The Burlington School drama program has a successful history of amazing performances by our incredibly talented students. All levels of drama are taught by Bethany Baker.
Drama classes focus on developing presentation and acting skills (acting in the moment, projection, improvisation, self-esteem and teamwork) by building mutual trust and confidence through improvisation, scene work, acting exercises and performing polished pieces for school audiences. TBS also has a proud tradition of tying themes of our plays into our curriculum. For example, Mulan, Jr. carried themes of perseverance and leadership, which are two of our pledge themes. Those themes are woven into a Spartan education all year long to create more connections between subjects so that our students can have a more cohesive educational experience.
Starting in transitional kindergarten, our Lower School students regularly have drama class. In these early years, they develop important skills like listening, cooperating with the group, following directions, paying attention, focusing on activities and the art of pretending. Through drama, students start to develop their own sense of confidence, self-esteem and trust in their peers.
As students progress through the Lower School, new skills are added. Starting in first and second grade, they learn to follow artistic direction in the context of the stage and develop presentation and performance skills. By fourth grade, our students are telling stories, writing their own scenes and acting out complex scenes with confidence.
Middle School drama classes expand upon the lessons learned in Lower School. Students strengthen their ability to follow artistic direction in the context of the stage and further develop their presentation and performance skills. Trust, respect and support among peers are nurtured to build confidence in performance situations through games and scenes.
In Upper School, drama can be taken as an elective that meets one of the fine arts requirements for graduation.
Drama focuses on further developing presentation and acting skills such as projection, improvisation and teamwork by building mutual trust and confidence through scene work, acting exercises and performing polished pieces for audiences. Students analyze and perform great works of theater to then model and write original works. They explore and practice techniques developed by Stanislavski, Meisner and Viola Spolin. Students who have taken multiple years of drama have opportunities to direct and produce works.
All students in grades 3-8 are eligible to audition for the fall play or spring musical production. Upper School students who do take drama are required to participate. There are opportunities on stage and behind the scenes, which students can choose based on their individual talents and interests. Mrs. Baker creates a nurturing atmosphere of trust and respect among all participants, as students set individual goals from building self-confidence in expressing themselves effectively in front of others, to developing skills for future opportunities in the performing arts.