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Theater

Theatre

Students will have exposure to theatre education to gain confidence in their speaking and listening skills while also gaining knowledge and experience in the world of theatrical arts. Theatre classes at Nathan Hale embrace the philosophy of theatre educator Viola Spolin, who believed in learning through experience and experiencing, and regarded all students as equally “stage worthy.”  Our theatre classes are safe spaces, where students can explore worlds and become characters without fears of judgment or inadequacy. The theatre program at NHAMS follows the established New London elementary theatre curriculum. The theatre curriculum has been developed and organized to ensure that students learn the essential elements and principles of theatre which are considered the foundations of making and understanding theatre. This allows us to scaffold skills and concepts with increasing difficulty and refinement as students grow in maturity while also providing flexibility of presentation via projects. The theatre curriculum also embraces the National Core Arts Standards in lesson development. 



Grade Level Focus

In kindergarten, students quickly begin to perform and collaborate with their peers through theatre games designed to build confidence in their performance skills. Early theatre games will also enhance student ability to listen and follow directions. First year theatre students will explore concepts of audience expectations, rehearsal routines, costumes, props, and changes we can make to our bodies to create a character.

In first grade, students will explore concepts of movement: using speed, energy, weight, gravity, and an actor’s body center in various exercises. Students will begin to think of their body as their instrument, making connections to facial expressions and communication, projecting voices in different environments, and controlling thier body movements. First grade students will begin to explore concepts of collaborative storytelling and improvisation in guided drama experiences.

In second grade, students begin to play with many genres of theatre, including folktales, puppetry, pantomime, and improv. Students will continue to add skills to their actor’s toolbelt while exploring these various genres.

In third grade, students will be exposed to concepts of visual composition, theatrical conventions, and elements of story and staging. Students in third grade will be required to work on small group production projects which will enhance their ability to both listen and contribute in a collaborative setting.

In fourth grade, students expand on theatre concepts and practice various techniques to enhance their abilities as actors. Students will also learn about basic theater elements such as lighting, costuming, and make-up. Students will work towards performance pieces that are memorized and presented. This may include solo monologues, 2-4 person scenes from short plays, and student created pieces. Other may learn to use specific improv skills to help them create characters and scene scenarios completely on the spot without advanced preparation. Improvisation is an invaluable skill which enhances problem solving, builds student confidence, requires listening and collaboration, and is a key component to both acting and writing.

In fifth grade, students continue to expand on theatre concepts and practice various techniques to enhance their abilities as actors. Students will also learn about basic theater elements such as lighting, costuming, and make-up. Students will work towards performance pieces that are memorized and presented. This may include solo monologues, 2-4 person scenes from short plays, and student created pieces. Other may learn to use specific improv skills to help them create characters and scene scenarios completely on the spot without advanced preparation. Improvisation is an invaluable skill which enhances problem solving, builds student confidence, requires listening and collaboration, and is a key component to both acting and writing.

Unique course offerings can be found on the Course Catalog tab

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