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 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!
Drama Club is an after school program offered for fifth and sixth graders. It meets on Tuesdays throughout the first semester and through the middle of March during second semester of the school year. On the Tuesday before Spring Break the Drama Club presents their play in the Frances Bond Davis Theatre for family and friends. Students who are in Drama Club may participate on Green Teams for sports during the fall and winter while Drama Club is in session.
Forensics Club is an after school program open to sixth, seventh and eighth graders on Wednesdays. Students select, edit and rehearse pieces from published prose, poetry and drama, or they practice improvisations and storytelling, for competitions in the Metro Nashville Middle School Forensics League in the spring. Because students work either individually or in pairs they are not required to meet each week but can work forensics around their other after school activities. Harpeth Hall hosts one of the MNMSFL competitions each March.
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 as well as "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 the Harpeth Hall performing arts departments. Productions in the past have varied from traditional golden-age musicals to cutting edge, eccentric productions to allow these young artists to develop themselves into true "triple threats." Auditions are typically in May, with performances in early September.