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

List of 11 items.


    This exploration class meets once weekly to explore the exciting world of live theater from an actor’s perspective! Students will play improvisational games, perform scenes and monologues, learn to use theater games to write their own material and create characters, and write and perform comedy sketches. Get ready to have a blast exploring Broadway plays, musicals, and the art of acting. Learn to be more socially confident, artistically aware, and emotionally expressive in a fun and encouraging environment. (A one-year study hall exploration class for 7th and 8th grade students.)

    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 Introduction 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 course is offered every other year, in rotation with The Directors’ Lab, and during the same block as Theatre Production (S2). Students explore the use of long-form improvisation as a means to create original artistic work and engage in individual, partnered, and ensemble exercises and then hone in on a specific topic, focus, idea, or theme they would like to explore through improvisation. There is an emphasis on directing as students lead their peers in improvised scene work and group exercises. Students also develop and lead vocal and physical warm ups. (Grades 11-12; prerequisite: Intermediate/Advanced Drama or department approval) Note: Advanced Improvisation will be offered in even-numbered years (2022-23, 2024-25, etc.)

    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. Through improvisation, ensemble work, and scene study, 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. Students also gain an appreciation for theatre history including The Group Theatre, African American Theatre, Latin American Theatre, and Asian American Theatre. Students engage in scene work by playwrights studied in our American Theatre History Unit. (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 various 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 Annie Baker, Dominique Morisseau, Eduardo Machado, O’Neill, Williams, Jose Rivera, Maria Irene Fornes, Sophie Treadwell, and Suzan-Lori Parks. Additionally, students will continue to write original monologues and critical assessments in personal acting journals. (Grades 10-12; prerequisite: Beginning Drama or department approval)

    This advanced course helps student designers develop the tools necessary to produce successful theatrical designs in various mediums. Focus is on the creation process and making specific note of artistic as well as practical requirements. Emphasis will be placed on research and communication skills that demand a deep understanding of both character and setting. We will create and express theatrical designs through models, presentations, and 3D rendering techniques using professional equipment and methods. Student work on course projects is suitable for inclusion in a portfolio. Participation in the fall drama production is not a course requirement. (Grades 10-12; one semester; prerequisites: Theatre Technology II or department approval)

    This course is offered every other year, in rotation with Advanced Improvisation, and explores the director’s pre-production and rehearsal process. Students will analyze compelling dramatic literature for themes and social relevance. Student directors will use Harold Clurman’s On Directing and Anne Bogart’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 playwrights like Moliere, Tennessee Williams, and Suzan-Lori Parks. (Grades 11-12; one semester; prerequisite: Intermediate/Advanced Drama) Note: The Director’s Lab will be offered in odd-numbered years (2023-24, 2025-26, etc.)

    This second-semester course provides an opportunity for advanced students to apply their skills in performance by creating their own pieces or mounting an existing work. Students write, direct, perform, and produce depending on the project they select to develop. Students engage in various elements of production such as production selection, pitch sessions, scheduling, concept design, team coordination, and technical design and implementation. Theatre Production is a student-centered course that builds confidence and offers young artists the tools to mount their own productions outside of Campbell Hall. (Grades 11-12; one semester; prerequisite: Intermediate/Advanced Drama or department approval)

    In this exploration class students will have the opportunity to construct props, paint sets, learn to use tools safely, run the sound board, operate the lights and more, while preparing the stage and set for the two middle school theatrical productions. Students in this class may also choose to participate in the productions by joining the after school tech crew and running all technical aspects of the shows during performances.(A one-year study hall exploration class for 7th and 8th grade students.)

    This first-semester course is an interactive introduction to the tools, terminology, and techniques used in the professional theatre environment. We will demonstrate methods and processes while actively incorporating the tools and equipment in our Campbell Hall theatre, control booth, and scene shop, focusing on the crafts of theatre artists and technicians. Topics include scene shop tool use and safety, scenery construction, stage management, production management and planning, theatrical audio, and stage lighting. The goal of the course is to highlight the importance of the preproduction process leading up to the performance and appreciate the collaborative and cross-disciplinary nature of the Theatre Arts. Participation in the fall drama production is not a course requirement. (Grades 9-12; one semester)

    This advanced course is offered second semester and is designed for those students who have demonstrated an active interest in theatre production. The course is designed to give students a strong foundation in the principles of set, lighting, prop, sound, costume, and makeup design. Emphasis is placed on introducing the students to design and construction techniques used to bring a design to life and methods for articulating their designs in 2 and 3 dimensions. Participation in the fall drama production is not a course requirement. (Grades 9-12; one semester; prerequisite: Theatre Technology I)
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.
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