Middle-school students receive 1.5 hrs daily of instruction in acting, singing and dancing; high-school students receive 2 hrs daily of acting, movement, voice & speech and theater history/literature. The faculty are teaching artists who have one foot in the education field and one foot in the profession world, most possessing Master’s in Acting, Directing or Arts Ed. They assess not only students’ Artistic Development (e.g. commitment, risk-taking) and Written Work (e.g. self-reflection, performance critique), but also their Work Habits (e.g., enthusiasm, collaboration). Parents receive students’ grades and detailed teacher comments at the end of each semester, and those grades are included in official school transcripts.
All grades also work toward an annual rehearsal project, requiring an additional 3-4 hrs of rehearsal/day for 10-12 weeks. They’re led by outside professional directors, stage managers and designers and follow a deliberate historical trajectory: 9th grade – an evening of contemporary American realist scenes; 10th grade – a classical play of heightened language; 11th grade – a production of a Modern masterpiece; and 12th grade – a new play development workshop for an emerging playwright to write a piece specifically for the class.