McKinney Independent School District has long had a reputation for quality Theatre Arts Programs. The school district provides opportunities for children from Middle School through High School. The teachers and staff are dedicated to providing a variety of programming which will challenge, improve, and strengthen what the child learns in the Theatre classroom. Though entry into the theatre program may occur at any point in the secondary school years, students may begin their study of theatre at the middle school level in 7th or 8th grade.
The purpose of theatre arts in middle school is to introduce and expose the student to the many aspects of dramatic arts emphasizing a positive self-concept, self-discipline, creativity, and an appreciation of the overall theatrical experience. Courses offered at the middle school include Theatre Arts I and II and Advanced Theater.
Theatre Arts I and II is designed to develop the creative and imaginative abilities of the student. Classroom activities stress the growth of the individual student’s self-confidence, both on and off stage, as well as his/her ability to accept directions and criticisms. The student will study basic acting and directing techniques and terminology, improvisations, short skits, short plays, pantomimes, and mime, as well as a basic study of various personality types in assigned readings. Students enrolled in these classes will also study the basics of set design, make-up, costuming, sound and lighting.
Advance Theater is designed for the serious theater student who obviously shows a great deal of ability in the area of Theatre Arts. This is an audition only class and student must be approved by the head theatre teacher on each campus. Students in this class will perform and learn at a much deeper level all areas of Theatre Arts.
Theatre Arts I and II provides the student an overall appreciation of theatre as a performing art as well as an introduction to production skills. It will acquaint the student with the basics of acting and improvisation through voice, body, and sensory explorations. In addition, the course includes instruction in the fundamentals of play production, technical theatre, dramatic literature, and theatre history. The course will heighten each student’s awareness and creativity and acquaint each student with theatre as a dynamic experience.
Theatre Arts III and IV are advanced explorations of theatre, emphasizing the study of acting techniques and philosophies. Through these studies, the student will begin to formulate his/her own method and philosophy of acting, stressing the importance of listening, reacting, and physicalization predicated by spontaneity and honesty. The study of great actors and playwrights and their contributions to world theatre is explored. Students are expected to become involved in some play productions during the year.
Technical Theatre I-IV offers high school students the opportunity to learn about the many support processes that comprise theatrical performances. Topics include set design, set construction, lighting, sound, properties, costuming, and special effects. Students will study stage management, exploring various forms of leadership skills. Students will be required to attend play rehearsals and serve on production crews outside of class.
Highly motivated high school students may elect to enroll in Theatre Production I-IV. Contact your High School Theatre teacher for information regarding auditions. This course is an advanced exploration of theatre. Students will study various acting techniques, technical theatre, play production, voice, acting performance, movement, and drama as literature.