Acting Skills I

9th Grade: 8 weeks arts intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Gallegos

This course introduces the students to the fundamentals of theatre in preparation for subsequent work in full-scale theatrical productions. Students work with the classic theater preparatory exercises that prepare the actor for scene and stage work, thereby developing the confidence needed for stage acting, as well as a foundational understanding of theater as a collaborative art.

Topic Areas
  • Nomenclature of the theater & performance space
  • Working with the voice & its projection
  • Stage movement
  • Stage directions
  • Text Analysis
  • Building a character
  • Performing a monologue
  • Presenting a scene

Acting & Tech Skills II

10th Grade: 4 weeks arts intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Gallegos

This course continues work with the theatrical skills developed in 9th grade Acting Skills I but now in preparation for the 10th grade play. In addition to more advanced character development and acting skills work, the course adds technical theater skills.

Topic Areas
  • Voice & movement
  • Principles of set, costume, lighting & makeup design & construction
  • Text Analysis
  • Building a character
  • Assistant to the director
  • Promoting a production
  • Stage Managing

10th & 12th Grade Class Plays

10th & 11th Grades: 4 weeks main lesson & post-main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Gallegos

The class play is one of artistic and social highlights of a Waldorf high school education. Every 10th and 12th grade produces and performs a full-scale theatrical production before the school community as part of their core curriculum. The play selected is chosen to meet the interests and talents of the class performing it. Whether acting in a lead or supporting role or working behind the scenes as a costume, set, lighting designer or technician, each member of the class carries creative responsibility for the success of the production.

Comedy and Tragedy

9th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Gallegos

This course introduces the students to the archetypal, literary polarities of comedy and tragedy through the study of the origins and development of dramatic literature as a foundation of theatre as a performance art over the course of western civilization. Attention progresses from the Greek and Roman theatre, through the Medieval Mystery Plays, Renaissance Commedia Dell ‘Arte, the Elizabethan and English Restoration period, and the modern play. Within this context the students read Oedipus Rex by Sophocles, A Midsummer Night’s Dream by William Shakespeare, A Raisin in the Sun by Lorraine Hansberry, as well as short excerpts from more recent plays. The specific focus areas of the course are:

Topic Areas
  • The Religious Origins of Greek Theatre
  • The Aristotelian Elements
  • Roman Contributions
  • Commedia dell’ Arte and the Renaissance Revival
  • Evolution of the Physical Structure of the Theatre
  • Understanding Shakespearean Language
  • Defining Realism in the Theatre
  • Lifting a dramatic text from page to stage

Shakespeare’s “Hamlet”

11th Grade: 4 weeks main lesson intensive; UC “a-g” approved course
Instructor: Mr. Gallegos

This course intensively works with Hamlet as a starting point for examining fundamental, existential questions arising from modern consciousness. It focuses on the historical and dramaturgical significance of the play, the conventions of Elizabethan theater, the political, social and aesthetic forces that shaped the play, Shakespeare’s role in radically transforming dramatic writing and laying the foundations for a new type of theater, and as a pre-text for a performance. Specific attention is given to how the poet worked with the classical elements of dramaturgy and how the contemporary actor can work with the text.

Topic Areas
  • Life of Shakespeare and English Renaissance theater
  • Working with a dramatic text
  • Hearing & speaking the text
  • Performance or research groups
  • Analytic essay writing
  • Individual & group scene work