The upper school theatre program at Trinity Valley School is designed to give students opportunities to grow personally as well as professionally. Under the direction of two full-time faculty members, students not only act but also design and build sets, lighting, sound, props, and costumes. In addition, they work as choreographers and, as seniors, have the possibility to direct their own show.
Classes are offered as part of the curriculum during the school day, while an after-school drama program allows students to work for credit as an extracurricular activity. Facilities and equipment are state of the art in the TVS theatre department, on par with that used in professional theaters around the country.
Four full productions (including one musical) are done by the TVS upper school each year in one of the three performance spaces on campus. Plays are selected with the intention of exploring the range of human emotions and with the hope of examining current social and moral issues. Wrestling with the "stuff of life" is a goal for TVS actors and audience members alike. This often means choosing performance material that stretches students to go beyond their comfort zones where they are encouraged to take risks in an environment that is safe and supportive, while at the same time challenging and exciting. This is where real growth of all kinds can---and does--take place!
Annual participation in the Texas Educational Theatre Association Convention and the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest Fine Arts Festival is an important part of the program. Moreover, the School has a chapter of The International Thespian Society where students may accumulate point credits for work done on individual productions.
This course offers a survey of the world of theater while focusing on the personal development of each student as an actor and a human being. Using games and exercises, the students are guided through the creative process, where they are challenged to stretch their imaginations, focus their creative energies, and by working alone or in groups, bring their characters to life.
Throughout the fifth- and sixth-grade years, students are invited to Drama Club during their activity periods as well as after school on Wednesdays and Fridays. Fifth- and sixth-grade curriculum is comprised of games and exercises by masters such as Uta Hagen, Viola Spolin, and Kristin Linklater. Each game or exercise builds skills and empowers the child’s confidence and abilities. There is a Drama Club production each year where students are able to showcase their newly acquired skills.
The seventh- and eighth-grade students receive daily instruction in their Creative Dramatics course, which is part of the fine arts rotation. Seventh-grade highlights include a survey of the classical theatre and production of a play based on a Greek Myth. The eighth-grade class delves into the world of the Elizabethan theatre and William Shakespeare: his life, his time, his words, his plays, and his theater. Favorites include monologues, scenes, and the ever-popular stage combat!
Each year the seventh and eighth grades are invited to produce a full Broadway musical. Our production standards are high, and the creative process is palpable as we build community through this shared vision and common goal. Many students believe that middle school is not complete unless they are involved in the middle school musical!