Performing Arts


Elementary After-School Drama

The elementary after-school drama program offers after school classes for students in grades K-6 (a registration fee is required). The classes are designed to offer participants of all levels a fun, encouraging and creative environment, allowing each child the opportunity to discover and celebrate his or her own unique skills, talents, and artistic expression.

Middle School Drama

The middle school's Intro to Acting is a beginning acting course, which introduces students to basic acting techniques and games while learning to explore their imaginations. The students gain a general appreciation for acting and live performance. Students learn simple acting techniques and vocabulary through studying monologues and scenes. They will then begin basic script analysis and character development and apply these principals towards in-class performances. Students have the opportunity to perform for live audiences in October for Catacombs and in February with the Scenes, Songs, Symphonies, and Sambas performance. Casting is open to all students without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation. All students are invited to authentically express themselves in the Campbell Hall Theatre Department.

High School Drama

In the high school theatre arts program, we value focused-study and training. We study what’s inside and we ask deep, personal questions; we study our minds and souls with specificity and courage. We learn that there is power in vulnerability because we can express our self-discoveries in the shape of art. We share our art with our community and therefore create a dialogue about the human condition. Ultimately, through our communication, we build meaningful and lasting connections. Drama students have the opportunity to audition and perform in the fall play and spring musical, along with other performances and special events. Casting is open to all students without regard to race, ethnicity, gender identity or expression, and sexual orientation. All students are invited to authentically express themselves in the Campbell Hall Theatre Department.

Secondary Drama Course Descriptions

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    This exploration class will explore the exciting world of live theater from an actor’s perspective! Students will play improvisational games, perform scenes and monologues from notable plays, and learn basic script analysis. Additionally, students will write their own material and learn to be more socially confident, artistically aware, and emotionally expressive in a fun, encouraging environment. (A one-year study hall exploration class for 7th and 8th grade students.)

    Think about your favorite movie, TV show, musical, play or story. Maybe it’s Avengers End Game, Clueless, Hamilton, Harry Potter, or Romeo and Juliet. Whatever your style, all of these stories have one thing in common. They are all about normal people in extraordinary and/or dramatic circumstances. After all, drama isn’t about the day nothing happened. Are you ready to get dramatic and explore your super strength or perhaps help shape the history of America? Then this acting class is for you. Students learn how to better express themselves through scene work, storytelling, imagination, character analysis, the power of emotion, listening, writing, improvisation, and theater games. This elective goes deeper into the concepts that were introduced in the Intro to Acting exploration class and prepares students for continued theatrical studies in high school, and enriches their experience for any production they might be working on. There is no prerequisite...just a willingness to jump in. (A one semester elective for 8th graders.)

    This semester-long course provides foundations in the Stanislavski system in order to develop the actor’s craft. Students begin to tune their actor’s instrument by stimulating creativity, imagination, voice, teamwork, listening, and trust. Students learn to use their own emotional, physical, and psychological instrument to create realistic behavior under imaginary circumstances as a means to explore the human condition. (Grades 9-12; one semester)

    Intermediate Drama builds upon the principles of believable movement and vocal production in Beginning Drama through the techniques of Stanislavski’s System. Students will engage in more complex and emotionally challenging improvisations, scene work, and theme analysis. Towards the end of the first semester, students will learn the International Phonetic Alphabet and employ it in the study and execution of English, Southern, New York, Irish, Scottish, German, and French accents. Students will engage in research projects in conjunction with their advanced scene work, to investigate the social relevance and historical significance of major works by playwrights such as Sophocles, Shakespeare, Ibsen, Strindberg, Eduardo Machado, O’Neill, Wilder, Williams, Jose Rivera, Maria Irene Fornes, Bertolt Brecht, Sophie Treadwell, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Additionally, students will continue to write original monologues and critical assessments in personal acting journals. This course may be repeated. (Grades 10-12; prerequisite: Beginning Drama or department approval)

    This first semester course, for juniors and seniors, explores the use of long-form improvisation as a means to create original artistic work. Students engage in individual, partnered, and ensemble exercises to awaken a spirit of creative play, collaboration, and a deeper investment in their physical and emotional instruments. Students begin to hone in on a specific topic, focus, idea, or theme that they would like to explore through improvisation. Students develop exercises with their peers in order to more deeply investigate the dramatic values inherent in their theme, and soon, they begin to craft a story. The course culminates with each student creating an original artistic work inspired by the improvisations. Original work can entail a short play, vignette/scene, one-person “show”, movement piece with spoken word, or multimedia project with a performance component. Throughout the semester, there is an emphasis on directing, as students will lead their peers in improvised warm-ups, scene work, and group exercises. *This course is offered on an alternating year cycle in even-numbered beginning years (2016-2017).

    This first semester course explores the director’s pre-production and rehearsal process. Students will analyze difficult dramatic literature for theme, social relevance, and historical context. Student directors will use Harold Clurman’s A Director Prepares as a guide as they create lighting, costume, prop, and set design ideas. During the second quarter, students will learn a director’s system for rehearsal preparation and then direct their peers in emotionally and intellectually challenging scenes from plays by Moliere, Chekhov, and Tennessee Williams. Students who enroll in The Directors’ Lab will be able to move the following semester into Theatre Production, which will be offered during the same block. (Grades 11-12; one semester; prerequisites: Beginning and Intermediate/Advanced Drama. This course is only offered during the first semester of odd-numbered years.)
4533 Laurel Canyon Blvd., Studio City, CA 91607
Phone 818.980.7280

Campbell Hall is an independent, Episcopal, K-12 all gender day school. We are a community of inquiry committed to academic excellence and to the nurturing of decent, loving, and responsible human beings.

Nondiscriminatory Policy as to Students

Campbell Hall admits students of any race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the school. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, gender, sexual orientation, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletics and other school-administered programs.
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