Arts

Drama

Drama has been an essential thread in the tapestry of Tandem Friends life. The drama program addresses the needs of both our Upper School and Middle School students. Our goal is to provide an opportunity for all students to explore their own self-expression, to develop theater skills, and to be dazzled by the magic of the stage.

The school puts on seven drama productions per year, so the theatre space is a busy one. Middle School plays are rehearsed during the school day for the most part, while Upper School drama productions are an extracurricular activity.

Students, faculty, and the local community celebrate the art of the theater by attending our plays, being a lively, playful audience, applauding loudly, and by being moved and inspired by each cast and crew. Local theatre artists (choreographers, designers, musicians, vocal coaches) are often brought in to enhance the drama production experience.

Middle School Drama

In Middle School, drama is an integral part of the daily academic curriculum. In our unique arts program, Tandem Friends School honors and supports the cultivation of students’ growth and learning through the practice, problem solving, and artistry of theatre.

In the 5th and 6th grades, all students take drama the same semester. In the 5th grade, the class culminates in a unique production of Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream. 6th graders put on a Broadway Jr. musical at the end of their semester-long class. 7th graders split into two groups each semester, with one half working to brainstorm, create, rehearse and perform their original material as Cafe 007 (skits, monologues, poetry etc.) in drama class while the other section attends band/music classes, also rehearsing and performing music for Cafe 007. 8th graders choose between a semester of musical theatre or visual art and a semester of visual art, music, or drama. The 8th grade musical theatre class puts on a Broadway musical in the fall. 8th graders submitting films to the International Quaker Bridge Film Festival.

List of 1 items.

  • Recent Middle School Productions

    Mary Poppins
    Into the Woods

    Once Upon a Mattress
    Grease (School Version)
    Willy Wonka, Jr. (radio play episodes)
    Seussical, Jr.
    Fiddler on the Roof, Jr.
    The Little Mermaid, Jr.
    Mulan, Jr.
    A Midsummer Night's Dream Under the Sea
    A Midsummer Night's Dream in Oz
    Harry Potter's A Midsummer Night's Dream
    A Midsummer Night's Dream on the Farm
    Cruise 007 (podcast episodes)
    Hotel 007 - Crazy, Creative Conference
    Cafe 007 - Peace, Passion & Parody
    Cafe 007 - Equality, Electricity, Eggheads & Empathy

    Cafe 007 - Community, Comedy, Compassion & Culture

Turning a Musical into a Radio Play

Congratulations to both 6th grade casts for recording the eight episode podcast of the entire musical of Willy Wonka, Jr.! I'm so proud of their work on this project. It struck me as I was putting the finishing touches on the show that although each student recorded their characters in isolation, yet if you close your eyes and listen to the episodes you can really imagine the students interacting and connecting to each other on stage. In my mind's eye, I "saw" them in their costumes reacting to each other, and supporting one another in the telling of the story. I was overwhelmed with emotion knowing that they had done this work in solitude during challenging times and yet with the magic of their voices and generous spirits, they created connection to each other and to their audience. Kudos to this incredibly resilient and hardworking group of actors!

Congratulations to our talented 7th grade drama class for turning their unique, self-created Cruise 007 into a podcast this spring as well when we moved to online learning.

- Lydia Horan, Middle School Drama Teacher

Click on one the pull-down menus below to view and choose an episode of these radio plays and podcasts to listen to.

Upper School Drama

Upper School drama consists of various semester-long drama electives such as improvisation or acting combined with two mainstage productions per year.

Upper School students audition for drama productions, which are offered as extracurricular activities. Rehearsals take place after school. In a typical year, the Upper School puts on a musical and a comedic or dramatic play. An occasional one act play production brings in directors from the outside community, exposing actors to a wider variety of teaching and directing methods.

List of 1 items.

  • Recent Upper School Productions

    Xanadu (postponed but planned for fall 2020)
    My Fair Lady
    Little Women, the Musical
    Little Shop of Horrors
    The Drowsy Chaperone

    The Complete Works of William Shakespeare (Abridged)
    26 Pebbles
    Almost, Maine

    Picasso at The Lapin Agile
    The Comedy of Errors
    One-Act Play Festivals - a series of one act plays, performed annually