Theatre

We don’t view theatre as a solely creative endeavor but a structured and methodical academic pursuit through a highly engaging theatre arts curriculum. While our instructors prepare students for a degree in performing arts or even a professional career, that is not the main objective of the program. Studies have shown a correlation between involvement in theatre and academic achievement, improved reading comprehension, better attendance, and greater self-esteem. Using theatrical learning, theatre students develop verbal and physical communication skills, collaboration, empathy, and diverse perspectives to gain the confidence to follow their passion wherever it may take them including, of course, the stage.

Theatre students learn theatrical history and develop technique through collaboration, tenacity of practice, work creation, community engagement, and innovations that reinvent the field. The 4-year and 8-year programs are structured sequentially to build on knowledge and previous learning. Theatre students participate in performances, productions, and portfolio exhibitions.

You do not have to be in the theatre arts program to enjoy a production. The ASA Theatre Department produces a play and musical each school year for all ASA students no matter their primary program. All students are invited to audition.  

Middle School Arts sequenceHigh School Theatre sequence

This is the first in the sequence of courses designed to provide a solid foundation for further and deeper study in high school and, at times, to augment what students learn in their academic classes.   Students are introduced to theatre performance, production, and history through ensemble building, dramatic texts, and an overview of the opportunities in theatre.

Prerequisites: None

Grades: 5th

The second level of instruction in theatre performance, production, and history focuses on story structure and bringing stories to life on stage through production.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval

Grades: 6th

The third level of instruction focuses on contemporary theatre performance, production, and history of contemporary works, both musical and non- musical. 

Prerequisites: Instructor approval

Grades: 7th

This, the fourth and final course in the middle sequence of classes, focuses on the early roots of musical theatre and classical non-musical theatre. 

Prerequisites: Instructor approval

Grades: 8th

This course provides an overview of the theatre experience and helps students determine interests and focus for subsequent levels. Students take two hours of Theatre Studies classes each day.  One class focuses on theatre performance and theatre history/literature.  The other is a semester of production and a semester of music theatre performance.

Prerequisites: None

Grades: 9th

The Production and Management program is designed for students interested in the study of theatre design and production.  Students study production stagecraft, stage and production management, and theatrical design including scenic, lighting, costumes, sound, props, hair and make-up, and other production elements through a combination of classroom and practical work.  Extracurricular experience is available through the department’s Mainstage productions.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval; evaluation required for incoming students

Grades: 10th/11th 

Musical Theatre Performance students take 2 courses daily to develop their acting and voice skills.

ACTING

The Musical Theatre Performance program is designed for students interested in acting and directing for musical theatre productions.  Students will focus on various performance methods and their histories, acting preparation, script/character analysis, and staging using a range of musical theatre texts.  Extracurricular production experience is available through the department’s Mainstage productions.

VOICE

This course focuses on vocal production, technique, health, and performance using a variety of solo, small group, and ensemble works from the musical theatre repertoire. This class incorporates the Somatic Voicework method by incorporating physical awareness, aural acuity, kinesthetic development and vocal freedom.  

Prerequisites: Instructor approval; evaluation required for incoming students

Grades: 10th/11th 

Theatre Performance students take 2 courses daily to develop their acting, directing, and performance fluidity.

ACTING AND DIRECTING

The Theatre Performance program is designed for students interested in acting and directing non-musical plays.  Students will focus on various performance methods and their histories, acting preparation, script/character analysis, and staging using a range of dramatic texts.  Extracurricular production experience is available through the department’s Mainstage productions. 

IMPROVISATION, VOICE, AND MOVEMENT

This course focuses on developing the actor’s creativity and expressive skills through improvisation, voice and movement work.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval; evaluation required for incoming students

Grades: 10th/11th

All senior Theatre majors come together to prepare post-secondary plans and create a fall presentation of songs, monologues, and presentations that students can use for auditions and interviews. The ensemble explores devising new work and creates an original work as a group capstone project. Students also take a survey course in a chosen focus area: Musical Theatre, Acting, or Production.

Prerequisites: Instructor approval; evaluation required for incoming students

Grades: 12th

Music and Movement is based on Dalcroze Eurhythmics instruction. It is a way of moving, experiencing, and learning music with the body. Students in this program experience and express music through movement, games, and social interactions through discovery-based learning. Students experience the music first, and then discover concepts that they can apply to any expressive practice. Music and Movement  encourages self expression, improvisation, and (above all) a joyful learning experience.

Students develop deep fundamentals with rhythm, pitch, and expression, and a strong baseline knowledge of musical concepts that translate exactly into music classes, ensembles, and personal practice. Students develop deeper abilities to move, control, and express with the body. Students increase ability to communicate verbally and non-verbally, follow visual and aural cues, and work as individuals and in an ensemble. Students work together in a safe, non-judgmental environment where experimentation and improvisation are encouraged and celebrated.

Music and Movement is in the Life Skills course rotation for all 5th and 6th grade students.

Prerequisites: None

Grades: 5th/6th

This program of performing arts preparatory study is designed and designated for students who are planning on professionally pursuing the performing arts, and who will be majoring in their specific area of artistic concentration in institutions of higher education. This course is designed to support students in the rigid and detailed college application and preparation process for performing artists. Students interested in the areas of arts performance, education, and therapy work with a mentor to work on the requirements to complete regular college applications alongside specific arts school applications, audition preparation and practice, and robust and challenging career-specific interviews. 

Prerequisites: Application and Interview

Grades: 12th

ASA Seniors have the opportunity to apply and earn this recognition from the Arizona Department of Education for inclusion on their ASA diploma. The Arizona Arts Proficiency Seal is awarded to graduating high school students who complete the Seal of Arts Proficiency Pathway through ASA.  The pathway is designed to celebrate students who complete a rigorous, standards-based, and high-quality arts education course of study throughout their high school education. All students select an arts teacher as their mentor to meet the requirements and complete an arts capstone project. Seniors have the opportunity to receive the Seal of Arts Proficiency in multiple disciplines.

Grades: 12th