The drama program produces four major plays, usually including a musical, and a spring showcase evening of one acts, short scenes, and monologues, including student-written and student-directed pieces. In all productions the on-stage actors collaborate with off-stage technical performers or “running crews” composed of students from the Theater Production classes.
Drama instructors, in all courses, work with students to develop an ensemble that will be supportive and collaborative as we develop theater skills such as observation, concentration, physical and vocal flexibility, and emotional exploration and expression. We begin with a foundation of group process as we explore such acting tools and rehearsal techniques as voice and movement skills, scene analysis, improvisation, performing monologues, and scenes. Students in acting also explore the different styles involved in acting for the camera and in performing Shakespeare. The Drama II and III courses provide students with additional areas of focus, including the opportunities to write and direct.
1. Drama Production Auditions: All Upper School drama productions are produced by drama classes. Most auditions are linked to class participation. The fall play, February musical, March play, and the drama showcase at the end of the year are cast from auditions of students in drama or acting classes, not through open auditions. Drama at Lakeside is an academic program and not an activity as at some schools. Class meetings are sometimes used for rehearsals, and the class work is used as a foundation for the rehearsal/performance projects. As part of the course work, we support production auditioning for all acting and drama students so all students in the program will have the opportunity of performing a stage role in a drama production. Open Auditions: A fourth major production in the spring is cast with an open audition so any student in the Upper School can have the opportunity to try out for one production each year.
2. Drama Field Trips: Over the course of the year, students in acting and/or drama classes may be required to buy one student discount ticket to a performance attended by all acting and/or drama students. For students in Drama II or III, attendance is required for at least two performances.
3. Play Reports: Students in acting and all drama classes are required to complete a total of three play reports—reviews of theater productions they have seen. One of these must be a professional theater production outside of school, and one of these must be a Lakeside production. Students in all Lakeside drama classes are expected to attend one performance of each Lakeside major drama production unless extenuating circumstances prevent it.