Performing Arts Courses

Jam Band performing

2020–21 Performing Arts Course Offerings

Acting Shakespeare 
Students will learn techniques for understanding and acting Shakespeare’s works. Most important is that students find acting Shakespeare fun and enlightening. Emphasis will be on learning to turn Shakespearian acting into a physical experience including stage combat, appropriate expressiveness, and clowning. Students will come away from the class wanting more Shakespeare in their lives.

Basic Acting Techniques
Basic Acting Techniques is a course for beginners or a refresher class for seasoned actors. 

Dance Concepts
Dance Concepts is a studio course that explores the dance activities of improvisation, technique, choreography/composition, and performance. Students will create and perform short and informal dance studies in a variety of styles and will use movement analysis, choreographic concepts, and personal reactions to write about and critique dance performances, both informal and professional. Students will engage in creative/critical conversations that challenge their awareness of making arts, individual creative voice, and the overall process of discovery. Close attention will be paid to an ethical creation of work and the authentic use of voice.

EHS Chorale
The Eagle Hill Chorale class serves to increase the musicianship of individual students while building a musical ensemble. Musicianship is measured by students’ understanding of 1) musical terminology and its applications, 2) what constitutes effective and healthy vocal technique, 3) how to achieve appropriate expression in singing and in choral performance, and 4) what is necessary from the individual at any one moment in a performance to improve the sound of the whole ensemble. Building any musical ensemble requires that its members, including the director, treat one another with respect and good humor; that they be mutually supportive, working for the good of the whole rather than of any one individual; and that they be willing to make substantive contributions toward publicizing and presenting the ensemble’s concerts. 

Film as Art
Film as Art explores American and foreign films as an art form. The objective is to develop a keen, critical appreciation of films, from all over the world, as art. The method is to work with established criteria for judging and appreciating the film medium. Students view films and read the reviews of each film. Then each student writes his or her own review based on the established criteria.

Introduction to Technical Theater
The Introduction to Technical Theater class will work with students who have an interest in exploring the world of backstage work. They must demonstrate attention to detail, teamwork, organizational skills, responsibility, initiative, and a can-do attitude. They will work with faculty members designing and implementing lighting, sound, rigging, and set construction, and running the technical functions for each concert and production—in addition to less glamorous but equally important labor such as setting up risers and other furniture, and helping to keep equipment organized and well-maintained. This introductory class will be an opportunity to see if the Technical Theater Intern program is a good fit for the student.

Jam Band
The Jam Band course provides students with an understanding and appreciation of collective creative expression in music through playing and singing, both in class and in live performances. Students develop creative skills, performance techniques, and social skills through working with their instruments, different musical forms, specific songs, and the benefits and challenges of musical group dynamics. The culmination of the course is an all-day recording session at a professional studio, where the class  creates its own CD.

Music Appreciation
Music Appreciation is open to all levels of students who enjoy listening to and discussing music. Students will bring their own musical interests to class discussions through presentations on songs and artists while learning about the diverse musical interests of their peers. Through readings and class discussion, students will be introduced to a variety of musical styles and cultures. Tailored to the individual group, possible topics explored in Music Appreciation include songwriting, drums of the world, and Western music history and important composers.

One-Act Competition
An advanced acting course for students who want to be involved in dramatic competitions with other schools. Students have to audition or be screened to take part in the class. The commitment would mean that students agree to all that is required by the Massachusetts High School Drama Guild, including attending technical rehearsals and performances as scheduled by the guild. In addition, they make a commitment to attend all rehearsals called by the director. Students receive state recognition for their efforts as well as the experience of performing in a competitive venue.

Orchestral Ensemble and Pit Band
This course is a mixed-level instrumental ensemble in which students continue to improve their musicianship skills. Students must own their instruments and know how to play. By playing classical, jazz, and popular music, students will learn the skills necessary for collaborating as members of an ensemble. The greatest benefit of the course is the opportunity to be involved with the annual musical production in the pit band/orchestra.

Public Speaking
A fun, practical course to improve students' abilities to communicate with others and become  effective students and leaders.

Set Building and Design
This course exposes students to the technical and creative aspects of set designing and building. Students design and build sets to be used in productions at Eagle Hill School. Using hand drawings and theater software, students create interactive 3-D computer models of theater or performance spaces where the systems usually associated with performance (lights, sound, fly bars, revolves, and trucks) are used. Basic carpentry and electrical skills are learned while building sets, as well as painting and color coordination for dramatic effect. In addition, students learn about “dressing the set” for performances.

Stage Combat
In Stage Combat, students learn about stage combat and how to fight safely on stage. The two areas they work on are hand-to-hand combat and single-sword combat. Hand-to-hand combat entails falling, slaps, grabs, chokes, pushes, tackles, punches, and kicks. Single-sword combat is sword fighting with one sword. Students will learn the parts of a sword and terms of the trade. The class will train in the fighting techniques and will perform in front of an audience.

Meet Our Performing Arts Faculty

Mr. Will Gelinas

Performing Arts Teacher

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Mr. Carl Mercier

Theater Arts Teacher

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Ms. Molly Romaker

Dance Teacher

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Ms. Isabella Gentleman

Music Teacher

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