Performance has always been a big part of the educational experience at St. Thomas’s Day School. Performances are one of several ways that the school helps nurture a strong sense of self confidence, preparing our students for the world and the future ahead of them.
Historically, every grade participates in either a play, a musical, or a skit that is directed by their homeroom teacher with help from the music teachers. While St. T’s has always had a strong commitment to performance, there hasn’t always been a dedicated path to help our students prepare. This year we are proud to announce a formalized Drama Program to be spearheaded by long-time faculty member Andrew Myers.
The goals of the newly instituted Drama Program are to deepen students’ creative thinking skills; engage the students’ imaginations while fostering poise, participation and problem solving abilities; and to cultivate empathy by exploring perspectives through observation, role-playing and reflection. In the fall, the students will meet once a week to explore and experience a variety of different theater themes. Each session will consist of a warm up, a concept discussion, and a thematic game to support the concept. Myers says, “I love sharing my passion for play-based theater games. They broaden a child’s burgeoning empathy through observation and role play. Theater is a cultural space, where we examine ourselves in a mirror. Performance of theater is a universal cultural phenomenon that exists in all societies. Understanding theater helps us understand what it means to be human.”
In the spring, the focus of the Drama Program will then turn to preparation for the musical, plays and skits. Having already explored theater concepts and the necessary tools needed for performance, the students can then spend more time rehearsing and working on production.
With just a few weeks in, Myers reports with enthusiasm that it has been astonishing to watch the students make connections and observations and respect and respond to other’s work. The performances at St. Thomas’s Day School have always been extraordinary, but with a true understanding and honoring of the work, we envision it will be even more magical.
The St. Thomas’s Day School Performance Schedule
Kindergarten presents “The Mitten” – Friday, January 25
First Grade Play – Thursday, February 14
Second Grade presents “Coming to New Haven” – Tuesday, April 9
Third Grade Earth Day Chapel skit – Monday, April 22
Fourth Grade Fourth of June Chapel skit – Tuesday, June 4
Fifth Grade Play – Thursday, March 7
Sixth Grade Musical – Thursday, May 23