Arts - Drama
The drama department at CFA has a long and vibrant history, producing high quality, award-winning productions for the stage, and bringing stimulating and enriching drama projects into the classroom. Whether as technicians, performers, or participants in curricular theatre, students are able to fulfill their creative potential in a fun and nurturing atmosphere.
Drama is also recognized at CFA for its potential to enhance learning in the classroom. Our drama teachers can be found working alongside English and Social Studies teachers using dramatic techniques to explore curriculum content - from novels, plays, and poetry, to historical events.
Lower School drama is designed to develop skills based on the developmental traits of the students' ages. Students participate in formal and informal exercises intended to develop their poise, confidence, public speaking skills, and creativity through dramatic presentations, pantomime, and improvisation.
Programs within the classrooms evolve into annual, traditional "on-stage" presentations in the Lower School grades. Among these are the first grade circus extravaganza and the Kindergarten presentation of "The Mitten." In later grades, the plays and dramatic readings are often tied to a particular aspect of the curriculum for that grade, such as second grade performances of "The Elephant Twins."
Puppet shows are another way that Lower School students are able to practice their theatrical skills.
In the Middle School Theatre Arts elective, students learn about theatre history, experience the many forms of theatre (musical theatre, mime, mask, physical theatre) and create plays on their own. Students can also elect to perform in our annual Middle School musical with the assistance of a professional director/choreographer.
The Middle School Theatre Arts elective is a one-semester course offered in sixth, seventh, and eighth grades. In the sixth grade Theatre Arts elective students focus on the history and progression of theater through the ages, basic theater vocabulary, writing plays as a collaborative process, and all aspects of producing a play. In the seventh/eighth grade Theatre Arts elective students explore the different genres of theater and the collaborative nature of theater arts and playwriting. They also expand their performance abilities with a deeper knowledge of character development, a solo monologue project, and a movie project.
Seventh and eighth grade students also have the opportunity to participate in the annual Middle School musical. This is an excellent opportunity for students to explore their dance, vocal, acting, and technical talents.
In the Upper School, the range of performance opportunities is diverse: from the annual classic play, to the yearly competition piece for the North Carolina High school play festival, to the full-scale musical that is staged at Thalian Hall each spring. Each fall the CFA Drama Department participates in the North Carolina Theatre Conference High School Play Festival. This is an opportunity to not only challenge the students on all aspects of their performance and technical skills but also provide a chance to expose them to theater programs from schools all over the state. Each winter the students are able to participate in the annual classic play. It is important for the students to experience not just the different aspects of the theater but all of the history and different genres as well. In the spring, students have the opportunity to participate in a full scale musical which is staged at Historic Thalian Hall. This experience is unique to CFA as it allows the students to experience the entire process of putting on a professional theatrical production. Students work on the stage crew and play in the orchestra as well as perform on the stage.