Douglas Anderson’s Theatre Department mirrors the school’s mission statement by providing an environment in which students develop a passion for the art form based on an understanding and appreciation of theatre and its impact on the audience. Beginning in the ninth grade, our staff teaches about the nobility and importance of theatre and its power to change lives.
In the classroom, the process of the art form and an analytical approach to text mark the cornerstone of the curriculum. This process-centered method provides children an opportunity to explore and attain a more profound knowledge of who they are and of their world. They investigate the environment of the play, analyze characters and plays, and identify the objectives and motivations of the characters. They learn to tap their own inner resources in a safe environment where they can take imaginative and creative risks. Students are expected to study through scene work, design work, and analyze the great literature of present day, and of the past.
Theatre is an ensemble art form; intensive group work is an integral part of the process. Students discover through group exercises to trust and learn from one another, to share ideas and build on each other’s perceptions, and, to ultimately create art of their own. All of our classes are designed to foster the use of higher-level critical thinking skills.
With this approach, we find that our Department consistently produces talented, highly trained artists with a passion for their art form. Not all of our students continue in theatre, but more than 95% go on to college. Our students are qualified and equipped to compete on a national level with the most gifted teenagers in the country.