Through the performing arts, girls discover their passion for the arts, develop creativity and confidence, achieve excellence, and make lifelong friends. In the drama program, students can act and sing in many dramatic, musical and comedy productions, and participate behind the scenes – from lighting and sound to set building and stage management.
Fifth and sixth grade drama focuses on three focus areas: Miming, Story Theater, and Dramatization of a Script. While working on miming, students emphasize basic illusion mime techniques with studies focusing on action/reaction, character, plot, and/or theme. Story theater is a continuation of the developed mime skills, but with the addition of dialogue. The final focus area, dramatization of a script, takes either a class-created or adapted script and brings it life!
Semester One of sixth grade creative drama focuses on Greek roots. The Arachne Myth is dramatized with choruses and individual roles, and during the Theseus unit, students explore the thematic material of leaving home.
Semester Two focuses on Roman comedy and explores what makes us laugh? Students watch and analyze famous comedy teams and scenes, and learn the comic elements. The capstone project for the semester is a three-scene comedy presented by small groups that will make their classmates "laugh like the Romans!"
This practical and fun class centers around projects with real-life public speaking opportunities. Students learn how-to, practice, and present skills such as: introducing guest speakers, debate, acceptance speeches, prose/poetry interpretation, reader's theater, and toasts... both with and without technical support.
One semester, one half-credit
Students will pack their acting toolkit learning basic methods of acting through presentational and representational acting. They will develop creativity and spontaneity through improvisations, basic movement for the stage and using their voices and bodies for dramatic expression. Students will explore basic acting including physical acting, the use of dialogue, listening and reacting, finding moments and connecting them to the story being told. Students will work on monologues and scenes in class. Students will also discover what makes good theatre by reading, analyzing, and attending local theatrical productions. For anyone who has always wanted to try acting, this is a wonderful way to try it out in a safe space.
One semester, one half-credit, Prerequisite: Acting I
This advanced scene study class will use different methods of acting and focus on craft. Students will perform scenes and monologues from different genres. Actors will find and deliver high stakes in the dramatic situation, working together with a partner(s), finding conflict in their scenes, and making strong choices to make the story clear, compelling and exciting. Students will continue to gain knowledge of cultural, stylistic, and historical aspects of dramatic literature as we study and attend productions. This class could culminate in an after-school presentation of scenes and/or monologues.
offered alternating years; 2020-2021
One semester, one half-credit, Prerequisite: Acting I or Permission of the instructor based on prior experience
Students will explore what a director does and delve into script analysis, casting, blocking, finding moments, set and costume design, working with actors, leadership and producing a ten-minute scene in class. All students will participate as actors for each other’s directing scenes in class. This will be an exciting way to try your hand at directing and acting.
offered alternating years; 2020-2021
One semester, one half-credit, Prerequisite: Directing I
Students will incorporate all elements learned in Directing I with added emphasis in choosing just the right script, script analysis, the audition process, finding and executing the story, making moments, exploring the unified idea, and finding and enhancing the stakes. Directors will work with the artistic and technical director in their process of producing a one act for public performance. From choosing a script, to set and light and music design, to auditioning actors, to the rehearsal process, to opening night~this class culminates in a full evening of One Acts on the Main Stage of Frances Bond Davis Theatre!
The middle school musical is a fully staged, 60-minute "Broadway" musical that is accompanied by a live band. This no-cut production is a synthesis of the Harpeth Hall dance, music, and theater classes, and is widely attended by the school and community. Past shows have included a variety of Disney musicals, and "Suessical Jr," "Annie," and most recently, "Dear Edwina." Auditions are in November, and the performances are in early February.
The Upper School Musical is a collaboration between Montgomery-Bell Academy and Harpeth Hall's performing arts departments. Productions in the past have varied from traditional golden-age musicals to cutting edge, eccentric productions to allow for these young artists to develop themselves into true "triple threats." Auditions are typically in May, with performances in early September.
Meet the Drama Team
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