Theater

The arts are the vessels of our culture. Theater, which can encompass them all, is the richest and most venerable. Since ancient times, we have gathered around the stage for communal storytelling, to examine important ideas, to celebrate and mourn, to seek truth, and to bring history and literature to life. Theater is both Shakespeare’s mirror held up to Nature and a window on the human condition. Learning to see through that window and to understand what’s in that mirror is fundamental to every student’s preparation for life.

Graduation Requirements

Students will need to earn two credits in the Visual and Performing Arts. All Theater courses may be taken to fulfill Visual and Performing Arts or general elective requirements.

Course Offerings

Introduction to Theater

This gateway course surveys many aspects and forms of theater, and gives the learner a feel for how theater as a whole works. Students will learn about acting, puppetry, masks, movement for stage, vocal technique and projection, story-telling, stage combat, technical theater, lighting, costuming, reader’s theater, improvisation, house management and publicity. Students are asked to view all theatrical productions of the school, and audition for them as their schedules permit.

Open to grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit.

Acting: Character Portrayal

This intensive course focuses on extending the student’s approach to character portrayal. Students are exposed to other acting methods (such as Adler, Strasberg, Meisner, Spolin), including work with accents and vocal technique. Students perform monologues from selected plays and collaborate with other students in performing two-person scenes.

Each student attends and reviews all Punahou Theater productions and is expected to audition for these productions as their schedules permit.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Semester course. One-half credit. Prerequisites: Introduction to Theater or Acting: Fundamentals or Acting: Musical Theater and consent of instructor. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit.

Theater Performance

This course focuses on the production of plays. Students in this class mount theatrical productions in the Drama Workshop at the end of each semester. These productions will be chosen from pre-approved scripts. Productions seek creative and minimal technical solutions to scenic and costume needs. Students confront expectations in their efforts to mount productions of substance over spectacle. This course is repeatable, as each semester will have unique opportunities for growth, based upon the performance chosen.

Open to Grades 11, 12. Prerequisites: Acting: Character Portrayal and consent of instructor. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit. Offered subject to enrollment.

Acting: Musical Theater

This class introduces the students to the important aspects and tools needed in musical theater. The course focuses on audition techniques, vocal performance, character analysis, song analysis, and musical scene study. Students learn the basics of acting interpretation as applied to musical theater. The class also examines representative musical composers/lyricists/ choreographers, such as Gershwin, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Fosse, Bennett, Champion, Webber and Sondheim. As this is a workshop-based course, students have the opportunity to explore audition pieces as well as iconic musical theater scenes.

Open to Grades 10, 11, 12. Semester course. One-half credit. Prerequisite: Introduction to Theater or consent of instructor. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit.

Technical Theater: Production

This semester course introduces students to the basic skills and procedures of theater production. The course concentrates on terminology, basic construction skills, scenic painting and scene shop procedures, all learned through individual project work. Using a “hands-on” approach, students explore the practical application of techniques and materials used to construct Punahou Theater productions. Course work consists of selected projects chosen from (but not limited to) the following: Basic Stagecraft, Construction Techniques, Drawing and Drafting, Stage Management, Rigging, Scenic Painting/Decoration, Stage Lighting, Scene Technology, and proper safety procedures in using equipment. Grading is based on awarded points for completed projects, a quarterly journal, and a portfolio of work completed in and out of the classroom.

In addition to class work, students in this course are required to perform two hours of production work per cycle.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit.

Technical Theater: Design

This course continues the work of Technical Theater: Production and raises it to a higher level. Students are expected to take major responsibilities in staging Academy productions. This course focuses on the following elements of design: Sound, Light, Properties, and Scenery. Students learn to visualize, illustrate, and communicate ideas using such concepts as: Theme, Color Theory, Intuitive Response, Motif, and Acoustics. Course work consists of selected projects chosen from (but not limited to) the following: General Design, Set Design, Light Design, Property Design, Sound Design, and Design applied in a production. Grading is based on awarded points for completed projects, a quarterly journal, and a portfolio of work completed in and out of the classroom.

In addition to class work, students in this course are required to perform two hours of production work per cycle.

Open to Grades 9, 10, 11, 12. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit.

Independent Study: Theater

To take Independent Study: Theater, the student must present a written proposal to the supervising teacher prior to enrollment. The study can be in these theater fields: Stage Management, Directing, Design, and Acting. The focus of the study is two-fold: research and practical application.

The format of the course includes individual and group meetings with faculty advisors and a public presentation of research work (whether an oral report or theater presentation).

The instructor and student must devise a departmental contract, which is subject to approval of the Department Head.

Open to Grades 11, 12. Prerequisite: Technical Theater or Acting course. Semester course. One-half credit. Satisfies Visual and Performing Arts graduation requirement or general elective credit.