Theatre at Beacon
One of the core values of the Beacon School is cross-curricular, project-based learning. Studying theatre at Beacon is no exception; students explore performance, playwriting, direction, and design - though not necessarily in that order. A most intersectional art - theatre at Beacon offers an entry point for everyone who wants to play.
Our curriculum offers four levels of study, up to four annual main stage productions, a vocal ensemble, and pit band, a dedicated First-Year Project, a student-written play festival, and an ongoing relationship with the Theatre Development Fund which brings students to see professional productions every semester.
Beacon Theatre, and the after-school program, B’DAT, has a reputation for producing non-traditional high school repertoire, favoring rock musicals that reflect our music department’s strengths, and with social justice themes.Check out our production history and more details on the B’DAT website!
Jo Ann Cimato, B’DAT Program Director
David Brune, Technical Director
Keithlyn Parkman *, Master Electrician, Lighting Designer
Alejandro Senior, Music Director
Krista Jansen, Movement Director/ Choreographer
Jennie Russianoff *, Freshman Project Director
Maya Macdonald *, Playwright in Residence
* Denotes Beacon Alumna
Theatre Arts - Theatre Arts is an ensemble class designed to accelerate student actors into serious scene study. Through the exploration of several texts including 365/365 by Suzan Lori Parks and Twilight Los Angeles, 1992 by Anna Deveare Smith, students develop essential script analysis skills for performance. Through games and physical explorations, students learn acting technique focused on bodywork and voice work. Projects include preparing audition appropriate monologues, partner scenes, and short plays. The class is heavily suggested for 10th-grade students wishing to pursue serious theatre study and 11th-grade students who feel they need more practice before moving into the advanced class.
Advanced Theatre Arts - Advanced Theatre Arts is a course for serious theatre students. Juniors and seniors navigate through various performance projects that integrate script analysis with practical acting methods. The course pushes students to craft their own “acting process” and challenges them to recognize their strengths and weaknesses both on and off stage. Advanced Theatre Arts provides the preparation of classical material appropriate for college and scholarship auditions. This half-year course can be repeated by choice, as the content changes each semester. Students are assessed for their progress from project to project, as much as for their professionalism, contributions to class discussions, written assignments, and their collaboration among our community of artists.Theatre Arts Honors- Theatre Arts Honors is a course for focused theatre students pursuing conservatory training after high school. Seniors who have completed Advanced Theatre Arts successfully navigate challenging casting in roles that are against their type, or from periods of history that require more complex script analysis and dramaturgy. As directors, students curate and stage varying styles of performance with their peers. Students are assessed for their progress from project to project as much as for their professionalism, contributions to class discussions, written assignments, and their collaboration among our community of artists. The Theatre Arts Honors class is by audition or invitation only and is a full-year course.
B’DAT is the Beacon Drama Art Theatre; are a large group of student theatre artists that collaborate to produce theatre performances of all kinds. We produce a diverse season, which includes working in both the intimate black box and the large mainstage theatre. We also produce a huge vocal music/ choir event, the Freshman Project, the TDF Student play festival and senior thesis projects.
Students that are ready to work hard and learn on the job should attend a B’DAT Town Meeting (one is held at the top of each semester) to get involved! B’DAT is open to all students in good academic standing at Beacon regardless of experience or grade. We are looking for students who are positive spirited creative types that can commit to a project and follow through. While in production for a main stage, B’DAT meets afterschool 2-5 times a week, depending on your role or job on the project.