Maret’s theatre program is a performance-based curriculum, with emphasis on building self-esteem and confidence. Students are encouraged to get involved both on stage and behind the scenes to gain a comprehensive understanding of the theatre as well as life skills. Classes are offered in the Middle and Upper School in both acting/drama and technical theatre.
Upper School Play
November 21-23 - Tickets Available Online!
Program and Extracurricular Offerings
BASIC ACTING TECHNIQUE 9
This course is based on principles of realism and introduces the history and theory behind method acting. The main focus of this class is to refine basic acting skills and encourage students to create believable characters and emotional connections on stage through sense memory exercises. Students continue to build confidence performing and presenting in front of others, while developing a sense of a united group with respect for all participants. The students perform monologues, scenes, and end the year with a play performance for middle schoolers.
TECHNICAL THEATRE 9
This class builds on the stagecraft and theatrical production skills learned in the Middle School. Students continue to develop the basic tools and procedures for creating elements of technical theatre. Technical knowledge of safety procedures and demonstrated safe operation of theatre equipment are central to success in this course. Students may be asked to attend or participate in technical work, rehearsals, and/or performances beyond the school day to support, extend, and assess learning in the classroom. The students also delve deeper into theatre rigging, scenic design and construction, properties, electrics, lighting, sound, video projection, and stage management.
This more advanced theatre class for students in grades 10-12 is a combination class that includes instruction on acting, directing, stage management, and technical theatre. Students learn skills through hands-on work toward in-class projects as well as Maret main-stage shows. This class allows students with a passion for theatre to gain a comprehensive understanding of all aspects of stage production.
UPPER SCHOOL PRODUCTIONS
Each year, upper school students put on a main-stage play, musical, and Evening of One Acts. Rehearsals are held in the evening after sports and on the weekends. Students audition for the cast and sign up for the crew. All students are encouraged to participate in the productions even if they don’t make the cast. The philosophy of the department is that all students can learn from being part of the cast or crew and benefit from the camaraderie of putting on a production.
There are also other opportunities to perform in the Upper School, including the student-run drama troupe called The Company, a service-inspired Benefit Concert, and upper school talent shows.
All seventh grade students are required to take Drama 7 for the first semester, in addition to a year-long performing arts elective. The class focuses on performance and public-speaking skills as well as learning how to create characters and express different emotions. The students experiment with improvisation, pantomime, and giving/receiving constructive feedback. The students also become familiar with the terms used in theatre and are expected to memorize lines for a monologue performance. The class emphasizes the ideas of acceptance, tolerance, and respect for various cultures, viewpoints, and each other.
Eighth grade students in this class focus on improvisation and writing their own monologues and scenes. The class works together as an “improvisation company” and develops and creates all performance work. The students learn long-form improvisation (or Harolds) and they also work on sketch-comedy scenes through brainstorming and improvisation activities. The class ends the year with a totally original performance including student-written monologues, scenes, sketch comedy skits, and on-the-spot long-form improvisations.
INTRODUCTION TO TECHNICAL THEATRE 7/8
This class introduces seventh and eighth graders to areas of stagecraft and theatrical production. Students focus on developing the basic tools and procedures for creating elements of technical theatre. Technical knowledge of safety procedures and demonstrated safe operation of theatre equipment are central to success in this course. Students may be asked to attend or participate in technical work, rehearsals, and/or performances beyond the school day to support, extend, and assess learning in the classroom.
MIDDLE SCHOOL PLAY/MUSICAL
The middle school production each year alternates between a musical and a play, giving students the opportunity to experience both types of performances. Students audition for the cast and can sign up for the tech crew. All students that wish to be involved in the middle school production can find a place, whether it’s on stage or off stage. The rehearsals occur mostly after school and a few evenings and weekends, and the students involved learn about all aspects of putting together a stage production.
Teaching performance techniques at Maret begins at an early age. Each student has an opportunity to perform on stage at Maret beginning in kindergarten with music concerts. The lower grades include many other projects that include presentation and performance skills, such as foreign language plays, biographical and fictional character projects, and the annual Publishing Party. Students learn how to present in front of others and build confidence in their own “voice.”
The performance capstone in the Lower School is the fourth grade Greek Musical. The students memorize lines, learn choreography, block scenes based on Greek mythology, and work on songs and instrumental pieces. They begin this process in February during Intensive Study Week with workshops in drama and theatre and continue the process in music class and, in early May, with daily rehearsals.