Spring of the 2017-2018 Season will feature two distinct shows: ¡Bocón!, which will be performed by Middle School Students, and A Piece of My Heart, which will be an Upper School production.
¡Bocón!, a fable filled with humor, mysticism, and song, tells the story of twelve-year-old Miguel who flees a repressive military regime in Central America for Los Angeles. A natural storyteller and irrepressible “big mouth” or bocón, Miguel loses his voice when his parents are taken and begins a metaphorical journey north to the City of Angels. Along the way he meets up with an unusual traveling companion, La Llorona, the legendary “Weeping Woman” of Mexican and Central American mythology. Through their magical friendship, Miguel finds his voice and the courage to cross the border to a new life. Miguel’s story is relevant to immigrant children from all parts of the world… and to any child who is learning the many meanings of finding one’s own “voice.”
A Piece of My Heart is a powerful, true drama of six women who went to Vietnam: five nurses and a country western singer booked by an unscrupulous agent to entertain the troops. The play portrays each young woman before, during, and after her tour in the war-torn nation and ends as each leaves a personal token at the memorial wall in Washington. A Piece of My Heart premiered in New York at Manhattan Theatre Club, and now has enjoyed over 1000 productions here and abroad. It has recently been named “The most enduring play on Vietnam in the nation,” by The Vietnam Vets Association. (Recommended for audiences ages 13+)
Middle School Drama
Sixth grade Fine Arts Rotation
One component of the Fine Arts rotation is Exploring Voice & Movement. Students will learn how breath control, pitch, range, timbre, tempo, and imagery can promote dynamic use of their voice for a purpose. Students will also explore basic stage knowledge and improvisation techniques to become aware of how movement can help tell a compelling story.
Middle School Drama
The nature of Middle School Drama is exploratory. Students will discover and explore the impact theatre has had on the world throughout history. They will be introduced to acting and vocal techniques, elements of design and drama, technical theatre opportunities, improvisation, theatre game play, scene writing and development, ensemble and collaborative work and more. The class goes beyond acting and gives students a look at many of the creative outlets theatre offers. Additionally students are exposed to activities that help build confidence, empathy, trust and a deeper understanding of themselves, their peers, community and the world. Students who choose to continue in Middle School Drama for a second year will take on leadership roles which will provide the students with deeper, more specific experiences and enrich the class as a whole.
Upper School Theatre Electives
This course is designed for the student who wants to deepen their theatre and acting skills. The Acting Intensive course will be broken up into three sections, focusing on core components of acting technique. Trimester 1 will focus on Stage and Body Movement, putting attention on dance, stage combat and physical traits of character work. Trimester 2 is a focus on the actor voice, strengthening core voice muscles and navigating various ways to use the voice in performance. Trimester 3 will focus on character development, emotional context and authentic reactions to script and dialogue work. Using a range of skills from multiple theatre techniques, students will become stronger in their ability to use their body and voice for character development.
This course will focus on three specific areas of technical theatre. Trimester 1 will focus on Stage Management: What is a Stage Manager, how to create a Stage Manager book, skills needed for an effective Stage Manager, how to write down blocking and cues and how to call cues. Trimester 2 will focus on Lighting: design, types of theatre lighting, how to use a light board, types of light boards, and how to program lights. Trimester 3 will be focused on Costume: how to read a pattern, how to cut a pattern, how to design and create your own pattern, how to use a sewing machine, how to hand stitch and more.
Art of Speech, Communication, and Conversation
This course will equip students with the skills necessary to communicate in a wide range of situations. By learning the basics of public speech, students will learn to construct speeches in thoughtful and impactful ways as well as deliver these speeches to a range of audiences. Additionally, communication and conversation is becoming more complex in our society. Students will gain skills that help them navigate how to positively and effectively communicate thoughts, ideas and needs with others in a range of situations and topics.
Previous Allen Academy Productions