At Friends' Central, we pride ourselves on our theater program. Beginning with the Lower School plays, which include every member of the class, and moving through to the Middle and Upper Schools, where students with a particular interest in the theater arts are able to take part on stage or behind-the-scenes in productions throughout the year, the theater program helps students to find their voices, develop self-confidence, and practice creativity.
At the Lower School, drama is integrated into the general curriculum. All students in grades 1-3 perform classroom plays at the end of each year. Nursery, Pre-K, and K, too, have opportunities for dramatic expression, from acting out nursery rhymes to doing skits and plays for parents.
The end-of-year plays are a highly effective way to integrate learning in reading, writing, and history, as they tie in with the Lower School's commitment to thematic learning.
Lower School Assistant Principal, Ginger Fifer believes that the benefits of students producing and acting in plays each year are endless and revolve around the teachers' steadfast commitment to deepening students' self-esteem.
In the classroom, 6th, 7th, and 8th grade drama classes are organized around various units of learning: Acting for Performance on Stage and in Film, Play Reading and Play Writing, Improvisation, The Technical Aspects of Production, and Theater History. Drama is offered through the rotation of "Specials," in which every student has the opportunity to participate.
The Middle School offers two Main Stage productions, open to all students in 6th through 8th grades. There is a fall musical production which is performed the weekend before Thanksgiving, and a spring non-musical production, which is performed the weekend before spring break. Rehearsals are held on campus after school on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Fridays from 3:15-5 pm. Students can participate in the cast, the stage crew, or the technical crew.
The Friends' Central Upper School drama program is dedicated to bringing a variety of theatrical offerings to our students and to the community at large. In the drama classroom, students experiment with performing Greek drama, Shakespeare, and comic improvisation, as well as work by contemporary writers like Anna Deavere Smith. On our "main stage," two productions are offered each year. Productions alternate between musical theater productions (such as 42nd Street) and Shakespearean plays (such as Much Ado About Nothing). Friends' Central School is honored to offer all theater and concert performances free of charge in the hopes that the entire community will benefit from the wealth of student talent and creativity our students have to offer.
For information on drama in the academic curriculum visit our Upper School curriculum pages.