MV Theatre Arts is housed in the black box theatre known as The MV Actors' Lair. This theatre houses all Drama classes and is an extremely versatile play space for both instruction and performance. Most productions are held in the lab and are performed in the round. Working to a 360 degree house helps to develop the actors’ sense of space by forcing them to “play to the audience” at all times.
Each year the productions are chosen based on a theme to create learning experiences within the area of emphasis. The theme for the 2010-2011 school year is Variety. The following productions are being produced for the 2010-11 year:
- I Hate Shakespeare
- Nightfall with Edgar Allen Poe
At the middle school level, MV offers one Drama class; it is offered every 9 weeks as an elective and can be repeated. This course offers a general survey of theatre games, improvisation, script writing and group work.
At the high school level, there are currently three classes offered.
1. Drama – This skills based course provides a foundation for high school theatre. Students learn how to warm up for acting, improvisational techniques, and performance skills. They work on character development through monologue work, script memorization, performance, analysis and critique. The course also addresses theatre history from primitive peoples and biblical traditions through the theatre of specific countries and cultures. The students in this course perform for a public audience once per semester.
2. Advanced Drama – This skills based course picks up where the first course left off. In this course the challenge in character development is increased. Students work on one one-act play per semester and attend the fall and spring open houses as actors. The course addresses theatre history from Medieval through 18th Century theatre. Throughout the duration of this course, students are required to compare, analyze and critique plays and movies. They perform once per semester at the Drama Showcase.
3. Drama Production Workshop – This is the most advanced theatre arts class on campus. This class operates on a rigorous schedule of wide ranging participation in all areas of theatre production. The students gain experience both on and off stage through acting; improvisation; set and costume design; light, sound and backstage crew work; and theatre appreciation. They are responsible to be cast and/or crew for the fall play, the spring musical and all showcases. They also perform during the fall Campus Day event. Students in this class are expected to be reliable, responsible and professional. This class has an intense performance component and will require some after school rehearsals. It is run like a college level theatre arts production class.