The Theatre Program
If there is a common theme to the Middlesex Theater Program, it is ambition. We choose shows every season to stretch and grow the talents of our student casts and crews. We want all students to have appreciation of AND participation in the making of theater. We believe that there is no show too big for our stage.
The Middlesex theater program draws kids from all areas of the school. We believe that passion for theater is intensified, rather than diminished, by academic and athletic passions. In any given year, either through a course or through an evening production, close to a third of the school will participate in a public theatrical performance.
Students in our Theater department are actors, singers, and dancers. They are directors, scene-writers, set designers, light technicians, and stage managers. You can see our youngest students debut in an evening of original, student-written scenes; and you can watch our oldest students perform full productions of challenging, modern material in our black box theatre.
Annually, we produce five exceptional main-stage performances:
• a fall play
• a student directed children’s play
• a dance concert
• a festival of student directed one acts
• a spring musical
Finally, our theatre department has a life off campus as well. During our bi-annual trip to London we see a show each night, tour Shakespeare’s Globe, and participate in several days of acting workshops with a professional director. Though for many of our students, theater is something they will only pursue in high school, there are others who will graduate and continue their study of theater in the finest college programs out there: Carnegie Mellon, NYU, Northwestern, UCLA, BU and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts, to name a few recent destinations.
THEATRE 33. Approaches to Acting. Fall. Mr. Kane. 4 meetings weekly. Block TBA. This course will offer practical and theoretical approaches to characterization for both actors and directors. Working from the techniques laid out in the Atlantic Theatre Company’s book, A Practical Handbook for the Actor, students will practice creating characters for the stage. We will focus first on performing scenes from modern playwrights and then on performing scenes from Shakespeare. In all our work, emphasis will be placed on creating realistic, connected, purposeful and dynamic performances.
THEATRE 34. Advanced Approaches to Acting. Spring. Mr. Kane. 4 meetings weekly. Block TBA. Prerequisite: Theatre 33 or Permission of the Department. Using the fundamentals laid out in Theatre 33, students will work to expand their range as actors. Performing texts from various periods of theatre, students will continue to explore what is needed to create truthful and alive characters for the stage.
THEATRE 37. Technical Theatre. Fall, Spring. Mr. DuBray. 4 meetings weekly. Block TBA. This course is a survey of basic technical theater techniques from script analysis, and concept development and design, to choosing and using tools, hardware, and theatre equipment. Students will learn and use various technical theatre skills including building and painting sets and props, hanging and focusing lights, and programming the light board. This course will use script-analysis techniques used by designers and directors to develop a clear production concept by reading a play and creating and presenting individual designs to the class. Students will exercise creative and practical skills through in-class projects of set, lighting, sound and costume design. Each student will be required to give and receive peer feedback and work collaboratively and safely.
THEATRE 38. Theatre Design. Fall, Spring. Mr. DuBray. 4 meetings weekly. Block TBA. Prerequisite: Theatre 37 (formerly Theatre 20) or Permission of the Department. This course is an in-depth look at designing for theatre. This course will use script analysis techniques used by designers and directors to develop a clear production concept by reading plays and creating and presenting individual designs to the class. Students will exercise creative and practical skills through in-class projects of set, lighting, sound and costume design. Each student will be required to give and receive peer feedback and work collaboratively and safely. The opportunity to design for a Middlesex production as part of class is a possibility.
THEATRE 80. Projects in Theatre. Fall, Spring. Mr. Kane. Block TBA. Prerequisite: Theatre 33 and 34 or Permission of the Department. This ensemble based acting course focuses on exploring current American playwrights from realists like Tracy Letts and David Margolies to the more surreal, such as Mac Wellman and Charles Mee.
THEATRE 90. Advanced Projects in Theatre. Spring. Mr. Kane. Block TBA. Prerequisite: Theatre 80 and Permission of the Department. In the final class in our acting curriculum this ensemble based class works to bring two years worth of technique to practice. Students collaborate to choose their final pieces and the course ends in a full-length workshop production in our studio theatre.