Drama at Portledge begins in the Lower School and offers students exposure to the fundamentals of the theatre. Weekly assemblies offer students the opportunity to demonstrate their talents, and provides invaluable lessons of public speaking and teamwork. The Lower School Holiday Play is a rich tradition at Portledge that brings the entire community together.

Theatre Arts

Throughout the Middle and Upper School years, the theatre program takes a more comprehensive look at the world of theatre, including the opportunity to perform the works of Shakespeare and dramatic plays. Our Middle School students participated in a Shakespeare festival after reading A Midsummer Night’s DreamMuch Ado About Nothing, or Romeo and Juliet. The students choose scenes that reach them in an individual way. Text analysis and character development are the primary goals of this project. The scenes are studied, blocked, and rehearsed. This project is based on the Shakespeare & Co. model as performed in the New England Shakespeare Festival. Students discover that the context of Shakespeare’s plays is best understood through performance.

Our Upper School students demonstrated their musical and acting talents in their performance of The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. The students elect to join the cast or the stage crew. Students may also create sets and costumes. Theatre Arts Scholars complete a set of requirements in all aspects of Portledge theatre to gain recognition at graduation.

Theatre is such an integral part of an educational institution. It encourages students to take risks, think critically, and to actively engage in the creative process. It offers students a fun and safe place, not only to develop theatre skills, but also skills they can use in any field they choose to pursue. Theatre helps students find their voice, and Portledge, which strongly supports the performing arts, is always striving to help students find that voice.

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