Engaging in theatre offers students the opportunity to critique the characters, situations, and stories they examine, and to find themselves in the characters they portray. Theatre for the Kingdom of God is not an opportunity for escapism from the real world, but a redemptive errand through which an actor may find his own strengths, weaknesses, hopes, fears, and his place in the narrative of grace. By reading, memorizing, and performing various works, students will encounter the various worldviews, motivations, and psyches of their characters, and balance them against a Biblical worldview. This careful examination of what makes a character who he or she is will foster a deeper understanding and connection with the works they study, and will allow the student to create a richer, more developed dramatic representation of that character.
In our 5th and 6th grade drama class, students are given the opportunity to channel their creativity and energy through theatre. Students learn the importance of presence, focus, diction, projection, observation, and timing through drama exercises and improvisation games. In the Christmas season, the 5th and 6th grade class presents a Christmas play for the school.
The Middle School drama class builds on the creative framework started in the Lower School class, and incorporates memorization and character building into the program. Some of the projects our 7th and 8th grade students will work on include dramatic monologues and recitations, as well as some short scenes performed in groups. The 7th and 8th grade class also presents a play in February, as well as performing for their classmates during lunch periods throughout the year.
The High School drama program includes a broader range of theatre disciplines, including writing, directing, and performing original short scenes, preparing a formal audition, and some opportunities for stage management. Students are also challenged to dig deeper into their characters and to practice representational acting rather than presentational acting, following Paul’s charge in 1 Corinthians 11:1: “Be imitators of me, as I am of Christ.” Grades 9th through 12th perform several short scenes, monologues, and other projects throughout the year, and present a full-length play in April.