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Performing Arts Courses

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Dance
Satisfies Arts Program Requirement
Classes I, II & III
This comprehensive course is designed both for students who have had little or no previous formal dance experience and for the intermediate level dancer. Students explore and practice the principles of dance technique, improvisation and composition, working to develop greater awareness, freedom and control in the use of the body as an instrument of expression. Ballet, modern and jazz dance styles will be introduced and practiced.

Advanced Dance: Modern
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course is designed for students prepared to work at the advanced or intermediate level in modern dance technique. Students practice advanced warm-up exercises, center combinations and movement patterns. Students may learn repertory from established modern dance choreographers.In addition to technique, students explore improvisation and dance composition in a more in-depth manner, culminating in a collaborative performance in the Winter Dance Concert. (Prerequisite: Arts Program Dance or permission of the department chair)

Advanced Dance: Ballet
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course is designed for dancers prepared to work at the advanced or intermediate level in ballet technique. Students practice advanced warm-up exercises, center combinations and movement patterns. In addition to technique, students may learn repertory from choreographed ballets. (Prerequisite: Arts Program Dance or permission of the department chair.)

Advanced Dance: Choreography
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course explores the path from improvisational dancing to sophisticated dance making. In a fun and supportive atmosphere, students cultivate their natural movement resources, developing movement ideas into fully shaped dance and movement pieces. Students also study relevant and well-established choreographers. No formal dance training is required; however, the ability and the desire to move are necessary. Students in this course will work collaboratively to create and perform a dance for the Winter Dance Concert. This course is strongly recommended for students interested in choreographing as individuals for the Winter Dance Concert. (Prerequisite: Permission of the department chair.)

Drama
Satisfies Arts Program Requirement
Classes I, II & III
This course teaches basic skills for the beginning actor. Exercises and scene work aim at developing concentration, freedom and power of expression, connection with a text and with acting partners, and a process for approaching characterization. The emphasis is on representational acting techniques and contemporary, realistic texts. Attendance at all Upper School performances is required. Excursions to professional productions may be required.

Advanced Drama: Directing
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course introduces students to the principles and practices of directing for the stage. The course is project-based and emphasizes hands-on instruction and exploration in the directing of scenes and short plays. Students learn the basics of concept development, actor coaching, and blocking. The course is highlighted with a public presentation of student directed work in the spring. Students will also shadow faculty directors and may act as assistant directors for current season productions. (Prerequisite: Arts Program Drama or equivalent experience and permission from the department chair.)

Advanced Drama: Musical Theatre
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course focuses on developing skills in acting, singing and dancing for musical theatre. The course is team-taught by members of the performing arts and music departments and combines exercises and scene work from contemporary Broadway musical theatre. The course culminates in a public performance by members of the class. (Prerequisite: Arts Program Drama or or equivalent experience and permission of the department chair.)

Advanced Drama: Improvisation
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course covers the many aspects of improvisation such as quick and thorough thinking on one’s feet; creating believable characters; the use of subtext, concentration, imagination and observation in short and long-form non-scripted scenes; working cooperatively with an ensemble and audience; creating truthful relationships; and the use of the body and voice as communicative instruments. Through participating in class activities, attending two off-campus shows, and performing in public, students will become more spontaneous, trusting and cooperative performers. (Prerequisite: Permission of the department chair.)

Spoken Word Performance
Satisfies Arts Program Requirement
Classes I, II & III
This course introduces students to the interactive power of literature and performance. Using the written and spoken word including short stories, plays, spoken word poetry, podcasts and TED talks as inspiration, students will jump into stories that connect with each of them in unique and current ways. They will develop skills to become exciting and effective performers and story-tellers by exploring the use of voice, physicality, and interpretation. The emphasis is on finding fun and meaningful ways to make stories come to life. Students will present their work to the community at open mics and other performance venues and may attend performances off campus. This course will culminate in students creating and performing a short original piece.

Spoken Word Poetry
(Half Course)
Classes I, II & III
Students will immerse themselves in the world of spoken word poetry by reading, listening to, and watching the work of accomplished poets, and engaging in the daily practice of writing and performing their own original poems. Through a variety of approaches, students will craft their words and use their voices and bodies to create meaningful group and individual live performances. They will perform their work, as well as the work of others, in the forms of spoken word, slam and hip hop.

Design for the Theatre
Satisfies Arts Program Requirement
Classes I, II & III
This course introduces students to the collaborative art of scenic design, lighting design and costume design. In the first semester, students will explore the elements and principles of design through hands-on projects in perspective drawing, technical drafting, watercolor rendering, and scale model construction. Two-dimensional work will be explored using Vectorworks and other digital design tools along with free-hand drawing and drafting techniques. In the second semester, students will form a design team for a spring production. Through play analysis, hands-on projects, and collaboration, each student will create a complete design for an actualized project. These projects may include a full design or specific projects within a design. The course culminates in a presentation of a design portfolio comprised of drafting, renderings and models illustrating growth throughout the year.

Advanced Drama: Costume Design
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course explores costume design and construction through theoretical and practical projects. Students will learn basic sketching, hand and machine sewing techniques, pattern reading and adaptation, millinery techniques, and costume jewelry making. In addition, through play reading and analysis, as well as historical research, students will develop and present costume plots, individual character costume sketches, and design concepts.

Advanced Drama: The Female Role in Theatre
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This advanced acting course focuses on how the female experience has been represented in theatre over time. We will look at texts that range from classic to contemporary. We will also examine work created by female playwrights and theatre artists. Students will perform scenes and monologues from these plays, interact with working playwrights, and write about their discoveries throughout the course. (Prerequisite: Arts Program Drama or Oral Interpretation or equivalent experience and permission from the department chair.)

Hamlet
(Half Course)
Classes I & II
This course is team-taught by a member of the English department and a member of the performing arts department. Please see the full course description in the English section on page 15.

Project Story: Narrative Journalism and Performance
(Half Course)
Classes I, II & III
From competitive story slams performed for packed venues to storytelling courses designed to empower workplace professionals, sharing narrative with live audiences has never felt more current or relevant. In this course, students will study the art of storytelling through moving their own and others’ stories from page to stage. During the first half of the semester, students will learn narrative journalism skills, performance skills, and peer workshop practice, to collect and shape stories of our School. They will work collaboratively during the second half of the semester to identify, research, write and perform a story that originates beyond Milton Academy. Throughout the year, students will read and view storytelling models, attend performances, and hear from visiting artists and activists who promote storytelling around the country, believing that shared stories strengthen and sustain human connection. (This course is listed under both the English and performing arts departments.)

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