At Oakwood, the thespian is embraced by every person in our community either as an enthusiastic member of the cast, support team or audience. Starting with the youngest student, drama is something to look forward to as the annual Pre-K and Kindergarten productions are a tradition and rite of passage.
In Middle and Upper School, the annual musical in late winter is one of the highlights of the Oakwood year. Students of all sorts find themselves curious and delighted to be a part of the production. From the athlete to the academic and the novice to the experienced actor, students find themselves excited to be on the bigger creative stage as the whole school comes together to enjoy and celebrate the efforts and talents of our students and the faculty supporting them.
In 4-6 grade, students are exposed to monthly theatre classes where they can develop creativity, confidence, discipline, collaborative and leadership skills through acting technique, improvisation, storytelling, voice and movement exercises and theatre games.
Seventh graders have the option to attend a weekly theatre class that builds on and applies the foundation of theatre skills through more focused units in filmmaking, improvisational comedy, devised performance projects and other topics.
In the Introduction to Theatre course, students explore how theatre is created and how theater has influenced culture and thought. Students develop confidence, gain an awareness of body and voice, practice listening, audience etiquette, feedback techniques, critical thinking and research methodologies through various group and individual performances, projects and written assignments. Students will take on the roles of each of the major collaborators in theatre: the actor, the director, the playwright, the audience, and the designer throughout the school year. Criteria used to evaluate performing arts is discussed and applied to live performance, written scripts and class work.
In the fall of 2017, Oakwood chartered Troupe #8494 of the International Thespian Society. ITS is an honors society for high school theatre students with troupes at 4,200 schools worldwide. ITS recognizes the achievement of thespians through honors, scholarships, grants, and awards, provides leadership and service opportunities, and allows inducted students to develop into well-rounded theatre artists and people. Students earn points towards induction and honors by participating in the annual musical and other troupe and school activities.