The Theater Department

Drama is a long-standing tradition at Stoneleigh-Burnham School. Students explore theater through practice, performance, and design, and thus gain experience in all areas of theatrical production. In the main stage play each year, students act, direct, design the set, and help to run the technical aspects of the production. 

Middle School Theater 7

7th grade students in this course, supported by their Humanities and Theater teachers, create, rehearse and perform original scenes. In the process they study scene analysis, character development, character interactions, and blocking. Students learn to use the rehearsal process to refine and revise work in advance of a final performance.

Middle School Theater 8

Theater 8, for 8th graders, integrates the study of theater and the study of individual expression with collaborative study and personal growth. Students demonstrate the vocal and physical attributes necessary to communicate characters different from themselves. They also cooperate in an ensemble to rehearse and present a short play.

Acting I

This course is designed to integrate the study of theater and the study of the individual. The course provides students with the opportunity to explore social issues, artistic expression and collaborative studies, while charting personal growth. This class introduces acting skills through the use of mime, improvisation and monologues and the basic materials of character study and text analysis. This is a one-trimester pass/fail course that fulfills one arts requirement.

Acting II

Once a student has completed Acting I, it is time to increase her physical expression through her growing connection to the breath and the voice. She will also learn to articulate characters through movement. This class expands the student’s experience through the exploration of the basics of realistic acting, particularly the technique of Stanislavski. Students gain an understanding of this approach and of script analysis. Classes explore the three parts of the acting instrument – the mind, body and natural voice. Students utilize improvisation, theater games, solo pieces and group scenes and produce in-class performances of open scenes, written play and character analyses, synopses of plays read and research on plays and authors. This is a one-trimester pass/fail course that fulfills one arts requirement.

Prerequisite: Acting I or the equivalent.

Winter Play

During winter trimester, students may choose to participate in the main stage play. Due to the time commitment of this major production, participation in the play precludes participation in winter athletics. Recent productions include Oscar Wilde’s “The Importance of Being Earnest,” Jonathan Larson’s rock-musical “RENT,” Bertolt Brecht’s “Happy End,” Jean Giraudoux’s “The Madwoman of Chaillot,” and “Urinetown: The Musical”.