The theatre program emphasizes meaningful process and excellent product. It encourages students to develop as creative, confident and proficient performers and students of theatre. Our comprehensive curriculum is designed to cater to both the casual and serious student of theatre.
Middle Division Theatre introduces students to the fundamentals of theatrical work. Students begin to learn the basic structures of theatrical performance through scripted material and improvisational exercises with a strong focus on confidence building and character design.
In the Upper Division Theatre program, students can choose from two different tracks of study. For those interested in Acting and/or Directing, 9th and 10th graders take Performance 1 and Performance 2, which include topics such as improvisation, visualization, scene study, script analysis, character work, and dramaturgy. For those interested in Design and/or Technical Theatre, we offer a class in this discipline as well. Students in Design and Technical Theatre can study and all aspects of the design and build process, working alongside industry professionals brought in to work on our mainstage productions.
For the serious student of theatre who wishes to pursue theatre in college or beyond, we offer Advanced Theatre Ensemble, a course offered to 11th and 12th graders, by audition only (or interview for directors, designers, or stage managers). Each student in this course works on both a mainstage and Stage 2 production, as well as an ensemble piece to be performed at Theatre Night at the end of the year. Recent mainstage titles have included Pride and Prejudice, You Can’t Take it With You, and The House of Bernarda Alba. Stage 2, performed in our newly renovated 99-seat black box theatre, is a largely student-created, designed, and produced experience in devised theatre, preparing students for the independent study of a university environment.
In addition to these mainstage and Stage 2 performances, the Upper Division Theatre program, in collaboration with the Choral and Instrumental programs, produces a large scale spring musical. Any Berkeley student is eligible to participate in this production. Recent productions include Legally Blonde and Into the Woods.