The Foote School’s Drama Program provides students with an understanding of the importance of drama as an expression of the human experience, as well as with an appreciation of the role of the many forms of theater in cultural literacy.
Drama fosters creativity, giving students the opportunity to improvise, act on a stage and write plays, as well as participate in the technical aspects of the theater. Learning the discipline and craft necessary for this constructive creation builds numerous skills, among those the crucial abilities to reason, make important decisions, and solve problems.
The drama program provides students with tools for critical assessment of what they read, see, and hear, with models and standards of excellence, and with a sense of the emotional power of theater — its ability to stir and inspire an audience. Finally, and of paramount importance, because theater illuminates the constancy of the human condition, its study furthers the students’ understanding of themselves.
To create an environment conducive to drama, certain behavioral objectives must be met. These objectives are important for the development of attitudes that contribute to individual growth and effective group functioning. They include:
- thinking independently and feeling free to express one’s opinions and feelings
- respecting other people’s points of view even when they differ from one’s own
- learning to handle responsibility
- contributing in a positive way to group interaction
- learning to focus and concentrate
- improving listening skills
- supporting other members of the group
- learning to humanly cooperate and artistically collaborate
Sixth Grade Drama
While students continue to use the process-oriented “imaginative play” elements of the Lower School drama curriculum, they will now begin to study the more formal, product-oriented approach to theater intrinsic to the Middle School program. Students participate in improvisations and theater games, and the course concludes with a major playwriting unit in which students bring their original work alive on stage through the use of acting and technical skills.
Seventh Grade Drama
Students continue to study the cumulative and sequential skills of the overall kindergarten through ninth grade drama program. In seventh grade they will understand how theater evokes emotional and intellectual responses to dramatic literature as well as to performance. They will also continue to improve critical thinking and problem-solving skills. Students will read and write dramatic material as well as perform it. They will also begin to learn a vocabulary and language appropriate to the study of theater arts.
Eighth Grade Drama
Students will perform scenes from dramatic, comic, contemporary, and “period” plays, enhance critical thinking skills, read and/or view plays, and participate in writing and creating performance activities. They will learn how to observe, respond, understand, and evaluate theatrical performances and to make personal judgments based on these. Through their work they will learn to recognize their own intentions, choices, and power to affect others. They will also continue to accept and appreciate cultural diversity and to understand that the beliefs and cultural conventions of a particular time, place, or people can link them to worlds very different from their own.
Ninth Grade Drama
In this culminating course of the school’s drama program, students will continue to refine performance and critical thinking skills through the preparation and production of a full-length play.