side Story, Godspell, and Into the Woods.
Students are crucial not only onstage, but also backstage. Students comprise our crew, and build, paint, design, sew—whatever talent a person has to offer, we take advantage! Once in production, the stage manager and tech crew take over. Students call cues and change scenes in the manner of a professional theatre.
It is the role of the St. Andrew’s Theatre program not only to entertain the community but to provoke thought and conversation as well. With this goal in mind, plays that deal with difficult subjects, such as homosexuality and race relations, are performed about every two years. Two of our most successful recent examples of such plays are The Laramie Project and Shadow Hour.
The SAS Theatre is a fabulous place for creative exploration, self-discovery, and collaboration. Students strengthen their vocal and physical confidence; expands their ability to communicate; and exercise mind-body coordination. At St. Andrew's, we do our best to emulate the process of production taken on by professional actors and theaters—a model that requires both playfulness and discipline of all participants.
Rehearsals are held in the afternoon, after classes. Students may participate in the theatre program in lieu of a sport; a student who has interest in theater but is committed to a sport for one or more seasons may want to take a for-credit acting course instead.
OPEN TO IV, V AND VI FORM STUDENTS
This course exposes students to the essential aspects of acting, and emphasizes acting as technique rather than emotion. Students study plays and selected scenes by Ibsen, Chekhov, Shakespeare, and Williams, and other more contemporary playwrights. They explore:
- expanding vocal techniques;
- physical alignment;
- theatrical make-up;
- stage combat;
- script analysis; and
- the First Folio technique of performing Shakespeare.
Time permitting, students attend at least one professional theatrical production during the course.
OPEN TO V AND VI FORMS
PREREQUISITE: ACTING 1
Essentially a continuation of the Acting 1 class, this course delves deeper into the techniques of acting, focusing on script and character analysis as well as directing and improvisation. Student work is more individual and performance more frequent. By the end of the first semester, students will have three audition-quality monologues ready for performance and possible videotaping for college applications.
OPEN TO IV, V AND VI FORM STUDENTS
This course focuses on the fundamentals of speaking in public. Coursework seeks to enhance students' ability to use effective and engaging vocal dynamics and strategies, including:
- volume; and
- experimenting with famous speeches;
- conducting interviews;
- preparing persuasive advertising;
- theatrical monologues; and
- impromptu speaking.
The course also explores techniques for calming and masking the nervous habits often provoked by public performance.