FPD Theatre is a vibrant program that includes classes for students in grades 6th – 12th, five or more full-scale productions for students in grades 3rd – 12th, and numerous other opportunities to perform, build, and design. We recognize the vast and varied artistic talents that God has given our students and strive to use them for His glory.
The methodology used for teaching theatre classes at FPD is very experiential. Actors, directors, and other theatre practitioners learn their craft by actually doing it, not reading about it in a book. For that reason, our classes are always very active. Students take part in daily warm-ups, acting games, technical theatre activities, and a variety of projects. Theatre is wonderful fun, but requires commitment, energy, and desire. Six different courses are currently available for students in middle and high school.
FPD Theatre is now presenting at least five productions each year: an elementary production, a one-act for theatre competition, a Broadway-style musical, a middle-school only show, and another full-length play. Our play selections cover a variety of styles, helping theatre students develop skills in many different areas.
A look at our curriculum is below.
Thanks for your interest in the FPD Fine Arts! Enjoy the show!
Dr. R. Andrew Strickland
Director of Theatre/Chair of Fine Arts
Theatre Curriculum Guide
Introduction to Theatre
Sixth grade, one semester
This semester course introduces students to many elements of theatre. Breathing, vocal, and physical warm-ups are learned and performed often. Students get early experience in acting through acting games, pantomime, basic news casting, monologues, and original scene development. Students learn stage directions and theatre terminology and are introduced to all of the technical areas: scenery, lighting, costumes, and make-up. The semester ends with creation of several short plays that are written, designed, directed, and performed by the students for elementary audiences.
Middle School Theatre
Seventh and eighth grade, one quarter
This nine-week course gives students a sample of many theatre experiences. Warm-ups continue to be a regular part of the course as well as acting games. Students get “hands-on” experience in the technical areas of theatre by helping to create scenery for current productions. Group pantomime and acting work is emphasized. Students learn auditioning skills, basic character development, and the rudiments of acting theory. These skills are then put to use in a culminating project: the performance of a published one-act play complete with costumes and set.
Middle School Technical Theatre
Seventh and eighth grade, one quarter, no prerequisite.
Technical Theatre introduces students to the many non-performance elements of theatre. Students learn through practical experience in curtain operation and maintenance, set construction, theatrical make-up, backstage safety, and sound/lighting operation. Students also explore the design process of both scenery and costumes.
High School, one semester
Technical Theatre introduces students to the many non-performance elements of theatre. Special emphasis is placed on learning the basics of set design and construction, theatrical lighting, sound operation, and scene painting. These skills are honed through hands-on experience including work on FPD Theatre productions and running the technical elements of various chapels and assemblies.
High School, one semester
Theatre I is a semester course that emphasizes skill development in both acting and technical theatre. Acting is taught through warm-ups, theatre games, pantomime, and basic improvisation. The important theatre skills of mask making and mask acting are explored as well some of the classical theatre styles that used masks. News casting (studio and field reporting) is learned to improve vocal performance and self-evaluation. The students will study the basic tenets of the Stanislavski acting method. Technical areas of study include costume design (with focus on designing from stock), set design and creation, curtain use and maintenance, and basic sound and lighting operation. Advanced make-up techniques are explored including old-age, basic corrective, and special effects. All of the areas of study come together in the creation of a fully-realized one-act production. (Note: This is not the one-act play taken to GISA competition. Theatre I requires no rehearsals or performances outside of the class period.)
High School, one semester
Pre-requisite: Theatre I or permission of instructor. Advanced Theatre advances the work begun in Theatre I. The Stanislavski method of acting is explored more in depth and applied in class exercises. An increased emphasis is placed on improvisational techniques and character development and research. Technical theatre work continues with hands-on experience in creating scenery, costumes, and props for current productions. As part of this course students will develop a full-length production with complete technical details. This play will be performed for a public audience.