The Art Department consists of three separate disciplines of artistic and personal expression: Visual Arts, Theater, and Music. These distinct disciplines introduce students to the basic vocabulary of the art forms and illustrate the constant dialogue between the arts and our society. Each member of the department strives to teach fundamental skills while also stressing the theories and concepts that accompany these skills.

All students must complete twenty full credits within the department by the end of their sophomore year. This requirement may be met by taking two full years of a given field of study or by sampling a variety of disciplines within the departmental electives.

Performing Arts: Acting - Intermediate

Intermediate Acting continues the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation, and scene work. Students learn to discover their inner resources and use them to inform their acting work. Students’ work will focus on actions and objectives, sense memory, subtext, and character analysis and creation. Individual and group exercises culminate in scene work from comic and dramatic plays.

 

Two Term Course

Prerequisite: Foundations of Theatre or permission of instructor

Open to Grade Levels: 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Acting - Advanced Theater

Advanced Theater is a one-term, process-to-production course designed to prepare students for two public performances at Beaver. The course begins by focusing on script analysis and character development and then students engage in the rehearsal process to bring the play to fruition with the Advanced Design & Tech and Costume Design classes. Acting roles are open to seniors who have completed all prerequisites. Students entering this class should be highly motivated and interested in an intense and exciting experience that requires a great deal of commitment. Recent productions include, Stop Kiss, The Heidi Chronicles, Distracted, The Shape of Things, Durango, and The Wooden Heart.

One Term Course
Prerequisites: Acting: Scene Study or permission of the instructor
Open to Grade Levels: 12

Performing Arts: Acting - Foundations of Theater

In this introductory course, students will begin the year working on developing the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games, improvisation and scene work. Students will learn about specific script analysis tools and the design and production aspects of theatre. Practical hands-on stagecraft is taught in the various theaters and theater-related spaces such as the scene shop and control booth. This course meets with the Foundations of Design/Tech Theater class, and it is meant to give students an overview of the major components of theater including acting, technical theater, public speaking, and script analysis. The aim of the course is to prepare students to implement and perform in the Ten-Minute Playfest which is a public production at the end of the spring term.

 

Two Term Course

This course is a prerequisite for students entering the Upper School Theater Program.

Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10

Performing Arts: Acting - Scene Study

Scene Study continues to support the actor’s process through warm-up exercises, rehearsal techniques and games; but the focus is on applying techniques to scene work from scripted plays. In Term I, students explore different characters while collaborating closely with other students as actors. After further training in scene work and directing, students can also choose to both direct scenes and act during Term 2. They also continue to analyze dramatic scenes from multiple perspectives. Authors studied include: Lorraine Hansberry, Arthur Miller, Oscar Wilde, and John Patrick Shanley.

 

Two Term Course

Prerequisite: Intermediate Acting  or permission of instructor.

Open to Grade Levels: 11, 12

Performing Arts: Advanced Costume Design

Advanced Costume Design is a one-term, process-to-production course designed to prepare students for the role of Costume Designer or Draper for the Advanced Theater Production. Students will begin with script analysis and design and then work with a production team to bring the play to fruition with the Advanced Theater Acting and Design & Tech classes. Students entering this class should be highly motivated and interested in an exciting experience that requires a great deal of commitment. Recent productions include Durango and The Wooden Heart.

One Term Course 
Prerequisites: Costume and Fashion Design Studio or permission of the instructor.
Open to Grade Levels: 12

Performing Arts: Beginning Guitar/Piano

Have you always wanted to learn how to play the guitar or piano? Did you teach yourself how to play a few chords, but want to take the next step? This practical, non-performance based course is designed for students with little to no previous guitar/piano experience. After choosing to focus on either piano or guitar, essential skills are taught in a fun, supportive setting that allows students to develop at their own pace. The idea is to get you playing right away. By the end of the course, you will be able to play simple simple pieces, including songs that you choose yourself. This course can be taken more than once.

One Term Course
No prerequisite
Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Choral - A Cappella Foundations

A Cappella Foundations will introduce students to the fundamentals of a cappella singing, including vocal technique, music literacy, and artistic expression. Students will also cultivate a working knowledge of fundamental music theory and explore the wider cultural context of the repertoire they study. Throughout the course, students will learn how to listen for tuning and ensemble blend during rehearsal. The aim of the course is to develop confident musicians and prepare for a public concert at the end of the term. Weekly individual voice lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to their private music lessons.

One Term Course
Prerequisite: No prerequisite
Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Choral - B-Side A Cappella

B-Side A Cappella builds on and further develops the skills learned from A Cappella Foundations while introducing a cappella vocal arranging and improvisation. Students will continue to develop their vocal technique and musicianship while exploring the wider cultural context of the repertoire they study. Throughout the course, they will learn how to work independently in smaller groups and will be given leadership opportunities in weekly rehearsals. The aim of the course is to prepare students to rehearse and perform a cappella vocal music independently and to perform in one public concert each term. This course can be taken more than once. Weekly individual voice lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to their private music lessons.

Two Term Course. Can be taken for 1 Term only if in conjunction with A Cappella Foundations.
Prerequisite: Any Upper School choral ensemble or permission of the instructor.
Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Choral - Select Singers (Honors)

Select Singers is an all-year course for experienced singers which aims to advance vocal technique, ensemble skills, and individual musicianship through study and performance of a wide variety of choral repertoire. Students will work in a variety of smaller groups within the ensemble in both sight-reading exercises and sectional rehearsals. Students should be highly motivated and committed to learning music at an accelerated pace and be prepared to sing for public concerts in smaller ensembles. Select Singers will prepare a varied program of repertoire for concerts at the end of each term. This course can be taken more than once. Weekly individual voice lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to their private music lessons.

Three Term Course
Prerequisite: Audition
Open to Grade levels: 10,11,12

Performing Arts: Costume & Fashion Design Studio

Students will develop a basic understanding of the principles of costume and fashion design. Through individual projects, students will be able to explore a wide range of skills and techniques needed to successfully create and visually communicate a design through the use of research, imagery, fabric, texture, shape, color and line. Students will also have opportunities to build from designs. These designs can either be their own work or students can work building costumes for the main stage productions. Techniques students can explore through this process may include sewing, draping, pattern making, tailoring, dyeing, distressing, fabric identification, painting, and craft. Students are given the opportunity to design their own experience based on where their interests lie within costume and fashion design. Current projects include the research, design and construction of a prom dress and fulfilling the role of Design Assistant for the Middle School Musical. This class can be taken more than once.

Three Term Course
No Prerequisite required.
Open to grade levels 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Dance - Choreography Foundations

This course will provide an in-depth study of movement and choreographic tools through the lens of dance as it appears in pop culture (film, live music performance, commercial hip hop, etc). Along with viewing dance through a critical lens, coursework will offer students the opportunity to develop a greater sense of body awareness, self-confidence, and self-discipline by learning how to express emotion and a point of view through movement.Through solo and group projects, students will have the opportunity to put into practice some of those elements of choreography and discover their individual voice as part of their creative process. Coursework will culminate in a final presentation that will include original compositions by the students. This class can be taken more than once.

Three Term Course
No Prerequisite required.
Open to grade levels 9,10,11,12

Performing Arts: Instrumental - Ikonoclastic

Ikonoclastic is an ensemble for students who identify as female or non-binary and is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician and to expand skills for returning students.. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing their instrument independently with at least one full year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Students who are new to Beaver will be contacted by a faculty member prior to the beginning of the school year to ensure proper ensemble placement. Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.

Three Term Course
Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.
Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Instrumental Ensemble I

Instrumental Ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). This performing arts course strives to build a strong foundation for the student musician. Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills. The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Students should be capable of playing their instrument independently with at least one full year of private lessons and/or ensemble experience. Students who are new to Beaver will be contacted by a faculty member prior to the beginning of the school year to ensure proper ensemble placement. Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.

Two Term Course
Prerequisite: One year experience with private lessons and/or ensemble experience.
Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Instrumental Ensemble II

The Instrumental Ensemble II course builds on and further develops the skills introduced in Instrumental Ensemble I. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). Students will study and play a wide range of repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes components from the classical music traditions as well as contemporary styles such as jazz and blues as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, rehearsal/performance skills, and improvisation skills.The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year.Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.

Two Term Course
Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble I, Ikonoclastic or placement audition
Open to Grade Levels: 9, 10, 11, 12

Performing Arts: Instrumental Music - Chroma

Chroma is an ensemble that offers the advanced instrumentalist an in-depth study of large ensemble works across a wide range of repertoire. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). Students will study and play a wide range of intermediate and advanced repertoire with a focus on building technical skills while exploring the cultural and historical context of the repertoire. This course utilizes custom arrangements, taking components from the classical music tradition as well as contemporary styles such as pop and jazz as vehicles to develop students’ technique and creative processes. Class material will integrate music theory, instrumental technique, and rehearsal/performance skills.The ensemble will perform in formal mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.

Two Term Course
Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble II, Ikonoclastic or placement audition.
Open to Grade Levels: 11, 12

Performing Arts: Instrumental Music - Cuban Ensemble

In this course students will specialize in and learn a variety of Afro-Cuban Jazz Standards. They will explore Cuban culture and history to gain a greater understanding of the evolution of Cuban music and its relationship and impact on North American jazz. The course includes in a 8-day long trip to Havana, Cuba which will take place during the first week of spring break in March 2021. Once in Cuba, students will attend “Escuela Nacional de Arte” a prestigious music school in Havana. In addition to honing their music skills, students will participate in rehearsals with the Cuban conservatory students while making cross-cultural and historical connections. Auditions are open for the following instruments: Bass, Drums, Percussion, Guitar, Piano, Strings, Brass and Woodwinds. This ensemble performs three formal concerts and at some additional school forums. Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.

Three Term Class – G Block
Prerequisite: Audition
Open to grade levels: 11, 12

Performing Arts: Instrumental Music - Jazz Combo

This course offers the advanced instrumentalist an in-depth study of jazz performance. This ensemble is open to all instruments including strings, woodwinds, brass and rhythm section (piano, guitar, bass, percussion). While playing a range of jazz repertoire, students will apply theory and learn strategies for interpreting and soloing over standard jazz chord changes. They will develop skills with swing phrasing, articulation, sight reading, and idiomatic ensemble traditions. Rhythm section instrumentalist (piano, guitar, bass and drums) will learn how to independently develop a range of instrument-specific parts for standard jazz repertoire. Students will build jazz vocabulary and develop their own voice as improvisers. The ensemble will perform in mandatory concerts throughout the year. Weekly individual instrumental lessons are not required, but are available on campus to students for an additional fee. Students who are on financial aid at Beaver have the same percentage of aid applied to private lessons.

Two Term Course
Prerequisite: Instrumental Ensemble II, Ikonoclastic or placement audition.
Open to Grade Levels: 11,12

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Advanced Design & Tech

Advanced Design & Tech is a one-term, process-to-production course designed to prepare students for 2 public performances at Beaver. The course begins by focusing on script analysis and design, and then students work as theatre technicians and designers to bring the play to fruition with the Advanced Theater Acting and Costume Design classes. Technical theater roles encompass areas such as stage management, set, light and sound design as well as technical direction and engineering and running crews. Students entering this class should be highly motivated and interested in an intense and exciting experience that requires a great deal of commitment. Recent productions include Durango and The Wooden Heart.

One Term Course
Prerequisites: Design & Tech Studio or permission of the instructor.
Open to Grade Levels: 12

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Design & Tech Studio

Design & Tech Studio is a course for students interested in Technical Theater and/or Theatrical Design. Students will have the opportunity to design their own experience through a combination of projects and workshops, allowing them to learn and utilize design and production tools as well as carpentry, scenic painting, props, lighting, and sound. Students will explore how theater artists use these tools for creative problem solving and to communicate with audience members. The successful student would gain an understanding of shop and theater safe working practices, basic construction skills, knowledge of lighting and sound instrumentation and rigging, as well as how communication, planning and collaboration are central to the health of a theater production. This course can be taken more than once.

 

Three Term Course

No Prerequisites

Open to Grade Levels: 10,11,12

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Foundations of Design/Tech Theater

In this introductory course, students will begin the year using design projects and games, practical activities and scene work to develop storytelling skills. Students will learn about the design and production aspects of theatre and specific script analysis tools. Practical hands-on stagecraft is taught in the various theaters and theater-related spaces such as the scene shop and control booth. This course meets with the Foundations of Theater class, and it is meant to give students an overview of the major components of theater including acting, technical theater, public speaking, and script analysis. The aim of the course is to prepare students to implement and perform in the Ten-Minute Playfest which is a public production at the end of the spring term.

Two Term Course

This course is a prerequisite for students entering the Upper School Theater Program.

Open to Grade Levels: 9,10

Performing Arts: Technical Theater - Mainstage Design Independent Study

Mainstage Design Independent Study is a course for students with experience in Theatrical Design who are ready to design or assistant design on a mainstage production at Beaver. Students will learn about and utilize design, rendering tools, and communication strategies while gaining an assistant designer or designer resume credit. The successful student would practice skills and strategies related to communication, planning, and collaboration, as well as exercise creative thinking and problem solving methods essential to producing a theatrical design. Students taking this course must also take the Technical Theater Afternoon Activity in the same term. This course can be taken more than once.

 

One Term Course

Prerequisite Tech Theater – Design & Tech Studio and permission of instructor.

Performing Arts: The Actors' Showcase

This workshop is designed for the enthusiastic actor developing his/her craft. It will focus on audition material for college and theatre opportunities beyond Beaver. The course will give students an opportunity to prepare audition monologues as well as explore dramatic structure and topical themes through contemporary scene work. This course is for both the dedicated and independent drama student and students that wish to explore drama for the first time. This course will culminate in a showcase in the Black Box at the end of the term.

 

One Term Course

No Prerequisites.

Open to Grade Levels: 11, 12