Course Catalog

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Visual and Performing Arts

Central to Eagle Hill School’s arts curriculum is a belief in the vital importance of the creative imagination. The imagination is where new ideas are generated, where true artistic development and progress become possible. Our teachers support and nurture their students’ creative imaginations by helping these young adults to find means of personal expression that are effective and appropriate for them, and then to make real – in paintings, drawings, sculptures, handcrafted household objects, dramatic and musical performances, musical scores, plays, videos, computer graphics – the power of their own ideas, perceptions and responses. In doing so, EHS’s Creative Arts faculty remain acutely sensitive and responsive to a variety of learning styles.

An extensive body of literature on the therapeutic benefits of artistic activity and more recent research on the effects of music on cognitive functioning, makes it clear that an arts education is essential to the experience of every student as a vehicle for developing particular thinking strategies. Education in the arts provides a young person with a particular learning discipline whose processes, materials, values and outcomes are essentially different from those of other school subjects. Further, working (and playing) in the arts offers an anchoring experience for adolescents, where they may reflect on themselves, their feelings and their experiences in a supportive, structured environment and where they may shape their ideas and feelings into concrete works of art that speak to others through images, sounds, objects and actions.

Training in any one of the creative arts encourages the development of self-awareness, confidence, personal initiative, perseverance and disciplined work habits. It leads to the discovery of insights and understanding as students express and communicate their ideas, feelings and experiences, and it imparts knowledge about and instills respect for the proper use of tools, materials, processes and technologies specific to artistic creation.
  • 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 put on learning to turn Shakespearian acting into a physical experience including stage combat, appropriate expressiveness, and clowning.  The student will come away form the class wanting more Shakespeare in his/her life.
  • Advanced Acting Techniques

    In Advanced Acting Techniques, students will build on techniques learned in Basic Acting and Performing Arts Seminar. The course will include Michael Chekhov’s Acting Techniques, the basics of the Stanislavsky Method, and Boleslavsky’s ideas in his book Acting.  Students will gain an understanding of acting through the ages from Greek chorus to Victorian melodrama to modern theatre.  A performance piece will be chosen, and students will be required to take on a character or characters and present a performance to the public. 
  • Advanced Digital Design and Illustration

    This class is for students who are interested in learning to create art work for “commercial purposes.” Students will learn Adobe Illustrator as a tool to create artwork for logos, simple digital illustrations, posters, book covers, and other projects. Prerequisite: Digital Design and Illustration.
  • Advanced Filmmaking

    Students will use their prior film-making experience in making basic films to develop advanced techniques in film-making.  The course includes: basic cinematic techniques, composition techniques, techniques of movement, perspective, camera techniques and editing techniques.
  • Advanced Music Theory and Composition

    Advanced Music Theory and Composition takes up where Fundamentals of Music Theory leaves off. The emphasis remains on becoming fluent in music notation, and much of the course is devoted to students developing their own ideas into notated musical compositions, whether the result be a song, a rock ensemble piece, or a symphonic movement. The study of music theory focuses on harmony and voice-leading. Piano practice is a component of the course, and composing is done both at the piano and with the help of the music-writing software program Sibelius. In addition, students and teacher listen to many different types of music, analyze pieces’ harmony and structure, and discuss the components of musical style.
  • Advanced Stage Combat

    In Advanced Stage Combat, students will review hand-to-hand and single-sword fighting techniques. Students will also expand their move set list with new and more advanced techniques. Students will learn and present a fight each week.
  • Advanced Technical Theater Internship

    For students who are already familiar with rigging, lighting and sound and have taken Tech Theater before.  The class will focus on the design process of live performance.  We will integrate textbook knowledge and experiences for past shows into new applications.  Students will look at examples of live theater and music and will design lights for at least one Cultural Center event.  Students will also learn how to draw a light plot and will create portfolios to use in college interviews.
  • Altered Books

    To create an altered book is to transform a discarded book into a creative work of art that encompasses a theme and utilizes a variety of media and techniques. An altered book is an art object that differs from journals and scrapbooks while remaining a form of personal expression.
  • American Musical Inventors

    Musical inventors in the United States have been numerous, and have varied widely: from William Billings, who wrote in 1770 that he felt it necessary for 'every Composer to be his own Carver,' to Elvis Presley, whose experiments in the Sun Records Studio of Sam Phillips in July 1954 represent what many view as the birth of rock 'n roll, to John Cage, who in 1952 premiered his "4'33", a piece where the performer does absolutely nothing except mark time. Along the way there is the great composer Charles Ives, a ceaseless inventor (as was his father George, the town musician of Danbury, Connecticut); Harry Partch, who invented his own 42-tone scale and then had to invent and build instruments that could use it; Ani DiFranco, who has reinvented the popular song in all sorts of fresh and surprising ways; the performance artist Laurie Anderson, who causes us to question what a 'piece of music' really is; and the jazz pianist Thelonious Monk, whose every note feels like an invention. In exploring the music and ideas of these and other artists, this course raises questions about the nature of music, the range of possibilities for musical invention, our society's conflicting attitudes towards originality, and inventiveness as a theme in American life. Along the way, students learn much about the cultural contexts, nurturing or hostile, in which America's musical inventors have worked. Classroom activities and homework include reading, listening, watching, performing, and discussing.
  • Arts Management Internship

    Supporting the brilliant performances at the Cultural Center is the business of Arts Management. The performing arts can not happen without the important background work of budgeting, scheduling, coordinating, marketing, and publicizing. Arts Management student interns help to make the Cultural Center and its programs a success by playing a vital role in the Center's operation
  • Aural Skill

    Aural Skill is an entry-level ear-training class to develop and increase aural comprehension in music. To reach these goals, students will receive guidance on how to recognize, aurally, a wide variety of musical constructions and will be led through techniques for developing their ability to sing, with preparation and at sight, constructions that are frequently found in the experiences of a musician. The Aural Skill class will build the foundation for the next level of music classes including choir, theory, music jam and instrumental ensemble.
  • Basic Acting Techniques

    Basic Acting Techniques is a course for beginners or a refresher class for seasoned actors. This course covers acting techniques.
  • Basic Black and White Photography

    This course is designed to introduce the basic concepts and skills of black and white photography. This class will focus on proper use of the camera, darkroom techniques and creative photography. Students learn about the history of photography through discussion of the work of 19th and early 20th century photographers, contemporary photographic artists, and through demonstration of lens less photography.
  • Basics of Filmmaking

    Basics of Filmmaking is an elementary course in film production. Using basic film making programs such as Windows Movie Maker and Imovie, students create, edit, and otherwise prepare four short films. Students develop their knowledge of basic film editing procedures. The objective is for students to learn the basics of film production, including setting the scene, directing, shooting, editing, and final cutting. Students start by filming an assigned subject, capturing the footage to an editing program and editing the raw footage into a complete short artistic film. Students become familiar with selecting footage for shooting. In addition, they learn the basics of the editing process including transitions, audio, graphics, credits, and DVD production. Students also work with existing screen plays, choosing short scenes to film.
  • Black and White Photography Studio

    Once a basic foundation of technical and aesthetic skills is established during Basic Black & White Photography, students expand their use of photography through integration with digital media, book arts, and commercial applications
  • Block Printing

    This course utilizes the graphics process of block printing, which involves carving away part of a wood or rubber block and printing the remaining raised portion. The history of block printing and a study of block printing artist, M. C. Escher are on-going themes throughout the course.
  • Board Game Mechanics and Design

    Students in this class will delve into the fascinating world of board game design. Utilizing existing mechanics, students will design and build playable prototypes, write clear instructions, and develop a “pitch” for how they might sell their ideas to board game publishers. Special attention will be paid to creating balanced games with reasonable play times and intriguing themes.
  • Bob Dylan, Singing Poet

    The writings and music of Bob Dylan are investigated in detail, from his first album in 1962 to 2001's 'Love and Theft' and beyond. Particular attention is paid to Dylan's early topical songs, which made him a hero of the folk-revival and Civil Rights movements; to his hallucinatory electric songs of the mid-1960s; to his work with The Hawks (later The Band) in the later 1960s and early 1970s, including their delvings into what Greil Marcus has called 'the old, weird America' ('roots' music); to Blood on the Tracks and the Rolling Thunder Revue in the mid-1970s; and to Dylan's remarkable renaissance, beginning at the end of the 1980s. Dylan's life and the changing American socio-politico-cultural scene are certainly not ignored, wherever they have significantly impacted his work. Dylan's musical and poetic influences, his poetic language, his musical structures, and his transformation of songs in performance all figure in the course, as does the more general question of 'interpreting' his (or any artist's) work. Albums featured include The Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, The Times They Are A-Changin', Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blonde on Blonde, The Basement Tapes, John Wesley Harding, Nashville Skyline, Planet Waves, Blood on the Tracks, Desire, Oh Mercy, Time Out of Mind, and 'Love and Theft.'
  • Book Arts

    Book Arts refers to all types of handcrafted books. This course will introduce students to the concept of the book as an art form. It will increase awareness and appreciation of the beauty and variations in artists’ books and develop students’ skills in the handling of the materials and tools necessary in creating a book. A special focus of Book Arts will be one-of-a-kind artists books: a vibrant medium where creativity can be expressed through the considerations of typography, illustration, page design, text, binding structures, and presentation. Creating an artist’s book is a process of continued growth and creativity.
  • Book Me

    This course provides the students with an opportunity to work wihin a pragmatics and book arts framework. Students learn about paradism and principles and explore how their personal pradigms and principles affect how they function in the world around them. Students explore the course of the foundations of their paradigms and principles and express themselves through an art medium. Students spend one-half the term in the classroom involved in discussion and self reflection and use the second half to create books that reflect the origins of their paradigms and principles.
  • Build Your Novel Scene by Scene

    In this course, the students will walk through the novel-writing process from day one to a completed draft. They begin by thinking about whether or not their novel concept can sustain 200+ pages, spending time outlining and assessing the narrative arc of the story. Students think more deeply about the characters, their desires, and their motivations. Then, the bulk of the next few weeks are spent as each student writes his/her novel scene by scene.
  • CNC Nine Men's Morris Game Board

    In this course, students will learn the basics of the CNC software “Aspire”. Once they gain a solid understanding of the software and how the CNC machine works, each student will design and build a game board to take with them. If time allows, students will also learn how to play the game of Nine Mens Morris.
  • CNC Woodworking

    The CNC Woodworking class takes the student through the process of planning, designing, programming and running projects on a Shopbot CNC machine. The students will learn the process and create original pieces. They will have the opportunity to choose and design their own projects and see them through to a final product. Students are limited only by their imaginations in this class. As they master the Vcarve software, they will see their ideas come to fruition. Time will be divided between the desktop publishing computer room and the woodshop. While in the computer room, students will learn the software and design their projects. The second portion of the class will take place in the woodshop where their projects will be created using the CNC Shopbot machine.
  • Coffee House Class

    Using the format of the 1950s Beat Generation Café, students write poems, stories, songs, plays, and even create films to be presented at various times during the term. Students also learn about the poets, writers and filmmakers of that period.
  • Collage Basics

    This course explores collage as a fine art. Looking at master artists’ works of the past, as well as contemporary works for inspiration, each class session builds upon the previous session to add additional techniques to the repertoire of a collage artist.
  • 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 arts making, 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.
  • Design Skills

    This is an introductory course teaching basic elements of design. The purpose is to give students a firm grasp of working design skills; covering line, shape and form, value, texture, and color. Basic design skills are fundamental to all of the visually creative fields, from architecture to fashion, photography, graphic design, and others.
  • Desktop Publishing & Yearbook

    This course utilizes the computer software Adobe Creative Suite to produce the school's yearbook. Targeted skills include using digital cameras, scanners, preparing photographs for publication, page layout and design, and meeting publisher's deadlines.
  • Digital Design and Illustration

    This class will cover the basic tools and functions of Adobe Illustrator. Students will be able to create digital art and acquire a working knowledge of the program.
  • Directing for the Stage

    This course is for advanced theater students who are interested in developing their directing skills. In the Directing for the Stage class, students learn how to define a dramatic project and build a strong working environment. Students develop their skills in directing to tell the story and convey it dramatically to an audience. Specifics skills targeted include how to: read a script so that one can prepare for rehearsals; develop a ground plan and design that moves the action forward; understand the theme, the world of the play, and the spine of the story; plan a rehearsal schedule to understand, block, complete scene work, and give notes effectively; and evaluate what you have done and what the play was trying to communicate.
  • Drawing

    Drawing helps students learn to translate the world around them into 2-D space. This course explores fundamental drawing techniques through observational study and the use of a variety of drawing materials and methods. Individual instruction is given, with periodic group critiques providing the source of shared challenges and inspirations. This class follows a plan of sequential projects building on fundamental drawing principles.
  • Eagle Hill 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 each other 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 towards publicizing and presenting the ensemble's concerts.  Chorale students need to be able to sing in tune and to hold their part in a four-voice choral arrangement.
  • EHS Arts Webzine

    The students in this class serve as the editorial board and production crew for a multi-media Webzine featuring stories and other prose pieces, poems, drawings, paintings, photographs, sculptures and other 3-D constructions, theatrical and dance performances (on video), musical performances (audio or video), mixed-media pieces, and conceptual pieces by Eagle Hill School students, faculty, and staff, to be published on the EHS Website twice a year.  This course encompasses two terms in the fall and two terms in the spring.
  • Etching

    This course utilizes the graphics process of dry-point etching, involving making deep scratches into a plastic plate, which are then filled with ink. The print is created by placing the inked plate between a press and wet paper and applying substantial pressure. The history of etching, a study of Rembrandt, and an understanding of the importance of etching as it is used today to print money on-going themes throughout the course.
  • Film as an Artisitic Expression of Culture

    In this course, the students will use films and written narratives of people, places, times, and ideas to better understand their culture, where it has been, where it is now and where it may be headed. Specific individuals and periods in history will be selected and discussed. In addition, the depiction in film of significant historical events will be explored.
  • 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.
  • Four Famous Italian Renaissance Artists

    It seems today the famous artists, Leonardo, Michelangelo, Raphael, and Donatello are more remembered as crime fighting turtles. However, when the Renaissance transformed Italy into the art capital of the world, these four artists were mainly responsible for it. Students learn why Leonardo’s The Last Supper, Michelangelo’s painting of the Sistine Chapel, Raphael’s The School of Athens, and Donatello’s David are still by many considered the best works of all time.  Students learn about the culture of Italy during the 15th century and how these artists contributed to the rebirth of Italy and the art world.
  • Free from Improvisation

    This course takes improvisation to a new level. The students explore ways of raising the stakes, building on what has come before, and exploring the relationships of a scene. The group looks at strategies for ending scenes that will be satisfying for both the audience and the performers. This is a great course for stage actors who would like to dip their feet into improvisational waters.
  • Gallery Internship

    The spaces Gallery interns and the gallery curator are a team that meets for hands-on planning and work sessions during which they learn a variety of professional art gallery practices including how to envision show themes and select artists; design and write exhibition brochures, announcements, and posters; promote exhibitions within the campus and local communities; measure and plan the use of exhibition spaces and install works of art; organize opening receptions; and act as docents introducing exhibits to visitors. The spaces gallery team also visits other galleries to observe styles, interview gallery directors and personnel, and attend show openings.
  • Hand Built Pottery

    This course emphasizes the expressive potential of pinch, coil, and slab construction pottery. Students are assigned weekly projects based on the instructor's demonstrations. Projects range from creating functional to sculptural forms, introducing students to methods of pottery making, decorating, and techniques and tools for developing the aesthetics of form and function in pottery making.
  • Improvisation

    This course builds students' confidence and improvisational skills. They practice acting in improvisational situations, using their voices, creating songs, and using props. In addition, students learn to act with partners on the stage and to understand the methods of improvisational performance.
  • Improvisation: Fancifool!

    This theater studies course explores mime, clowning, physical acting, personal narrative, character development and storytelling.  Students will take part in creating their own live performance and some film work. Students study the forms used to create the show Fancifool!, in order to develop their own mini version of the show based on people whom they admire. Students will choose an individual, either someone from their own lives or someone whom they admire from the public sphere. Students will study not only the person's views on issues, but also his/her body language and mannerisms in order to create an entertaining clown version of that person while creating a heartfelt and honest representation.
  • Instrumental Ensemble

    This course is a mixed-level instrumental ensemble in which students continue to improve their musicianship skills. Students must know how to play and own their instruments (other than piano). By playing classical, jazz, and popular music, students learn the skills necessary for collaborating as members of an ensemble. Classes focus on the musical performance of the group.
  • Integrated Book Arts

    Book Arts refers to all types of handcrafted books. Integrated Book Arts blends hand making books with content from other classes by combining classes and team teaching targeted concepts. The dual objectives of this course are to introduce students to the concept of the book as an art form, and to meet unit goals from other classes. Using the book making process, creativity can be expressed through the considerations of typography, illustration, page design, text, binding structures, and presentation.   Combined with academic content from another class, this course offers students a rich opportunity for interpretation, understanding and expression of material.
  • 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.
  • Is This Art?

    Explore unexpected materials and activities as you question the limits of the expected in art.
  • 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 essentially creates its own CD.
  • Jewelry Making

    The Jewelry Making class is offered for beginners to experts. This class offers mini-lessons in basic knot tying and simple bead creations. Materials such as hemp, stretchy string, memory wire, gimp and embroidery thread are used to create bracelets, necklaces, key chains and lanyards. The possibilities are endless in this class. Creativity and “thinking outside the box” are encouraged. Students plan, organize and sequentially follow through with independent projects designing jewelry to their own tastes. Each student will create numerous pieces depending on the complexity of the project they choose. Students with prior jewelry making knowledge have the freedom to teach others their skills or work independently to complete their designs. If you have an interest in jewelry making or have already been actively making your own jewelry, this class is for you.
  • Making the Mobius: Community CNC Sculpture

    In Making the Mobius, students will work on a portion of a STEM building sculpture which will be located in the math wing breakout space. Students will help prepare and run the CNC machine to make hundreds of pieces which will be finished in the shop and then assembled in place over the course of a school year. This is a one term class.
  • Marketing: A Communications Laboratory

    Marketing: A Communications Laboratory is a basic course in the theory and practice of sharing the story of Eagle Hill School with a variety of audiences through various media. The class initially focuses on the basic questions and vocabulary of marketing as a discipline. The objective for that portion of the class is to enable students to think like a marketing professional. Later topics concentrate on developing and utilizing the skills and interests of the students as they relate to a marketing project. The skills, which include topics such as: writing, interviewing, graphic design, photography, and project management, depending on the student, are utilized in the process of producing a portfolio quality artifact that is used to communicate a story about Eagle Hill School to an interested audience.
  • Mixed Art Media

    The Mixed Media course encourages creative expression that incorporates multiple materials within two-dimensional artwork. Openness to experimentation is essential. Through freely manipulating traditional materials such as pencil, ink, paint, chalk, and crayons with non-traditional materials such as adhesives, foils, and transfers, students develop a flexible approach to the problem of visually expressing and presenting their creative thoughts.
  • Mold and Mask Making

    In Mold and Mask Making, students will learn how to make how to make a life-cast of their own faces, and then use that cast as a base to create original foam latex and silicon appliances. Using clay, students will sculpt a design for their prosthetic on top of their life casts. They will use a cement like substance to create a “negative” which they will then fill with silicon or latex. When the process is finished, they will have a custom-made mask that fits exactly.
  • Music Appreciation

    Music Appreciation is open to all levels of students who enjoy listening to and discussing music. Students will have a brief overview of the major composers and their music through short class lectures, listening to musical examples in class, actively engaging in class discussions, and completing oral presentations.
  • Music Theory

    This course is for students who have an interest in writing their own music or in developing basic keyboard and sight-reading skills.  Tailored to the individual student, the course helps you learn exactly what you need to know so that you can do what you want to do more easily and skillfully.  Possible topics include finding the right chords for a melody, figuring out rhythmic patterns and communicating them to performers, sight-reading at the keyboard, songwriting start to finish, and composing on the program Sibelius.
  • Musical Composition and Scoring

    Advanced Music Theory continues the topics of the Fundamentals of Music Theory course. The emphasis remains on becoming fluent in music notation, and much of the course is devoted to students developing their own ideas into notated musical compositions, whether the result is a song, a rock ensemble piece, or a symphonic movement. The study of music theory focuses on harmony and voice-leading. Piano practice is a component of the course, and composing is done both at the piano and with the help of the music-writing software program Sibelius. In addition, students and teacher listen to many different types of music, analyze pieces' harmony and structure, and discuss the components of musical style.
  • Neo-Futurism

    Neo-Futurist acting is defined as acting “who you are, where you are, and doing what you are doing.”  Students play themselves in planned two minute skits which they create.  Skits represent metaphors of life as they see it, sort of living poetry. Students will be required to create two-minute skits, share the skits with the class, and perform the skits in front of audiences. 
  • One Act Competition

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

    This course is a mixed-level instrumental ensemble in which students continue to improve their musicianship skills. Students must know how to play and own their instruments. 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.
  • Outdoor Theater

    In Outdoor Theater, students will learn the history of theater in an outdoor setting. They will explore the humble beginnings of theater starting with Neanderthal storytelling traditions. Other units of study include Greek, Roman, Medieval, and Shakespearean theater. The Class will conclude with an outdoor performance from the class utilizing the Alsop Amphitheater.
  • Painting

    This introduction course emphasizes developing basic techniques and expressive abilities using acrylic and water-color paints on canvas and paper surfaces. Paintings will be inspired by students' photographs, master works, studio arrangements, and painting on location, as students explore and refine beginning painting techniques.
  • Paper Clay Sculpture

    Paper Clay Sculpture is an introductory course that encourages students to explore concepts of three-dimensional structures through the use of paper clay and hollow tube construction.
  • Performance Art

    This course is designed to provide students with an experience of performance art as a flexible and adaptable medium for the expression of diverse ideas.  Students will examine the relationships between performance art and other media; in particular, they will develop an understanding of the relationship between performance art and traditional theater arts.
  • Performing Arts Seminar

    The emphasis of the Performing Arts Seminar is to provide the students with understanding and appreciation for creative expression through participation in dramatic presentations in class and theater productions. The class is designed to teach the various aspects related to performance in theater: acting, movement, dance, music, public speaking, set design, publicity, costuming, and make-up artistry. In addition, the students will learn to call up emotions, develop character, and strengthen their awareness of the basic psychological gestures of expression. Through their involvement, students develop skills in memorization, sequencing, following directions, oral expression, voice projection, communication through body language and artistic symbolism.
  • Photoshop

    This course utilizes the computer graphics program, Adobe Photoshop CS3. Targeted skills include scanning, digital photography, manipulation of photographs, collages and the basics of digital darkroom techniques.
  • Pin Hole Photography

    Pinhole cameras belong to a magical world of slowness, simplicity and surprise, where creativity, imagination and the unexpected replace fast-paced, expensive, complex technologies. Pinhole cameras have no lenses, shutters or viewfinders. Using paint-can cameras, students work in a variety of settings indoors and outside.
  • Preparing for the Part

    This is an advanced acting course designed specifically for students who wish to pursue an acting career. The course covers all the aspects of performance preparation.
  • Print Making

    This course utilizes the graphics processes of dry-point etching and block printing to create art prints. Dry point etching involves making deep scratches into a plastic plate, which are then filled with ink. The print is created by placing the inked plate between a press and wet paper and applying substantial pressure. Block printing involves carving away part of a wood or rubber block and printing the remaining raised portion. The history of both of these printing processes and studies of relevant artists such as Rembrandt and M. C. Escher are on-going themes throughout the course.
  • Props and Costuming

    In this course, students learn how to read and analyze a script to find clues about a character's prop and costume needs. They will work with the EHS theater director to create a cohesive look for the costuming of characters in a play and will then work with staff to find or make the costume pieces. They will also help find or make prop pieces to be used in the main stage productions.
  • Public Speaking

    A fun, practical course to improve your ability to communicate with others and become an effective student and leader.
  • Puzzle-ology

    Students will try out a wide range of puzzles (Crossword, Sudoku, Lumosity puzzles, etc.) that exercise diverse human abilities (verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, planning, etc.). They will learn to write reviews of puzzles. They will design at least one new puzzle of a type of their choosing, create a quick prototype of it, and playtest it with focus groups. After passing the playtest process, they will then construct a polished version of the puzzle using resources from graphic design.
  • Puzzle-ology Studio

    Students will try out a wide range of puzzles and games (Crossword, Sudoku, etc.) that exercise diverse human abilities (verbal reasoning, spatial reasoning, pattern recognition, planning, etc.). They will learn to write reviews of puzzles. They will design at least one new puzzle of a type of their choosing, create a quick prototype of it, and playtest it with focus groups. After passing the playtest process, they will then construct a polished version of the puzzle. During the prototyping and polished version stages, students may use design software and making tools of the maker space to print out parts for their game/puzzle.
  • Rhythm/Semi-Stomp Ensemble

    This entry-level rhythm training class using organic and metallic materials (including shoe-taps, hand-claps, sticks, baskets, cans, etc.) develops experience with the percussion genre in music from everyday living. Students will learn to read rhythms written music and to improvise it to next level as appropriate for performing as a group rhythmic ensemble.
  • Roots of Rock

    This course first introduces students to the various musical streams that flowed into the creation of rock 'n roll in the early 1950's: primarily blues, 'hillbilly' or country music, black gospel music, Anglo-American folk music, rhythm & blues, honky-tonk and rockabilly. Historical knowledge, musical understanding and socio-cultural understanding are equally important; it is as important for a student to know how a blues singer lived as to know how he or she made his or her music. Likewise, it is as important for a student to know why jazz and musical theater are not sources for rock 'n roll as it is for them to know why the other types of music listed above are sources. This exploration of rock's roots is followed by a close look at American popular song in the crucial and rich decades of the 1950s and 1960s, with the aid of sound recordings, DVDs, the internet (including YouTube), readings and discussion. There are two primary emphases in this part of the course: the social (and occasionally political) issues associated with the music; and what gives a song or an album 'high quality' and staying power. The songs and performances of Elvis Presley, Chuck Berry, Jerry Lee Lewis, Little Richard Penniman, Johnny Cash, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Who, The Grateful Dead, The Band, Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Byrds, CSNY, Joni Mitchell, Jimi Hendrix, and Eric Clapton, among others, are listened to and discussed.
  • Screen Printing for Commercial Graphics

    This course utilizes the graphics process of screen printing, focusing on projects such as t-shirts, stickers and posters found in the commercial graphics field. In screen-printing, the principle involved is forcing ink through a stenciled screen. Procedures for making screens will include both hand-cut and photographic methods.
  • Screen Printing Studio

    The focus of the Screen Printing Studio course is on the expression of creativity in original work, rather than on technique. Students will apply painting and layering skills previously learned in the Commercial Graphics and Warhol screen printing classes. Original artwork and ideas will first be explored using the computer program Adobe Photoshop utilizing the concept of a repeated “graphic” or image throughout the artwork.
  • Screen Printing: Warhols

    This course utilizes the graphics process of screen printing. In screen-printing, the principle involved is forcing ink through a stenciled screen which has been created utilizing a photographic process. Basic art skills such as drawing, painting and color theory are targeted. Students create a 'self-portrait' in the style and manner of 60's pop artist, Andy Warhol who is considered to be the first artist to combine the areas of fine-arts and graphics.
  • 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.
  • Shakespeare Then and Now

    Some people read the Bard's work and think “What did he just say?” The goal of this course is to realize the beauty of Shakespeare’s language without being intimidated. Shakespeare wrote plays, his work is meant to be seen as well as heard. Students reading Shakespeare aloud while viewing film versions of his plays will be able to fully appreciate the plots, characters and themes of the work. By developing modern interpretations of his stories, and drawing parallels to modern day examples, students will realize that the average Elizabethan was not very different from them in many ways.
  • Songwriters Workshop

    In this class, students are guided through the process of expressing themselves creatively through the form of songwriting (lyrics set to music). While developing their own songwriting “voice,” students will be exposed to and study the works of several major songwriters in a variety of musical genres, including pop, rock, country, blues and r&b. The course provides opportunities for individual as well as collaborative song composition.
  • Special Effects Make-up

    Students will learn how to create original characters using various makeup tricks and techniques. They will learn how to apply and use greasepaint, modeling wax, foam and latex appliances, wigs and beards. They will create old-age makeup, bruises, wounds and other injuries, as well as fantastical makeup for a zombie, an animal, and a classic movie monster.
  • Stage Combat

    In Stage Combat, students learn about stage combat and how to fight safely on stage. The two areas they will be working 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.
  • Studio Art & Portfolio Preparation

    This class is designed for students who want to continue their artistic efforts at a more advanced level and/or intend to participate in post-high school graduation education at an art school, college, or university. Students work in all areas of art with particular emphasis on drawing, painting, and two-dimensional design. Through a variety of projects students are encouraged to look at and respond to themselves in terms of the aesthetic world around them. Students experience many opportunities to explore varied media, art styles, and subjects. To be successful in this class, students are required to complete homework on a weekly basis and keep a thorough personal sketchbook of observation sketches.
  • Technical Theater Internship

    Students manage and run the state-of-the-art theatrical lighting, sound, and rigging systems at the Cultural Center for our own plays, concerts and other functions and for visiting productions. Interns must be interested in technical theater and ready to be a responsible, reliable, devoted member of a team. Student interns participate in intensive training. Then, they take on responsibilities such as consulting with performing artists about their technical needs, designing and implementing lighting, sound, rigging, and set, and running the technical functions for each concert and production. Ongoing professional development helps interns hone their practice of technical arts. Interns work at scheduled times but must also be available as-needed. They earn academic credit, but more importantly, they benefit from the exciting experience, becoming expert in theatrical systems, collaborating with performing artists, and building unusually substantive resumes.
  • Textile and Fiber Art

    Come explore weaving, sewing, needlepoint, fabric collage and other projects in this exploratory course in working with textiles.
  • The Art of Pencil Drawing

    In this class students will develop skills by observing simple objects and interpreting them from their own perspective to create a finished drawing. Students will learn to use pencils as an artistic tool as they develop the ability to use their hands and eyes, to notice basic shapes. The course will emphasize observation of light, angles, perspective, horizon and contrast as the students expand the skills utilized in realistic drawing.
  • The Audition

    This is a course designed for students to prepare for auditions in the performance arts.
  • The History of Filmmaking

    In this course, we will be studying the beginnings of film as an art form through the examination of documentaries and through independent research. The Story of Film: An Odyssey is a journey through the history of filmmaking to the digital age. It will be used as a basis for discussion along with the documentary Side by Side, a film about the history of digital cinema technology and its impact on the film industry. Any student planning a career in film should consider taking this course.
  • The Rise of Impressionism

    Why is Impression: Sunrise by Monet so revolutionary? What appears to be a beautiful sunset with boats on the water is actually a tour-de-force that would forever change French art and the rest of the art world . Impressionism consisted of a small group of painters who thought the art world had become too "academic" and stale. What did they do? They turned the art world upside down, breaking the definition of art.  In this course, we will study the French art world during the late 1800s, understanding why Impressionism was such a rebellious act. Studying the works of Monet, Renoir, Caillebotte, Pizarro and others, we will see how they all came together and also that they each had different views of Impressionism. Finally, we will see how Impressionism influenced Post-Impressionism and how that art movement sparked the beginning of Modernism.
  • Theater Dance

    This course covers an introduction to basic dance techniques, movement concepts, spatial awareness and performance skills for Musical Theater dance.  Topics include exercises in body alignment, coordination, warm up techniques, knowledge of basic dance vocabulary and regular presentations in various choreography styles.
  • Theatrical Costuming and Make-up

    Students will learn how a designer chooses particular costume pieces and make-up styles for a theatrical show and the about collaborative process between the designers and the director.  Areas of focus are historical costuming, simple sewing skills, character development, and the application of make-up.  Specific make-up styles will include beauty, animals, old age, and supernatural creatures and special effects.  The class will also design costumes, wigs, hairstyles and make-up for the Eagle Hill productions. Students are expected to work as the crew during tech week and for all Eagle Hill performances. 
  • Water Color Technique

    Students will experiment with water color techniques using a variety of tools as brushes to create simple images.
  • Woodworking

    This course acquaints the students with the essential principles of woodworking. Topics include wood characteristics, use of hand tools, portable power tools, and basic machinery. Emphasis is placed on proper technique, safety, and policies for the woodshop. Students complete a project designed to develop primary woodworking skills.
  • Woodworking: Adirondack Chairs

    In this course students will learn basic woodworking techniques, power/hand tool use and safety while making an Adirondack chair.  The course will cover measurement skills, wood identification, and how to read a plan.  Once they gain a good understanding of the basic skills each student will begin working on their own pair of chairs.  The course will continue through the assembly and finishing process until the student has a finished product to take home.
  • Woodworking: Box Making

    In this course students learn basic woodworking techniques, power/hand tool use and safety while making a small box project. The project will start with a student generated design idea, developed cooperatively with the teacher. As the design evolves, the student will learn about design aspects as well as how various woodworking techniques play an important role in the project’s development. Each student will complete a small box of their own design before the term’s completion.
  • Woodworking: CNC Cribbage Board

    In this course students will learn the basics of the CNC software “Aspire.” Once they gain a solid understanding of the software and how the CNC machine works, students will design and build a cribbage board to take with them. If time allows, students will also learn how to play the game of cribbage.
  • World Musics

    Survey of music on six continents. Functions, traditions, instruments, performances, rituals and more.


  • Photo of Michael Richard

    Michael Richard

    Teacher/Department Chair
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  • Molly Archambault

    Marketing and Box Office Manager
  • Photo of Pat Bock

    Pat Bock

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  • Photo of William Gelinas

    William Gelinas

  • Isabella Gentleman

  • Photo of Carl Mercier

    Carl Mercier

    Director of Cultural Center
  • Photo of Jeffrey Myra

    Jeffrey Myra

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P.O. Box 116
242 Old Petersham Road
Hardwick, MA 01037
Phone: 413.477.6000
Fax: 413.477.6837

Eagle Hill School

Eagle Hill School is the premier college preparatory boarding and day school for students in grades 8-12 with diverse learning profiles, such as ADHD and Dyslexia.