The Department of Theater and Dance engages students from Kindergarten through Twelfth Grade through a variety of progressive courses of study for students at all levels of expertise. We want students to grapple with the question: What does it mean to “make” theater in the 21st century? It is through this type of aesthetic and cultural analysis that a student comes to understand classical texts and forms, as well as modern and original works, and how they relate to the process of creating contemporary performances in theater and dance. Our youngest students, in Primary and Lower Schools, perform works of children’s literature and dance in the annual Holiday Program as well as at theme oriented assemblies and the spring Open House. In Sixth Grade, all students study acting and dance through the Arts Rotation class and are able to audition for the Middle School musical and take part in the grade six Shakespeare project. Seventh and Eighth Graders choose among these disciplines as well as Musical Theater for their electives and may also audition for the Fall musical, as well as the non musical play presented each spring. Upper School students have a wide range of electives and performance opportunities in both disciplines including musical theater through classes in the curriculum as well as the audition-based Conservatory of Dance and Theater programs. Many students are also active in our Lunch Time Theater program and Poetry People, which give students the opportunity to make theater for other students.