• theater


Middle School

List of 5 items.

  • Eighth Grade

    In Eighth Grade, students are exposed to fundamentals of playwriting, directing techniques, and performance production. Students take on the roles of director, set designer, costume designer, and light designer. In the first half of the trimester, students create an original monologue with a partner and perform for their teacher and classmates. In the last half of trimester, students direct, rehearse, and perform established and original scenes in class. Through examining and experiencing other aspects of theater production students have the opportunity to connect with different parts of the creative process. Oftentimes students who typically would not characterize themselves as actors find that they are drawn to the directing and or playwriting portions of this class.
  • Seventh Grade

    In Seventh Grade students learn theatre history from a world perspective, from Greek Theatre to Elizabethan Renaissance to Asian Theatre to American Theater. Students are immersed in commedia dell’arte, improvisational comedy first developed in Renaissance Italy that involved stock characters and centered on a set scenario. The elements of farce and buffoonery in commedia dell’arte, as well as its standard characters and plot intrigues, have had a tremendous influence on comedy, stretching from Shakespeare to Homer Simpson. Students then portray stock commedia characters such as the “good-natured fool,” “miserly master,” “cowardly military officer,” and “sassy servant,” thus, allowing students to make a visceral and kinesthetic connection between the theater of the past to the theater of today.
  • Sixth Grade

    In Sixth Grade, students begin to explore the fundamentals of acting and modern dance. Through improvisation exercises, students learn to work in an ensemble, to expand their physical and vocal abilities, to make interesting acting choices, to analyze scenes, to create believable characters, and to trust their instincts. Students will have the opportunity to explore the elements of dance, develop dance technique, create, collaborate, and choreograph. This class sets the stage for Middle School students’ drama and dance experiences as they move through the Middle School, both in the classroom and in school productions.
  • Theater E-lectives

    The Bush Middle School drama department produces plays via the E-lective program each fall and spring. 
  • Theater E-Weeks

    During E-Week each May, Bush Middle School students have the opportunity to dive deep into one topic for a week (or more!). Theater-based E-Weeks have included:
    • Ashland (attend four Oregon Shakespeare Festival plays, participate in design and performance workshops, and examine the history and context of plays)

Upper School

List of 2 items.

  • Sample Courses

    Acting I
    Acting II
    Advanced Acting: Shakespeare
    Building and Design
    Introduction to Theater Arts
    Makeup for the Stage
    Performing Comedy
    Public Speaking
    Scene Study
    Stage Combat
    Staged Reading
    Theater Performance
    Theater Technology
  • Theater Cascades

    The Bush School divides the Upper School program into fall and spring semesters, and two three-week Cascades terms occur at the end of each semester. The winter Cascades term runs the first three weeks in January, while the spring Cascades term runs for three weeks in May. During each Cascade, students take a single interdisciplinary course of study, led by interdepartmental teaching teams. These thematic immersive experiences are comprised of students across all grade levels. Cascades are academically engaging, challenging, and require students to grapple with complex problems and face real-life challenges both on and off campus.

    Theater Cascades may include:

    Embodying Shakespeare's Voice
    •  This Cascade will be an investigation into the history, the sources, the aesthetics, the contemporary milieu and relevance of William Shakespeare’s plays in a modern context. We will watch plays, do research, and explore a variety of theatrical exercises as we reach into the vibrancy of his language and learn to embody it through acting out various characters in selected scenes. 
    Interactive Theater for Social Change
    • In the Interactive Theater process, students collaborate to write plays based on their own life experiences and then perform these plays for small audiences in an interactive way. In the first iteration of the play, there is a hurtful or oppressive event that is not resolved. Then, audience members are invited to join the performers on stage and re-create the story to produce different outcomes. Instead of talking about how to make change, audience members actively try out different ways of resolving the problem. This takes participants out of their “heads” and into direct experience, giving both actors and audience members important insights about themselves and the systems that we all live in. 

Recent Productions