Fine Arts Graduation Requirement: Three Credits total from the fine arts (art, music, and/or drama)
Literacy in the arts develops an understanding of artistic ideas and an appreciation of the concepts of form and style in any particular work. Theatre Arts incorporates all the arts: visual arts, dance, music, and theatre. Thus, the Theatre Arts Department develops aesthetic awareness and appreciation for the arts through developing communication skills through improvisational technique, developing acting techniques, understanding the fundamentals of play production, and the presentation of improvisational and scripted material.
Courses OfferedCourse offerings are contingent on MPA policies regarding student enrollment numbers for each class.
Acting I is an orientation course which will provide a wide range of theatre experiences for students. In working with the academic and experimental forms of theatre study, students will be both participants and observers in the theatre processes. Areas covered will include: improvisation, stage movement and production, styles of theatre, audition techniques, pantomime, voice, characterization and creating a role. No previous acting experience is required for participation in this class.
Prerequisite: Successful completion of Acting I
Acting II is an advanced course for students who wish to better their own performance skills. The core themes of this class will be your personal acting process and FULL character development. Various units throughout the course will help students form their own acting skills so that they become self-reliant for their work on stage. Units will include character development, voice work, audition preparation & presentation, professional information, text work, understanding the story behind a character’s words and developing the knowledge into a 3-dimensional character. Thought, observation, participation, and response will be expected by everyone on a daily basis.
Students will learn to design costumes for stage productions, as well as learn basic hand- and machine-sewing practices. Students will work on combining visual expression with ideas about character and theme. Students will learn to analyze a script for relevant information, develop costume plots and breakdowns, research clothing and design, draw and create costume sketches, and swatch them with fabric ideas. The major project for this class will be the Spring Musical. Students will see their designs in-performance.
Prerequisite: Acting I
Improvisation is actors creating relationships, conflicts, dialogue and plot off the top of their heads. The class will provide the skills, control, confidence, mental agility, trust, and spontaneity all of which allow students to improvise. There will be a component of comedy writing for beginners, as well as basic long-form improv. Both of these elements will be elaborated in Improv II.
Note: This course can only be repeated twice and should not be taken two consecutive school years in a row.
Grades: Grades 9-12
Prerequisites: Acting I & Improv I
This course is an advanced level course, which will require students to have taken Improv I in order to participate. This class will build on the basic components learned in Improv I – how to build relationships, conflicts, dialogue, and plot off the top of their heads – as well as elaborating on what it means to write comedy. This class will focus on different versions of long-form improv (more difficult than short-form), and the class will write and perform their own full-length sketch comedy show, ala Saturday Night Live or the Upright Citizens Brigade.
Grades: Grades 9 - 12
StageCrafts explores the technical aspects of the theater. Areas covered will include: make-up and costume design, set construction and design, lighting, prop design, sound, painting techniques, and production advertising. Many elements learned in class will be directly applied to the current MPA production – either the Middle School Show 1st Semester, or the Spring Musical 2nd Semester.
Prerequisites: By permission of the instructor. (No Acting I prereq.)
This semester-long course ties directly to the Winter Play. All students will participate in in-class auditions for roles in the Winter Show – Play To Be Determined – must audition for roles in the show. Class time will be split researching and discussing the play, playwright, historical context, and culture along with actual rehearsal time for blocking, character development, and design. Students will participate in an audition unit, advanced acting techniques, character development, and ensemble exercises. Students will also be responsible for technical elements of the show – costumes, props, sound, publicity, and set painting. Rehearsals for the play will take place during class time, as well as after school during the months of December and January. The Winter Show is performed at the end of January.