In keeping with Lee Academy’s motto, “Opening Doors to the World”, we are excited to announce an expansion of our Theatre Arts program for the upcoming school year. According to renowned theatre critic, director and author Robert Cohen, “one of the greatest movements in current theatre is a growing internationalism… drama has the capacity to serve as a vehicle for cross-cultural awareness”. In this same vein, Dramatic Arts afford us an opportunity to celebrate diversity in cultural norms and traditions, especially relevant within Lee Academy’s multi-national framework.
Theatre Arts, in the high school setting, fosters an awareness of foreign languages including Greek, French and Italian, as well as introducing the student to our most ancient form of literature, the dramatic play. According to a 2007 Harvard University study, Drama encourages student creativity and self expression that enhances success in other academic areas. Theatre involves the student in a form of oral presentation that instills poise, confidence and public speaking skills.
Theatre Arts Philosophy
Lee Academy is a small, private high school offering a comprehensive Theatre Arts program. It is designed to give students the opportunity to experience all aspects of the theatre, from audition to performance. Class offerings include Introduction to Acting, Advanced Acting, Stagecraft , and Playwriting, with several new courses currently being developed.
Introduction to Theatre
Aids the beginning actor in developing his/her skills through warm ups, proper vocal technique and theatre games. Students will become acquainted with contemporary and traditional dramatic text. Emphasis is on exploring fundamental acting techniques, including improvisation, visualization and memorization.
Designed to move the beginning actor forward. Monologues will be performed in differing styles, exploring both behavioral and character choices. Actors will work on the intense analysis of scenes through the breakdown of entrances, exits, characterization, and playwright intentions.
Students learn all aspects of technical theatre, the “backstage” experience so to speak. Focus is on set design, costumes, lights and makeup. Students explore how each of these elements contribute to the overall theatrical experience.
Actor’s Voice and Movement
Focuses on all the physical aspects of speech and body movement. Emphasis is on the effective use of vocalization to communicate through text. Students learn the expressive potential of their bodies in communicating ideas and emotions on the stage.
Teaches the proper way to format a script, combining correct craft with inherent talent. Students read and interpret both traditional and contemporary scripts of various genres. The scriptwriting process, from introduction to rewrites to polished script, is explored, culminating in an original one act play.
Essential Cinema Studies
Presents films that represent all eras of Hollywood and independent filmmaking. By watching and analyzing these films, students learn about historical events that shaped the movie industry and our American culture at large. The class culminates in a student produced short film, modeling a specific genre of study.
About Mrs. Parker
Candace Parker holds a B.A. in Theatre / Communication and English from Boise State University, Boise, Idaho. She spent many years as a performer in productions including Fiddler on the Roof, The Glass Menagerie, and All American Girl.
As both a teacher and director for the past 15 years, she finds personal satisfaction in introducing young people to the world of the stage. Since taking over the theatre department at Lee Academy, enrollment has increased significantly, prompting the introduction of several new drama courses, including Advanced Acting and Stagecraft. Under her direction, musical theatre has once again become a part of the extracurricular landscape at L.A. where recent productions having included Grease, Footloose, Peter Pan, All Shook Up, Beauty and the Beast, and Into the Woods.
Mrs. Parker is probably most proud of the influence the theatre department has had on recent graduates, several of whom are currently majoring and/or directly involved in theatre at the college level.