“Theatre at Roland Park has not only instilled in me a love and appreciation for the performing arts, but it has given me the confidence and ability to believe in myself, and for that I will always be grateful.”
Whether it’s on the proscenium stage in the spacious and well-equipped Sinex Theater or on the smaller stage in our Tyler Studio lab space, the productions at RPCS are student driven, guided by our three talented and experienced full time theatre faculty members. A wide range of theatre professionals are also frequently found on campus collaborating with our theatre staff, conducting workshops, guest lecturing and mentoring students in all aspects of acting, design and production. Students attend many theatrical productions off campus, often experiencing the work of professionals with whom they have trained at RPCS. The RPCS Theatre program celebrates the theatrical arts as an active forum for exploring issues of self, community, diversity, human dignity and respect for the world.
Beginning in sixth grade, students experience a series of core classes creating the foundation from which they build an extensive working knowledge of the theatre. They explore improvisation and theater games, monologue preparation and performance, along with stage vocabulary. Their first year of study culminates in a “Sixth Grade Drama Showcase” performed for family and friends. In the seventh grade the study of theatre continues, studying character analysis, scene preparation, headshots and resumes, audition techniques and cold readings. In the eighth grade, girls have the opportunity to expand their acting skills and build upon their theatrical foundation. This drama course allows the girls a wonderful opportunity to perform in a showcase for the entire middle school, as well as family and friends.
Each February the Middle School Musical offers students an opportunity to experience the collaborative creative effort that is crucial to any production. Students from RPCS and Gilman School audition for roles in this fully produced full length musical. Rehearsals occur over an eight week period, culminating in a final performance weekend that is open to the public.
Theatre thrives in the Upper School, with many class offerings in a wide variety of theatrical studies. Students are provided with the opportunity to delve more deeply into their basic theatre skills and knowledge. Additionally, the Upper School presents four fully produced shows every year, two in the Sinex Theatre and two in the Tyler Studio lab space. In the fall, the Theatre, Dance and Music Departments come to together to create a large scale auditioned musical production. In the spring, the Theatre Department produces an auditioned non-musical play. The spring plays range from the classical to the contemporary and from the traditional to the experimental, striving to vary the styles to enable the students to experience a wide variety of theatrical styles during their years at RPCS.
This class is comprised of a select group of junior and senior actors, designers, directors, stage managers and technicians are chosen to create a collective ensemble. Each year, the ensemble performs two productions in the Tyler Studio Theater. First semester, ensemble members write, direct, design and perform a fully produced evening of one-acts. Second semester, the ensemble creates another production of their choosing. Additionally, this class attends six professional productions throughout the year.
Training begins in the Middle School as our students practice appropriate safety precautions while using the tools in our well-equipped scene shop, constructing platforms, walls, stairs, or other specialty elements that the shows require. Under the watchful eye of our full time Technical Director, students take great pride in the hands-on creation of every tech aspect of the show. They hang lights, paint scenery, run the light board and spotlights, assist with wireless microphones and running the sound board, and stage manage the rehearsals and run of the production.
Membership in ITS is equated with an honor society membership in the Performing Arts, it is granted to students for the demonstration of a commitment to excellence in theatre arts.