Theatre Course Offerings

  • Technical Theatre and Design A terrific hands-on class for students who want to design and build theatrical worlds on stage! Students will engage in hands-on units in set construction, lighting, costumes, make-up, and scenic painting - then broaden their vision in units on scenic, sound, and lighting design. The course focuses on design and construction inspired by that year's school productions and is structured to accommodate students with varying degrees of production experience. If a student cannot schedule this course five days a week, he or she may take the course three days a week, opposite his or her science lab, with departmental approval.

    Theatre 1: Theatre Workshop (Northfield Only) This is the ideal class for any student who wants to act in plays or musicals on New Trier stages and develop confidence and performance skills. Students will explore many different character types through role playing, monologues and scene work from scripts. Students will also become stronger team players through improvisational and theatre games as well as learn how to audition effectively for plays and musicals. In addition, students may choose to perform as an ensemble member in the Freshman Play. Students of all experience levels are welcome to come play, learn, and become part of our community!

    Theatre 2: Acting Workshop The second course in the four-year sequence of theatre classes, this class concentrates on the techniques of creating a character from a play using sense memory, emotion memory, script analysis, and scene study. In the second semester, Acting Workshop students research, prepare, and perform scenes from plays representing the major periods in theatre history that culminates in a day-long festival of theatre, Dionysus Day. If a student cannot schedule this class five days a week, the student may take this three days a week with department approval. Students may contract to enroll for major credit in the fall.

    Theatre 3: Acting This full-year course provides the acting student an opportunity to further develop his/her acting skills through the exploration of advanced acting methods and theories. Particular attention is given to the methods of Sanford Meisner, Konstantin Stanislavsky, and Robert Cohen and to dissecting and analyzing a script. Students use improvisational techniques to confront and solve acting problems, deepen interaction between characters, and rehearse scripted scenes from realistic plays.

    Theatre 4: Advanced Acting Ensemble Acting Studio is for those students who have completed Theatre 3: Acting and wish to hone their skills as performers in the context of an elective course. Students will engage in challenging scene study and performance in the first semester. In the second semester, the students will create, direct, and perform an original play to be featured in the Spring Plays Festival. Students will create an acting journal, explore acting and directing theory, and read selections from A Challenge for the Actor by Uta Hagan.

    Theatre 4: Advanced Acting and Directing Building on the skills introduced in the Theatre sequence, the basic work of Theatre 4: Advanced Acting and Directing is in scene preparation and performance, and stage directing technique. Script and character analysis are explored more deeply through the study of theatrical theorists and contemporary playwrights. In the second semester, students study techniques of directing and direct a short play of their choice. Other topics that may be explored include period performance styles and techniques, playwriting, dialects, and stage combat. Required Readings: A Challenge for the Actor by Uta Hagen, Backwards and Forward by David Ball.