Waterford’s theater department instructs students to become technical masters of the art as well as to open emotionally, physically and intellectually to creative inspiration. Through classes in acting, voice, movement, and dramatic literature and theory, students develop as confident actors. Theater helps students navigate personal challenges by providing them with the tools and space for self-expression. Students are celebrated for being vulnerable and taking risks–to that end, students are encouraged to audition for school productions and engage with performance opportunities when available.
For years, I have watched Waterford students hold the most profound words ever written in their mouths, like white-hot coal. I’ve watched the meanings of those words ignite their bodies. And I’ve wondered: can they possibly comprehend that fire? Year after year, they show me that they can. And when they leave Waterford, they carry it with them to light the way into the unknown.
The Waterford Theater Department is structured as an actor training program. The core curriculum includes two terms each of Acting, Movement, and Voice, for a total of six terms (two years). Courses in Acting Shakespeare, Dramatic Literature and Theory, and Auditions are also offered. The program is production-centered, meaning we place a high value on student engagement with the great plays of the theatrical canon through performance. To that end, we produce three plays each year (one per term), one of which is a Shakespeare play.
Each spring, students from Classes IV and V may audition for the Lower School Play. Past productions include Rip Van Winkle, Where the Wild Things Are, Crow and Weasel, The Chalk Circle, and many more.