The origin of theater is tied to a history of pantomime and improvisation. In early childhood, children delight in repeating the words of a beloved character and interpreting the parts of a beloved tale.
As a story comes to life in the classroom, students act out the roles of the various characters. By the time they are in elementary school, they begin to write their own stories to perform together. Puppetry, another genre through which they are inspired to create and perform stories, leads to increasingly complex and original theater experiences, including the writing of skits and plays.
When they reach the Middle School, students read and study the works of great playwrights from ancient to modern times, including Aristophanes, William Shakespeare, Edmond Rostand, Oscar Wilde, George Bernard Shaw, Maxwell Anderson, Thornton Wilder, Lorraine Hansberry, and Carson McCullers. In recitation and elocution classes, they memorize and read poems and famous speeches and hold lively debates on current and relevant topics. This range of increasingly complex experiences culminates in the spring trimester when the middle schoolers write, produce, design, and perform an original play, with the theme drawn from what has captivated their interests in their studies, while at the same time conveying the particular group dynamics that evolved over the year.