The Theatre Department has 135 students who are divided into four levels. Students in Levels 1 and 2 begin by studying all aspects of theatre including acting, voice and movement for the actor, design, theatre history, musical theatre, dramaturgy, play-writing , directing, and stage management. In the second semester of the Level 2 year, students will choose an area of focus in which to specialize for the Level 3 and 4 years of study. They will focus on hands-on preparation, production, and performance as well as audition and portfolio development for college auditions.
The mission of the HSPVA Theatre Department is to give the theatre arts student a diverse foundation of rigorous theatrical training while nurturing the artistic spirit, which will ultimately allow the student to thrive in a competitive professional world.
Theatre Department Philosophy
The HSPVA Theatre Department bases its philosophy on the writings of Dr. F. Loren Winship, an early chairman of the University Interscholastic League and later professor and chair of the University of Texas Department of Drama. Winship was a pioneer in the area of theatre education in Texas, if not the nation.
- Educational theatre is a creative, practical activity. Its participants learn the dignity of human labor through a variety of tasks. They master the techniques of handling tools, electrical equipment, paint, lumber, and sewing materials. They learn to sell tickets, to make and upholster furniture, and to launder clothing. They draw upon their knowledge of mathematics, physics, speech, art, journalism, music, English, dance, history, literature, industrial arts, psychology, homemaking, and foreign languages, and combine all these to produce a play.
- Educational theatre is a creative, culturally enlightening activity. Its participants learn to appreciate the great literary masterpieces of Moliere, Shakespeare, Shaw and the Greeks as well as noted contemporary playwrights. Art appreciation is engendered through study of good literature, music, dance and visual arts.
- Educational theatre is a creative, democratic activity. Students learn the principles of democracy and civic responsibility through working in close harmony. Inherent to play production are aspects of a functional democracy always present in a free society, such as the natural bonding that occurs during rehearsal periods, crew responsibilities, meeting deadlines, settling differences with tolerance, leading and being led.
- Educational theatre is a creative activity that has personal and therapeutic values. Students develop self-confidence, poise, initiative, resourcefulness, self-discipline, and independent thought while appreciating the abilities and efforts of others. They learn the importance of orderly procedure and detailed planning. Students keenly experience a sense of belonging in the midst of an outlet for physical, emotional, and mental concerns. Theatre provides a defined purpose for staying in school while paying closer attention to scholastic pursuits.
- Educational theatre is a creative activity that provides a basis for success in any avenue of the student’s future. Training in theatre prepares young people for a variety of careers and for the skills necessary for a rich personal life.
- Therefore, educational theatre is a creative segment of academic life that becomes more than an extracurricular activity, more than a medium of entertainment, and more than just a class play.
For more information about the Theatre Department please visit the following site: www.hspvatheatre.com.