Performing Arts

Theater Technology

Campbell Hall’s theatre technology program offers students a comprehensive hands-on experience engaging students in the elements of producing, design, construction, and stage management.

Students also have the opportunity to design or provide technical support for any of our other many productions in the Campbell Hall community. Theatre technology students support many of our campus events having learned the skills necessary to create successful productions.

Middle School Theatre Technology

Theatre technology students participate in the middle school's fall play and spring musical as backstage running crew and stage management. Introduction to Theatre Tech students learn the basics of the production process, prop making, scenic design, lighting design, and stage management while preparing for their work backstage during the run of the show.

High School Theatre Technology

In high school, each production’s scenic, lighting, prop, sound, hair, and makeup elements are designed entirely by our student designers. Through our Theatre Technology and Stage Design electives, students study these crafts and can apply them as student designers for the high school fall play and spring musical. Students participate in the construction of all our scenic elements in our scene shop during the pre-production process, run each performance as our backstage running crew, and stage manage from our initial designer meetings months in advance to closing night.

Secondary Theatre Arts 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.)

    In this exploration class students jump into theatre tech practicum. 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 for the two middle school theatrical productions. Students in this class may 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 theater, controlbooth, 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 HS drama production is not a course requirement.

    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 principals 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 HS drama production is not a course requirement.

    This advanced course is designed to develop the tools necessary for the student designer to produce successful theatrical designs in various mediums. Focus is on the creation process making specific note of artistic as well as practical requirements. Emphasis will be made on research and communication skills demanding 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 HS drama production is not a course requirement.

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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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