Academics
Departments and Courses

Theatre

Theatre is a reflection of the world. The many ingredients for production are all around us waiting to be assembled! Our philosophy of theatre at The Cambridge School of Weston emerges from a profound belief that theatre and teenagers can mutually inspire each other. The department offers performance, design and technique classes. We welcome all students who are willing to get involved in this in-depth artistic collaboration.
  • Intensive Production

    Intensive Production offers students a short, rigorous rehearsal process resulting in a full production. This D block will be audition based and material selected will typically feature small cast sizes in a variety of styles, including comedy, drama, and musical theatre. Auditions will occur the last week of the preceding mod.
  • All the World’s A Stage: From Cave Painting to Kathakali, In-Between and Beyond

    “By their performance we will know them.” — Victor Turner, anthropologist. Students will explore definitions of culture and how that manifests in a variety of artistic forms throughout the world. Beginning with Shakespeare, we’ll then scope out thousands of years into the past and zoom into the future. Students will have opportunities to create their own cultures and to refine the art of speculating about what makes us human. This class is open to new and current students and is not limited to those experienced in the techniques of theatre.
  • Auditioner's Tool Box

    Put together a personal repertory of strong skills, perhaps a monologue or a song. Based on exercise, practice and research find how you can showcase the best you.
  • Cabaret for the Acting Singer

    Love to sing? Love to act? Come perform songs and monologues from all types of theatre. Learn to program and transition a cabaret performance. Students will be able to pick their material and will have a chance to write their own monologues and dialogues. The class will end with a cabaret performance.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement.
  • Classic Production

    Not offered 2017-2018
    This ensemble establishes a historical connection to understand the past in order to inform the contemporary world. The ensemble experience creates a community whose work culminates in a dynamic production. We welcome both experienced and beginning actors. Students take artistic risks and work with discipline over the duration of the production. This supportive, respectful environment is a great place to revel in great world theatre as only CSW can. The ensemble commitments and credits are the same as all main stage productions: 15-hours for Saturday production work (often student designed) and rehearsals during D and E Blocks, at least one night a week and some Sundays. Students generally receive an art credit and one athletic equivalent credit for their work. Past productions include: The Tempest, Hamlet, Macbeth, Midsummer Night’s Dream, As You Like It, Three Sisters, The Birds, Electra, Antigone, Imaginary Invalid, Going to Pot. 
  • Comedy: An Approach to Acting

    Come discover elements of physical theatre with a focus on standup and slapstick comedy, drawing in elements of the classical, universal divine spirit. Get to know radio, movie, theatre, performance, and street artists. Explore “to clown.” Create a working repertory for yourself. No theatre experience required—just a willingness to have deep fun.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement.
  • Costume Design for Production

    This class is a hands-on introduction to the world of theatrical design. Students work on the concept and costume design for Short Dramatic Pieces and the upcoming main stage performance. Script and character analysis, costume chart, research and sketching, choosing fabrics and color schemes, pulling stock pieces, and some work on the sewing machines are included. Explore the impact of age, class, race, status, and stereotyping on design.
  • Design for Performing Arts

    What is the role of the designer in American Repertory Theatre’s Donnie Darko, Blue Man Group, or the world-wide Live Earth concerts? What are the steps from idea to production? Learn how to use the necessary tools and find out about scenic materials and the elements of composition. Research, basic drafting, model making, and imaginative input based on text are part of this course. The period of design depends on the Spring Theatre Production and the class will prepare and present design options for the actual play.
  • Dramatic Production

    Disciplined and daring, thoughtprovoking plays often reflect social and political issues or explore a particular dramatic literary style. Actors, assistant directors, stage managers, and designers are required to be part of the production process during Saturday work calls (15 hours total) building sets, lights, costumes, sound, and props, often student designed. Rehearsals, meant to be an exciting learning lab, are scheduled during D and E Blocks, at least one night a week and some Sundays. Past productions include Charandas Chor by Habib Tanvir, Confucius’ Disciples with the Shanghai Theatre Academy, Doctor Faustus Lights the Lights by Gertrude Stein, Street Scene by Elmer Rice, The Bathtub by Paul Schmidt, The Martyrdom of Peter Ohey by Slawamir Mrozek, Picnic on the Battlefield by Fernando Arrabal, Brecht’s Galileo, Emily Mann’s Execution of Justice, and Hellman’s The Children’s Hour.
  • Improvisation in a Box

    Most situations in life are spontaneous, unplanned and unrehearsed. Improvisation is not only a valuable tool for performers, but the exercises and games are fun to do and develop skills important for everyone. What do we do with fear, excitement, posture and breathing in communication and relationships? In class, students improvise with other students, using props, objects, light and sound, vocals, movement, poetry, action and all senses. No prior theatre experience necessary.
  • Lighting Design

    Get out the wrenches, lighting templates, gel color books, and scripts! Learn the basics of theatrical lighting design. Help design, hang, focus, and cue the lights for Fall Production or Short Dramatic Pieces. Become a lighting designer for the Student Directors’ Workshop, Student Designers’ Musical, Dance Concert, or PADD. Find out how they do it in the real world, in theatrical unions and in small, found theatres. Some time outside of class may be required to see or run shows.
  • Musical Theatre Production

    Students who love to sing, dance, and perform (but may not have done so before) will be helped by a musical director who will guide them through the important process of stage and musical rehearsals and performances. All students enrolled in this class will have an opportunity to shine. There is usually collaboration with the Dance Department or student choreographers. The ensemble commitments and credits are the same as all main stage productions: 15 hours for Saturday production work (often student-designed) and rehearsals during D and E Blocks at least one night a week and some Sundays. Past productions include: The Threepenny Opera, The Mystery of Edwin Drood, Into the Woods, Anything Goes, The Pirates of Penzance, The Pajama Game, Urinetown, Chess, and Dido and Aeneas.
  • Pocket Players 1

    Pocket Players is CSW’s unique bilingual touring children’s theatre that performs in American Sign Language (ASL) and spoken English for Deaf and hearing children and adults throughout the greater Boston area. This is a great way to learn some ASL and about Deaf culture. At the end of the module the students perform well-rehearsed, delightful stories replete with costumes and scenery. Some rehearsals occur outside of class time. The course is taught by both Deaf and hearing instructors and qualifies for ASL or arts credit Previous study of ASL is not required.

    This course can award community service credit upon completion if the student completes the community service paperwork and acquires the instructor's signature.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement. 
  • Pocket Players 2

    Similar to Pocket Players 1, students rehearse more stories and perform more often. Half the module is spent on tour, performing bilingual stories (ASL and spoken English) for Deaf and hearing children and adults. Students add to a journal documenting their experiences in creating and performing bilingual theatre. This course qualifies for an ASL or arts credit.

    This course can award community service credit upon completion if the student completes the community service paperwork and acquires the instructor's signature.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement. 
  • Puppetry

    Students explore one form of puppetry, its history, land of origin and scripts, then build characters in the traditional way. After viewing how the form is used in performance, students will design and build figures for a performance that will take advantage of puppets’ unique storytelling style.

    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement. 
  • Scene Study and Directing

    Students will learn skills in the areas of acting, directing, and (if time permits), devising, by watching and reading a variety of materials and reflecting thoughtfully on an array of theories. Students will work independently and in collaboration to present/direct short scenes. Students will be exposed to a variety of styles of theatre/performance to deepen their interpretive and creative skills.
  • Self-Portrait: Theatre

    Each of us will have to present in a public setting, be it an assembly, classroom, college or job interview, or as a character in a show. Knowing your audience and yourself will help you grow into a stronger speaker and performer. Come explore how to best present the creative individual that is you.
  • Short Dramatic Pieces

    Short Dramatic Pieces is a perfect place to try out theatre. Students work on a variety of short pieces that are performed at the end of the module. This class is for the seasoned student who wants to work in depth on performance and develop as a performer or for the student who doesn’t have time for the bigger productions. It is also for students that never imagined themselves on stage and are curious about it. Some rehearsals may occur outside of class time.
  • Sketch Comedy: Writing and (W)reacting

    “Analyzing humor is like dissecting a frog. Few people are interested and the frog dies of it.” — E.B. White. Students will explore the weirdo worlds of SNL, Kids in the Hall, Key and Peele, Carol Burnett, Second City, and more as they learn the techniques of sketch comedy writing. Twoliners, monologues, desk pieces, parodies, and more await our students’ comedic chops!
  • Stagecraft

    Be the force behind the scenes for the Spring Theatre Production and possibly a show in the Moir Theatre. This physical, handson class, allows students to build, paint, and put in scenery, as well as hang and focus lights. Students will learn how to use shop tools and lighting instruments safely and to use scenic paint and brushes correctly. When necessary, we tackle the basics of sewing and costuming, too. No theatre experience is required.
  • The Masks We Wear: Bodies in Performance

    Students will explore the basic principles and history of creating characters and performance without words, including corporeal mime, masks, clowning, stage combat, and other forms of physical theatre. This is a hands-on class and is not limited to those experienced in the techniques of theatre.
     
    This course awards credit toward the social justice graduation requirement.

Department Faculty

  • Barbara Whitney

    Marlboro College - B.A.
    Harvard University - M.F.A.
    Year Appointed: 2013
  • Nicole Bellwoar

    Student Teacher
    Year Appointed: 2019
  • Lisa Hirsch

    Theatre Teacher/Mugar Center Building Manager
    781-642-8656
    Brandeis University - M.F.A.
    University of Connecticut - B.F.A.
    Goddard College - Music Theatre Dance Program
    Year Appointed: 1990
  • Robert Kwalick

    781-398-8380
    Year Appointed: 2018
  • Jeanne Segal

    Musical Theatre Artist-in-Residence & Director for Musical Production
    Year Appointed: 2019
  • Zoe Sundra

    Costume Designer/Seamstress
    Year Appointed: 2017
The Cambridge School of Weston is a progressive high school for day and boarding students in grades 9–12 and PG. CSW's mission is to provide a progressive education that emphasizes deep learning, meaningful relationships, and a dynamic program that inspires students to discover who they are and what their contribution is to their school, their community and the world.