2021-2022 Highlander Theatre Season
An Overview of Theatre Arts
Theatre Arts Instructor: Charles Jabour
The SPS Theatre Arts program provides Somerville students with the tools to grow as communicators, collaborators, and creative thinkers through active engagement in the study, development, and production of live theatre. Theatre provides a place where every student can succeed. Through collaboration, every student is valued for the unique perspective that they bring to the creative process. With such a wide array of opportunities - from designing, building, and production management to acting, writing, and directing - there are so many ways for every learner to thrive.
Somerville High School Theatre Arts
Somerville High School currently offers the following courses in Theatre Arts. Each course explores new material every term and may be taken multiple times for academic credit.
Introduction to Musical Theatre: Explore the history of the American Musical and its various forms from operetta to currently running musicals on Broadway. Students will have the choice of concentrating on performance technique or musical production. Students concentrating on performance will learn foundational vocal technique and the musical theatre style; students concentrating on production will focus on the business and technical roles in a musical. All students will have the opportunity to apply these techniques to a live musical performance.
Fundamentals of Acting: Students in Fundamentals of Acting will explore the study of acting, from the various interpretations of the Stanislavski “method” to performance styles and techniques such as improvisation, voice/dialects, and movement for the actor. Students will study and perform in monologues and scenes from classic and contemporary plays and will learn basic audition techniques. Students will also have the opportunity to showcase their work in a live performance at the end of the term.
Introduction to Theatre: This is a great course for students with an interest in theatre, but don’t know where to begin! In Introduction to Theatre, we will explore a little bit of everything. Students will learn the basics of how to read and discuss a play, and exploring the many roles that go into mounting a full production, from acting, directing, and writing, to lighting, sound, props, and costumes. At the end of the term, students will have the opportunity to step into the director’s chair of their very own production.
Theatre and Society: This advanced course explores the social and political roles that theatre has played in history. Students will learn about various social movements by exploring the theatre created in response to those movements. Students will explore how political theatre continues to evolve and activate audiences today. The course will culminate in an original piece of theatre, created by the students, that addresses a contemporary issue or issues important to the Somerville High School Community. Students may decide if they want to earn 2.5 Theater Credits or 2.5 Social Studies Credits when they enroll in the course.
Technical Theatre and Design: This is a great course for students interested in working backstage! In Technical Theatre and Design, students will learn about the various technical roles involved in producing a play or musical. Topics will include: Stage, Management, Producing, Lighting Design, Set Design, Sound Design, Costume Design and Makeup Design. At the end of the term, students will have the opportunity to complete and present their own design. The final project in this course may be used for college portfolios and festival submissions.
Playwriting and Composition: This course introduces students to the discipline of playwriting. Students will learn the fundamentals of play structure and composition, as well as the functional tools necessary to produce a playscript. Elements for playwriting will include narrative structure, crafting dialogue, formatting your script, copyright, and “pitching” your script. Students will leave the course haven written an original short play which may be featured during an evening of stage readings produced by the Highlander Theatre Company.
The Highlander Theatre Company
Every Somerville High School student is eligible to participate after-school with the Highlander Theatre Company (HTC), the resident theatre company of Somerville High School. Established in 2017 as an expansion of the Musical and Drama Clubs at Somerville High School, the mission of the Highlander Theatre Company is to create the opportunity for every Somerville High School student to participate in the creation, production, and performance of live theatre. For more information on this year’s HTC season, visit www.highlandertheatre.org.
Middle School Students Theatre Arts
The emerging middle school Theatre program was piloted during the 2018-2019 school year. The John F. Kennedy School is currently offering a weekly Introduction to Theatre elective for students in grades 7 and 8, and workshops are being planned across the district.
All SPS 7th and 8th graders are eligible to participate after-school in the district’s first All-City Middle School Musical, which will meet weekly at Somerville High School beginning in March 2019 and be presented in June 2019. Stay tuned to this page and district newsletters for more announcements about the All City Middle School Musical.
Winter Hill Community Innovation School
The Winter Hill Community Innovation School offers theatre to all its students as a fifth specialist class. Students approach theatre through movement, character development, story development, and writing.