Theatre - Performing Arts - McDonogh School


McDonogh's theatre program provides students with experiences that reveal their artistic passion and creativity. Students learn that theatre is not simply about performance, but rather about the process we go through in order to discover, refine, and tell stories. Students in all three divisions encounter theatre in a multitude of ways, with an ultimate goal of building artists who use theatrical tools to collaborate, problem-solve, and adapt to their world.

Lower School

In the Lower School, theatre is weaved into daily routines in a variety of ways. In Performing Arts class, students learn about character-study, perspective-taking, and creative expression, and they are encouraged to utilize those skills when performing in the classroom and on stage. Theatre is also a large part of annual performances put on by each grade level. These are often a theatrical culmination of work that is ongoing in their homerooms.

Middle School

Onstage, the Middle School performance arts course, covers basic acting and singing skills as well as familiarization with being in front of an audience. Students who have vocal and theatrical interests are introduced to all aspects of musical theatre. This class emphasizes skills that can be applied to all kinds of performance, such as voice development, stage presence, and personal expression. Students are also able to participate in the annual Middle School play, an extracurricular opportunity offered to any interested performer.

Upper School

McDonogh's Theatre Department helps students realize their potential for creative discovery by tapping into their inherent curiosity. Through a process-oriented approach in the studio classroom, the program focuses on the journey of turning self-exploration into dramatic expression. The program offers courses specific to theatre arts and others that are given in collaboration with faculty from the humanities and sciences, which emphasizes the collaborative, interdisciplinary nature of theatre.

Courses cover the basics of theatre arts to advanced, pre-conservatory training, and extracurricular productions range from classics to full-scale musicals to student-written plays. Productions are student-run. From set-design and lighting to running sound and calling shows, students are encouraged and expected to take full ownership of the production of each play.