Drama Department


Drama Graphic

Michel D'Anna
-- Theater 1, Acting Company, Stage Design

Blake Stage Company

About The Theater Program


Acting Company A & B

This course is designed as a core subject in the study of a unique art form: acting in theater. At the same time, it will complemented and by complemented by courses in all forms of theater and the related arts as well as relate to global history, studies and cultures. It shall be open to all students but with prerequisites and would best serve students who have had at least some introductory study of theater including Advanced Acting/Playing Directing as well as audition for entry into the program/class. It will highlight major theatrical epochs and styles relating to past and current acting styles/theater forms. Studying and training in acting and the related arts to develop students’ abilities to present acting pieces in various styles studied in the class will be a priority. Students will be expected to analyze and present acting pieces studied in class incorporating all of the skills presented for study

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Advanced Acting ( fall semester)

This course provides for more complex development of acting skills and theories begun in Theater 2. Carefully structured methods of role/character development will be introduced. The vocal and physical techniques of period and stylized acting will be studied. The student’s individual creative resources will be tapped, strengthened and channeled into character development, scene study and performance. Group experience such as Children’s and Reader’s Theater will also be provided.

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Play Directing (spring semester)

Students focus on the specific skills required in theater directing. Study centers will include topic on the director as a interpretive and creative artist, selecting and casting the play, coordinating the design functions, blocking the play, developing characterization, and rehearsing the play and developing an ensemble effect in performance. Through the study of various theories, students direct both traditional and experimental theater forms as culminating productions. Students are also involved in management/budget experiences in production.

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Musical Theater Company A & B

This course is designed as a core subject in the study of a unique art form: musical theater. At the same time it will complement and be complemented by courses in all forms of theater, dance, music, and vocal music, as well as relate to American history, studies and cultures. It shall be open to all students regardless of prerequisite, but would best serve students who have had at least some introductory of theater, music, and/or dance. It will highlight American theater, dance and music and styles relating to past and current musical theater forms. Study and training of vocal music, theater, and dance will develop student’s abilities to present musical theater pieces in various styles and studied in the class. Students will be expected to analyze and present musical theater pieces studied in class incorporating all the skills presented for study.

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Stage Design (Production/Makeup/Costume)

Students in this course have the opportunity to learn many different important aspects of makeup and costume design. In stage makeup, techniques emphasized include accessing face shape, highlighting and shadowing, corrective makeup, age makeup, period makeup, stylization, fantasy makeup, and special effects makeup. Students will also interweave their makeup designs with their costume designs. In costuming, students will do extensive research in the history of the costume they are designing, as well as the character they are trying to portray. The students will have the opportunity to learn about the evolution of fashion and styles through the ages.

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Theater I

Students will be introduced to an array of skills required for actors to pursue a study in theater arts. These include physical warm-ups, focus and ensemble exercises, basic improvisation, basic stage movement, an introduction to critiquing skills and an introduction to body awareness. During the second quarter, students will hone previously explored improvisational skills. Also, students will be introduced to Lessac Speech for the Actor and investigate its application to speeches and sonnets from Shakespeare. Within this unit, students will hone rehearsal, blocking, movement, and critiquing skills.

During the first nine weeks of Theater I, students will further develop acting and critiquing skills through a second, more in-depth scene study project. Auditioning for musical theater will be taught in preparation for the musical theater auditions. Finally, students will explore the Lessac Body Energies that correspond to the Lessac Speech for actor unit. Applications of the body energies to art-inspired improvisation will be explored. During the second nine weeks, students will employ skills and knowledge developed in Theater I to create two performance art pieces during this semester. The first piece is five minutes in length and serves as a introduction to the performance art process. The second piece, 20 minutes in length, is a collaborative project that explores a central theme developed by the students.

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Theater 2

Students will review the myriad of skills and knowledge acquired in the previous year’s course of study. The review will include the following elements: Physical warm-ups, vocal warm-ups, focus/concentration exercises, ensemble building exercises, and improvisation. Students will also explore the physical aspects of acting by using Chekovian scenes. Students in the course will develop classical and modern monologues in preparation for the Fall College Fair sponsored by Maryland High School Theater. Finally, students will be introduced to the elements of technical theater in mini-units covering lighting, sound, set design, and costuming.

During Theater 2 course of study, students will explore the influences and on 19th and 20th century theater via scene study and monologue work. Students will discover the connections between the works of the 19th and 20th centuries and the works of Shakespeare. The second part of this will open discussion of What is Art? A variety of theories will be discussed as students prepare a final, collaborative project. During the last quarter, students will prepare, perform and critique each other’s final projects.

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Last Updated: 09/08/17

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