The earliest grades experience classes that focus on the individual child and awareness of body, senses, and imagination. Emphasis is on theater games for the expression of the inner creative voice. Students learn to interact positively with others by listening, sharing ideas, and creating scenes together. We learn about other cultures and periods of time by using primitive myths and rituals from prehistoric times, the ancient Greeks, Native-American societies, ancient Rome, and medieval Europe. We also work with fables to explore the world beyond the one students know.
As students learn to critique one another’s improvisations, stories, and characters, they develop the vocabulary that leads them into learning the craft of theater. In grades 5 and 6 this enables students to gain a sense of how to turn ideas into what is theatrically communicable to an audience. We study mime; makeup for characters, clowns, and animals; and thebuilding blocks of drama–plot, character, theme, and a good beginning, middle,and end. Improvisation exercises in all grades involve writing dialogue and stage movement, incorporating the craft of the playwright into the curriculum.