Theater

Where character comes alive

Drama at Chadwick International reflects the kind of whole-student education that fosters commitment, full self-expression and an unshakable sense of self-worth. When students get on stage, their imaginations take over and confidence is unleashed. As they get lost in their roles, they discover themselves.

The theater is a lab for experimentation, expansion and awareness. Students at all levels go beyond acting techniques to develop, defend and support each other’s unique points of view. They learn what it means to truly listen and empathize. They practice being vulnerable and making brave choices in a fun and inclusive environment. Collaborating, connecting and creating with their peers allows for new friendships to be formed. 

 

Behind the scenes, students hone their technical prowess through the Theater Technology Program. These students master stage lighting, sound effects and set design to bring their peers’ performances to life. From leading cast to technical support, Chadwick’s Theater Program unites students to tell compelling stories.

 

Village School Drama

Drama in the Village School is a magical experience where students get to play, expand and explore their self-expression. Course activities are highly inclusive and collaborative, with a focus on refining verbal and nonverbal communication, and building a strong ensemble. Students are encouraged to take creative risks and to trust their own instincts, ideas and abilities. The program is designed to support different interests and skill levels, with opportunities to participate onstage, backstage and even in the audience. Excitement around Chadwick’s annual Village School musical is electric, typically attracting close to 100 students for auditions. 

Middle School Drama

In the Middle School, students dive deeper into their dramatic exploration with a focus on interpretation, creation, performance and fun. Through a variety of drama games, students strengthen collaborative skills and work towards creating live performances. Students research global issues around the world and create performances that aim to inspire societal change. At the end of the trimester, they get to share these performances with their peers and parents. In the process, they discover the power of their own creativity.

Students can further develop their artistic growth through theater tech, the drama club or the annual middle school production. A safe, inspiring environment fosters vulnerability and the strengthening of dramatic skills. Students practice extending their emotional range and their physical and vocal self-confidence. They learn how to play an integral role in a large team, how to make thoughtful choices, and how to respect themselves and others. 

Upper School Drama 

Drama in the Upper School deepens students’ engagement and understanding of dramatic performance and process. In Grades 9 and 10, the hands-on exploration of drama is balanced with a more sophisticated academic inquiry. Students refine their approach to research, development of intentions, performance and reflection. They learn about improvisation, script work, practitioners such as Brecht, Boal and Spolin, applied drama and theater as an art form. 

Theater in Grades 11 and 12 is a two year program with a focus on dramatic context, process and presentation. Practical explorations of these elements in both written and performance tasks allow students to learn by doing. They work individually and as an ensemble as they investigate theater companies, playwrights, theorists such as Stanislavski and Laban, and traditions like Commedia Dell'arte. They also work with scripts and devise original works. 

Class visits to the theater are part of the experience and students are encouraged to watch live performances on their own. Individual coaching for auditions is available to students applying for performing arts colleges. All students are encouraged to follow their own interests and are given opportunities to develop their skills as technicians as well as performers. 

Drama skills are life skills. We’re learning for life, not just college.

Naomi Barton, Drama Teacher