Drama is an extracurricular activity offered to all sixth through twelfth graders. Each year, several plays or musicals are produced by an all-student cast. Theater allows students to develop life skills such as confidence, poise, communication, and teamwork.
The CES High School Theatre Program seeks to lay a foundation for multidisciplinary practice in theater and performing arts and encourage and challenge young people through training and performance. We offer multiple opportunities to participate as performers or as crew for our two productions, the CES Playback Improvisational ensemble, the theatre and performance class production and for our speech team. Whether or not students wish to pursue studies in theatre arts after high school, the skills our students develop in problem-solving, leadership, expressiveness, and teamwork are invaluable. The theater and performance classes develop vocal and physical expressiveness, action-oriented acting technique, improvisation, mask character improvisation, acting classical text, musical theater, monologue, scene study, playwriting, and theatre composition. The Theatre Tech and Costuming courses complete the program. Our students are the designers building the sets, making the costumes, lighting the stage and checking the sound. Under the supervision of our directors and faculty the students of CES are the leads in every aspect of our productions.
We are a charter member of the International Thespian Society Troupe 8387 and attend both state and national conferences where students take workshops, present monologues, and meet with other theatre enthusiasts all over the country.
Theatre and Performance I
Course Description: The purpose of Theatre and Performance I is to provide core skills in theatre and live performance as an expressive and powerful art form. This class takes a multi-disciplinary approach and offers a broad perspective of the history, literature, and creative practices of the discipline. Students engage in multiple levels of production, direction, writing for the stage, composition and elements of design with an emphasis on performance. Performer training includes vocal and physical development, character mask improvisation, scene study and monologue crafting, classical text analysis and performance, narrative improvisation, as well as adaptation of multiple genres for the stage. The class will develop a full performance production at the end of the Spring Semester and will have shorter, individual and small group performance projects throughout the school year.
Theatre and Performance II
Course Description: Advanced theatre class offers continued performer training and development in voice, diction, movement, improvisation; character mask work, musical theater, script analysis; Stanislavsky-based scene study; Technique for focus and imagination; monologue crafting; dramatic writing and adaptation; re-visioning process for writing and staging; object theatre; Viewpoints for performance composition; direction; scene study, character analysis, classical theatre textual analysis, acting for the camera, and building of audition repertoire including preparation of portfolio for college auditions and applications. Seniors will have a senior project to be performed during the spring semester. The advanced class has the voluntary option to participate in Thespian Festival in a showcase performance.
Theatrical Costume Design and Beginning Execution
This beginning level costume design and workshop course is designed for students with an interest in theatrical design and exploring the depths of costume design, construction and application. Students will develop and craft designs based on script, directorial concepts as well as character analysis. Students will learn through exercises using the skills of research, design concept, rendering and execution. Foundation skills include accurate historical reference and the psychological influence of costuming in a production. Rendering of designs will be used to present and communicate during this process. Construction skills include basic sewing construction, pattern making and use and beginning crafting of armature for costuming beyond apparel. Students in this course will lend support the costuming needs of CES performances when applicable and also accept the challenge exercises to build a solid beginning foundation in costume design.
Theatre Tech I
This course examines Theatrical stage set design and construction, costume design and production, finishing techniques, stage equipment uses and safety, scene shop equipment uses and safety. Technical theater includes design and use of intelligent lighting and computer controlled lighting, stage sound techniques and practices including use of wireless microphones and sound effects, special effects and backstage crew practices and safety. Under the guidance of faculty this class designs and produces the scenery, lighting, special effects and sound for school productions. No prior construction experience necessary. Students work hand in hand with our directors and casts.
Theater Tech II
Advanced Technical Theater is a continued course of study in the design and production elements of theater. Students will build upon and refine their skills in scenic design and construction, sound and lighting, and work as members of the crew for performances. Students are encouraged to specialize in a particular discipline of design and production roles taking charge of lighting cues, sound equipment and stage management. This course supports all school productions.
Successful completion of these courses fulfills CES High School and LA State High School credit requirements in the Fine Arts.