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 theatrical 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 from effective communication in front of an audience.

JPK-Grade 4

In every grade, beginning with Junior PreKindergarten, student performances are integrated into the academic curriculum. RCS teachers lead students in singing, storytelling, and the creation of performances that reflect themes they discuss 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.

Grades 5-9

Students continue to grow from an emphasis on public speaking and group storytelling in the classroom. In addition, opportunities for professional levels of theatrical performance increase. Although all students are encouraged to participate, the Upper School Drama program provides a dedicated platform for students who have a strong passion for the stage, allowing them to pursue the principles of Theatre in greater depth.

Upper School Drama

Fifth through ninth graders will grow as artists and theatermakers as they broaden their knowledge of acting, design, playwriting, dramaturgy, and the production process. The theater classroom is a joyful space in which students are encouraged to participate in open dialogue, explore and experiment, generate original theatrical material, and reflect on their processes and performances with intellect and kindness. Students gain confidence, practice active listening, learn to recognize and understand different perspectives, and embark on a journey of self-discovery. Students will also have the opportunity to investigate various theatrical forms and performance traditions from around the world, contributing to the development of their personal aesthetic intelligence.

Seventh, eighth, and ninth graders will have the opportunity to enhance their performance skills and delve deeper into a variety of acting techniques and modes of textual analysis. Our curriculum will begin with an exploration of Stanislavski's system and progress towards a greater awareness of acting through techniques developed by Stella Adler, Sanford Meisner, and Uta Hagen, and an introduction to Practical Aesthetics and Viewpoints. Every actor has their own unique process and we encourage students to discover what works best for them in an environment that encourages inclusivity and bold choices. Our curriculum includes vocal projection and enunciation, breathing exercises, improvisational theatre games, monologue workshops, text analysis and scene work, audition prep, public speaking, Shakespeare, and acting for musical theatre. Each class ensemble will debate, collaborate, and bring a broad selection of theatrical texts to life.

Meet the Faculty

Franco Pedicini (Upper School Drama Director) teaches theatre history and guides students in the core principles of acting, scene study, playwriting, and devising. He directs the school productions and fosters an inspiring learning environment at RCS, encouraging students to explore movement and space, engage in improvisational theatre games, conduct text analysis, create characters, and expand their imaginations and creative potential through performance. Franco holds a B.A. in English Literature and Theatre from Stony Brook University, and an M.A. in Theatre from Hunter College. He is a member of Actors’ Equity, the Educational Theatre Association, and the American Alliance for Theatre & Education. Franco also teaches at the Neighborhood Playhouse School of the Theatre, home of Sanford Meisner’s acting technique.

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Rippowam Cisqua School
439 Cantitoe Street 
Bedford, NY 10506
phone: (914) 244-1250
Rippowam Cisqua School is a PreK-Grade 9 independent day school in Westchester County, New York. RCS offers challenging academics built on innovation, fine and performing arts, competitive athletics, wellness, leadership, service learning, and a wide selection of extracurricular activities.
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