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Marjorie Duffield, Upper School Theater Teacher
Margie, Upper School theater teacher

The Upper School Theater curriculum focuses on developing student voice and self-expression in a collaborative environment. In performing arts classes, students are asked to connect with who they are and expand their empathy and understanding of themselves and others – and then, to express that understanding in a new way. The hope is that through the arts, they can rewrite the world and fill it with the stories needed for their future. 

In playwriting and comedy writing classes, students develop their evolving ideas into written pieces. Through the study of literature, the history of comedy and comedic tropes, dramatic structure and human nature, students craft their original themes, characters and stories into comedy sketches, 10-minute plays, one-act plays and musicals. These works are drafted and workshopped through a collaborative process where students develop and shape their ideas to completion. 

The acting and directing classes and the Silent Film in Performance class are also about understanding self while intensely exploring, articulating and shaping self-expression. Though this may look like a performance in the room or an original film, the process required to get there asks the student to examine themselves, their environment, and the moment in time and history in which they are living. Even the Public Speaking class is a study of human nature and history, and the connections we can draw to ourselves. At the root of all the performing arts classes is training in practical performance tools. From improv, movement, acting and vocal technique, to directing, writing for performance and filmmaking, students learn the architecture of various mediums in order to express their ideas and to establish their voice.

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