Stuart Hall Theatre
Stuart Hall has an acting theatre program that branches out into the community. With the Mary Baldwin College graduate program, Shakespeare and Performance, and guests artists and performance opportunities with the American Shakespeare Center, STU theatre is well rooted in the community and uses the whole of Staunton as our campus. The program is supported by and structured around the National Core Arts Theatre Standards curriculum and the 21st Century competencies. All students are exposed to a foundation of values in the visual arts; however, students with a strong interest and high potential are afforded opportunities to pursue studies at advanced levels.
The Middle school theatre classes build a firm base of knowledge about the performing arts and how to work in and around the stage. Grades 6-8 have the opportunity to learn the basics of stage performance through theatrical game play, group exercises, and small project and performance creation. The goal is to help students gain confidence in public speaking and performance situations as well as develop a strong appreciation for the theatre as audience members and creators.
In the upper school classes we believe that the theatre has many lessons that can be applied to non-theatrical situations. The first class in the series, Introduction to Theatre, focuses on areas that will include a well-rounded knowledge of the importance and impact of the performing arts. From acting, to stage make-up, to stage combat, to history and literary understanding, this class boosts the knowledge and confidence of budding theatre artists while also creating an excellent ‘liberal arts’ base for students focusing in other areas such as the sciences. The next two classes in the series, Acting Studio and Shakespeare in performance, are for those students interested in honing their acting chops in more advanced ways. Offered in alternating years, these two classes are for the part-time actor who wishes to learn more and have fun while also preparing the student who wishes to follow a performance major in college.
These plays are open for all students to audition and rehearsals are held after school.
- The Fall Play is open to upper school students (usually veterans) and this play goes to competition. We travel to the Virginia Theatre Association’s State level conference. At this conference we not only compete in the High School One Act Play Festival, but there are tons of workshops, college tables, college scholarship auditions, and much more!
- The Winter Play is open to middle school students for acting positions and upper school students do the technical positions around them. This provides great cross-divisional interplay and helps many middle school students create friendships that soften the transition to their Upper School experience.
- The Spring Play is open to both upper and middle school students for either onstage or offstage positions. When possible, this play is when we do a musical performance.