Drama

Drama is a vital part of our arts curriculum and is offered to all students from Pre-K through 8th grade.  Our goal is to give students a positive experience while building self confidence and craftsmanship for life-long learning.  Drama engages the imagination, develops conceptual, kinesthetic, emotional and social skills, and allows students to discover their own creative potential.  By utilizing the National Core Arts Standards as the basis for our Drama curriculum at ASB, we ensure that students are receiving the highest quality standards based arts education we can offer.

Drama has a dedicated space housed in the Performing Arts Center on campus.  It offers students learning stations for creative play, space for rehearsal and small performances, and new and expanded instructional space for intermediate and middle school drama activities.  Students in Pre-K through 5th grade have Drama class once each week. Middle school students attend Drama classes during one trimester as part of their middle school arts rotation.  Middle School students also have the opportunity to participate in two fully staged productions each school year as the ASB Theatre Ensemble and join the ASB Junior Thespians

Goals

  • Enables students to discover their creative abilities.
  • Inspires students to strive for excellence.
  • Exposes students to a variety of artistic mediums that challenge them to discover new ideas and perspectives.
  • Enhances other areas of learning.
  • Enriches creativity and artistic collaboration.

Discovery with Drama: Grades PK-2

Stories allow students to use their imagination while teaching children about our world, its people, cultures, and traditions. Stories in Drama inspire creative play and motivate students to explore ethical, social, and community issues.  Students love to bring stories to life by recreating characters and favorite moments, so we utilize process drama, story drama, and creative play to teach performance skills that foster both creativity and self-awareness.

Explorations through Drama: Grades 3-5

Drama uses a variety of artistic skills in the creative process including:  mime, improvisation, voice, movement, character development, directing and performance. These skills are learned and developed in a variety of ways including games, activities and various performances. With its emphasis on 21st century learning skills, Drama is integrated into school-wide learning goals and expectations: Reader’s Theatre and Story Structure (3rd grade), Collaborating to Create Imaginary Worlds (4th grade), and Exploring Social Justice Issues through Drama (5th grade).

Theatre Arts: Grades 6-8

Middle school students focus on the theatrical process of taking an idea, character and/or story, and bringing it to life on stage using a variety of techniques and methods. We continually build on our performance skills working on various activities and projects throughout the trimester:  Middle School Theatre Arts courses, in compliance with NCAS Arts Standards, are designed to give students a secure understanding of fundamental theatre concepts, skills, and vocabulary and multiple opportunities to apply theatre skills and techniques to performance. To accomplish this, students will engage in a learning process that emphasizes the following 21st Century Learning Skills: collaboration, communication, and growth mind-set. By collaborating to hypothesize, examine, analyze and connect ideas and their applications to performance processes, students will establish common goals and work together to achieve them.

Theatre process
Students have the opportunity to explore their own experiences and create imagined solutions to real-life problems.
Theatre skills
Students gain tools to meaningfully explore and effectively share our ideas with others.
Professional Ethics
Students learn skills that are necessary for creating a safe and nurturing artistic environment.
 
6th Grade
Students take a journey into the origins of western theatre by performing in a Greek Drama Festival each year.  We explore how theatre artists adapt stories into dramatic presentations.  By immersing ourselves in the world of Greek theatre, in which theatre was both sacred ritual and political forum, we’ll expand our understanding of theatre’s ability to communicate and transform.   In order to inhabit the worlds of our Greek plays, we will explore how actors use carefully chosen physical, vocal, and psychological choices to communicate character.
 
7th Grade
Students discover the world of William Shakespeare by studying his life, colorful characters and masterful plays. They will also experience Viewpoints training, an actor training technique that builds ensemble, improves listening skills and develops authentic responses.  After acquainting ourselves with Shakespeare’s stories, we will use a variety of discussion formats to examine the structure and components of Shakespeare’s language. We will use context and inference to decode verse, examine how meaning is embedded in meter, interpret and use Elizabethan stage directions, explore Elizabethan movement and manners, and discover how punctuation and structure reveal the logic in Shakespeare’s speeches. The goal of 7th grade drama is to ensure fluency in reading and understanding Shakespeare’s language.
 
8th Grade
Students work collaboratively to integrate previously learned theatre and presentation skills to refine, enhance, and magnify ease and execution of public speaking skills. Using strengths and interests as a basis for generating both choice and material, students examine how rhetorical practices can be applied to all of 8th grade leadership tasks: lectoring at church, interviewing for high schools, speaking to groups of younger students, and excelling in classroom assignments that require oral presentation. The goal of our work is to equip us all with the oral presentation skills required by this exciting 8th grade year and to prepare students for success in high school as speakers and presenters.
 

About the National Core Arts Standards:

The National Core Arts Standards emphasize the process-oriented nature of the arts and arts learning that guide the continuous and systematic operations of instructional improvement by:

  • Defining “artistic literacy” through a set of overarching philosophical foundations and lifelong goals that clarify long term expectations for arts learning.
  • Placing Artistic Process and Anchor Standards in the forefront of the work
  • Identifying Creative Practices as the bridge for the application of the Artistic Processes across all learning.
  • Specifying “Enduring Understandings” and “Essential Questions” that provide conceptual through-lines and articulate value and meaning within and across arts disciplines.
  • Providing Model Cornerstone Assessments of Student Learning aligned to Artistic Processes.
 

NCAS Artistic Process:

  1. Create: Conceive and Develop new artistic ideas and work
  2. Perform: Realize artistic ideas and work through interpretation and presentation
  3. Respond: Understand and evaluate how the arts convey meaning.
  4. Connect: Relate artistic ideas and work with personal meaning and external context
For information about the National Core Arts Standards, please go to:  http://www.nationalartsstandards.org/