I am looking forward to another exciting year in Gordon School’s theater program! Every student is encouraged to participate in theater in some form, and we strive to create a safe place of belonging for all students. The following is an overview of opportunities for this school year.
Afterschool theater is available to students in third to eighth grade, and enrichments include theater classes for younger children nearly every season. Everyone who is interested is included; all who would like a part are cast. Each child's contribution to the whole is honored, and every student from fourth grade on is given at least one 'spotlight' moment (lines, solos, stage business, and so on). As always, behind-the-scenes work on set and technical crew is creative, celebrated, and child-driven.
Each participant will sign a commitment statement at the beginning of each production, underscoring the belief that participation is a privilege, and specifying expectations of conduct. Accordingly, please know that respectful behavior, seriousness of purpose, and positive group dynamics are valued above all else – while operating within a joyful atmosphere of some autonomy. Rehearsals run for a period of between six and nine weeks in each of the three seasons, and students are expected to maintain a committed presence throughout the period.
Lower School theater
Third and fourth graders are invited to be part of a musical play, to be performed in the spring this year: the performance will be in May, with rehearsals beginning in March. We will rehearse two days a week, Monday and Wednesday, with some added days for fourth grade only. Rehearsals run from dismissal until 5:00 PM until two weeks before the production, when rehearsals run until 5:30 PM.
Middle School theater and dance
A play in the fall and a musical in the winter are available to middle schoolers; additionally, in-school elective classes in theater and dance are available to seventh and eighth grades. Middle School students may participate in the after school fall play while playing a Gordon sport, but cannot participate in basketball and the musical due to the overlap of the seasons. G-Notes and the competitive robotics teams are not a conflict for any of the theater experiences. Middle School generally rehearses Monday through Friday with not all actors called for every rehearsal; rehearsals run from dismissal until 5:00 PM until two weeks before the production, when rehearsals run until 5:30 PM.
Additionally, for ten years Gordon School has participated in the multi-school project called Shakespeare In The City, which performs each year at VETS. Rehearsals will be held in a concentrated two or three week period in May, with a performance date to be announced. Parts are open to sixth through eighth graders.
Further, eighth grade participates in a Shakespeare workshop given by Brown-Trinity MFA students, in order to deepen their understanding of the text, Romeo & Juliet, which they read in the fall. The MFA students then perform their repertory productions of two Shakespeare plays on site at Gordon School. more on Gordon's partnership with Trinity Rep
Eighth grade is also invited to participate in the leadership opportunity provided by the Arts Council, which runs two movie nights and four open-mic style No Fear Friday events. All of Middle School is invited to sign up to share any style of performance at a No Fear Friday. In the past students have played instruments, given dance exhibits, told jokes, shared skits or original songs, and performed with various styles of bands. These informal evenings run about ninety minutes, and pizza is available.
Gordon Summer Theater
June will mark the fifth year of Gordon’s Summer Theater camp. Run in conjunction with Trinity Repertory’s company members, Gordon Summer Theater offers a variety of master classes in the mornings, and features a full-length production rehearsed in the afternoon – with plenty of summer fun throughout! Further information will be available as the year progresses. Theater is perhaps the most comprehensive of all the arts: it incorporates all other forms, and seeks no lesser goal than to probe the essence of our humanity. Since the first cave person re-lived the hunt around the fire, playmaking has told stories that hold a mirror up to society, revealing us to ourselves at our best and worst. Theater is a place to build community and explore commonality. We very much hope your student will choose to explore one (or all!) of our many theater offerings.
I hope to see you all at the theater this year!
Milly Massey Director of Fine and Performing Arts