RippKids stand out in a crowd because they have been training for this moment all of their lives.
From performing songs, poems, and skits in the familiarity of their own classrooms, to curriculum-based presentations in front of family and friends, to school-wide concerts and dramatic productions, the Performing Arts curriculum at RCS offers students at every grade level both a valuable opportunity for creative expression, and a proven means to develop the confidence that comes with feeling comfortable in front of an audience.
Student performances are integrated into the academic curriculum. In every grade, beginning with Junior PreKindergarten, students prepare and conduct performances that reflect the themes they have been working on in the classroom. During the earliest years of their education, it becomes second nature for our students to express themselves in front of an audience.
Students continue to benefit from an emphasis on public speaking in the classroom. In addition, opportunities for more professional levels of dramatic performance increase. Although all students are encouraged to participate, the performing arts program allows those students who particularly enjoy the stage to pursue this interest in greater depth.
Upper School Drama
Fifth through ninth graders will grow as artists and theater-makers as they ask key questions, broaden their theatrical lens, and create their own original work. The theater classroom is a joyful space in which students are encouraged to participate in open dialogue, explore and experiment, generate large amounts of theatrical material, and finally reflect on their processes and performances with intellect and kindness. Class time will be driven by students’ passions and curiosities onstage and off, with an emphasis on storytelling as a universal medium. Students will also have the opportunity to investigate various theatrical forms, such as Ancient Greco-Roman Theater, Global Theater and Performance Practices, and Applied Theater, contributing their invaluable artistic voices to critical conversations through the creation of new and exciting theater pieces.
Seventh, eighth, and ninth graders will have the opportunity to hone performance skills and delve deeper into a variety of acting techniques and modes of textual analysis in Actor’s Voice and Technique. Every actor has their own unique process and the aim of this course is to allow students to discover what works for them in an environment that encourages inclusivity and risk-taking. Our actor’s toolkit may include vocal projection, breathing, diction, warmups and cooldowns, text and scene work including Shakespeare and Stanislavski, monologue performance and audition prep, public speaking, and acting for musical theater. Our class ensemble will enjoy reading and discussing plays together and working through a broad selection of theatrical texts. No prior theater experience is necessary – only the desire to have fun and “speak the speech”!