In the theater department, the goal is to expose our students to the active practice of the art of theater; therefore, empathy, metaphor, collaboration, kinetic understanding, discipline, playfulness, and creativity are central activities.
Our mission is to present theater studies as an academic area of the school's curriculum; to construct a discourse that does not separate acts of knowing from doing, theory from practice, or life from art; to value the qualities of gratitude, forgiveness, optimism, courage, and love; and to strive to help our students to see meaning and to find satisfaction in their lives and in the lives around them.
1) We work to awaken and focus our student's emotional intelligence (their empathy) at each appropriate age level through direct physical, intellectual, and emotional activity – a synthesis of skills, intellectual understanding, and self expression realized through a rigorous curriculum including an ambitious production program. We expect our students to be able to recognize and employ empathy in their creative work, their school lives, and all their future interactions.
2) We teach the special vocabulary and techniques of theater and film at each appropriate age level to the service of narrative/metaphor-making which gives students tools for finding meaning and purpose in their lives. We expect our students to recognize in critical and dynamic terms that metaphors emerge from the body to become part of the theoretical structures – the organization of consciousness – through which we perceive the world.
3) We emphasise the role of active collaboration in creative work and the temporal nature of theater art (and of our lives) at each appropriate age level. We expect that our students will come to appreciate that there are other ways of understanding the world and what the world implies than through the mind; that the body's understanding is as deep as and, in the deepest cases, inseparable from the mind's understanding: that an unarticulated subtext may be more meaningful – literally full of meaning – than a text; and that a prepared intuition, an educated instinct, may be the deepest and surest way of knowing of all.
4) We address creation through discipline and playfulness at each appropriate age level. We expect our students to have the tools to knowledgably appreciate and/or participate in theater throughout their adult lives, retaining the inventive playfulness of youth focused and deepened by the discipline of maturity. Theater teaches play – something harder and harder to learn after childhood, when what Wordsworth calls "the shades of the prison house" close in on us. Our students are prepared for the aesthetic, emotional, and spiritual demands their futures while creating works of utility and significance in the present.