Stagecraft: Behind the Scenes at "Into The Woods"
Improv Workshop is an elective for 11th and 12th graders (ninth and 10th with instructor approval). Students will learn short and long form improvisation, and become part of an improv team to ultimately perform shows. Students will also learn about how the skills that are important to good improvisation directly apply to better communication and collaboration experiences outside the classroom. Group projects in sketch comedy will provide an opportunity for students to test their collaborative skills, and individual projects in public speaking will offer students the chance to apply communication skills to create dynamic presentations.
Introduction to Theater
This course is an exploration of acting craft and styles through the reading and performance of selected works of important playwrights. Students discover—through script analysis, theater games, improvisation, and rehearsals—the skills needed to perform and critique scenes and monologues. Students are also introduced to the work of leading actors, directors, and screenwriters.
Prerequisite: Introduction to Theater
An introduction to acting on the stage and in front of the camera. The course helps each student discover talents and creative strengths. Emphasis is on ensemble as well as individual performance skills. Classes involve theater games, improvisation, scripted monologues, scene work, and instruction in movement, relaxation, voice, and speech.
Acting II: The Well-Rounded Actor
Prerequisite: Entry to this advanced level course is by teacher approval only
In the advanced acting course, students will study a variety of acting methods employed by professional actors while creating original scripted and improvisational material.
Specifically, students will learn breath and voice work, articulation and diction, physical awareness and movement, text analysis, stage combat, and ensemble work. Students will develop short scripted plays as well as improvisational work to be showcased every quarter in a coffee house-style production. Students will also attend several shows in New York as well as four of the Riverdale main stage shows.
Technical Theater I
An introduction to the concepts and safe working practices of Technical Theater including stagecraft, lighting, sound, and costumes. Students will learn these skills via a combination of lectures and projects. All students will be trained on the proper and responsible use of the tools of technical theater, and will be required to contribute 10 hours outside of class time per semester either working in the shop or serving on the run crew of RCS productions. Additionally, students will be required to attend and critique RCS theatrical performances.
Technical Theater II
Prerequisite: Technical Theater I
This course is a hands-on lecture course in that the students will spend time learning in the classroom environment via lectures, but will also put those lectures into practice in the theater. Expanding on the knowledge base established in Technical Theater I, this course will focus primarily on the roles of the master carpenter, technical director, stage manager, and the master electrician. Students will assist in these roles on Riverdale Country School performances, as well as contribute 15 hours of outside class time per semester, either working in the shop or serving on the run crew of Riverdale productions.
This course will offer an in-depth exploration of the art of playwriting. Students examine a brief history of the craft, but the emphasis is a study of important contemporary playwrights shaping the world of theater today. Students read a selection of 21st century plays, see at least two live performances, and interact with a variety of industry guests. Throughout the course, students acquire the tools of good critical analysis and gain a deeper understanding of the craft of modern playwriting, including the three-act structure, the tools for writing good dialogue, writing for the stage as opposed to other mediums, etc.) To this end, students follow exercises such as those provided by Jeffrey Sweet in his textbooks "The Dramatist’s Toolkit" and "Solving Your Script." The objective of this course will be to write a 10-minute play and take part in the "Short Play Festival," open to the community.
Musical Theater Workshop