The primary goal of the theatre arts experience is to develop creative thinkers, confident and communicative speakers, and knowledgeable, compassionate, and tolerant individuals. To that end, the School provides students at every grade level the opportunity to participate in theatre arts classes and extracurricular productions.
The St. Anne’s-Belfield School Grades K - 3 performing arts program is unique among independent schools in that theatre arts studies are an integral component of the Orff-Schulwerk classes interwoven with music and dance.
- In Kindergarten and first grade, drama is approached through creative and rhythmic movement, pantomime, singing games, simultaneous dialogue, choral speech, and repetitive responses using rhymes, chants, games, cumulative stories, and teacher-narrated folktales.
- In second and third grade, the dramatic process progresses with improvisational games to develop child-appropriate acting techniques and ensemble skills that are applied to dramatizations of myths and folktales.
Each grade level develops “musical-dramas” throughout the year, a process that culminates in the third grade with a formally scripted musical play.
The goal of the theatre program in Grades 4 - 8 is to build self-assured, well-rounded actors and speakers. In class, students engage in activities designed to encourage creative expression and physical awareness, both individually and within an ensemble. During their theatre arts experience at this level young actors engage with a diverse range of repertoire that might include international folktales or Shakespeare. In addition to an in-depth curriculum, students may audition for grade-specific after-school plays in Grades 6 - 8.
Upper School students have the opportunity to register for two theatre arts courses, as well as Intensive Courses, as offered, audition for extracurricular productions, including a fall play and winter musical, and spring student-directed play as part of a Capstone Thesis project.