The TVS Upper School Theatre program at Trinity Valley School is designed to give students opportunities to grow personally as well as professionally. Under the direction of two full-time faculty members, students not only act but also design and build sets, lighting, sound, props, and costumes. In addition, they work as choreographers and, as seniors, have the opportunity to direct their own show.
Performance and technical theatre classes are offered as part of the curriculum during the school day, while an after-school program allows students to work for credit as an extracurricular activity. Facilities include two performance spaces (a 350-seat theater and a Black Box Theater), and equipment is state of the art in both venues, on par with that used in professional theaters around the country.
Four full productions (including one musical) are done by the TVS Upper School each year. Plays are selected with the intention of exploring the range of human emotions and with the hope of examining current social and moral issues. Wrestling with the "stuff of life" is a goal for TVS actors and audience members alike. This often means choosing performance material that stretches students to go beyond their comfort zones where they are encouraged to take risks in an environment that is safe and supportive, while at the same time being challenging and exciting. This is where real growth of all kinds can -- and does -- take place!
Annual participation in the Independent Schools Association of the Southwest Fine Arts Festival is an important part of the program. Moreover, the School has a chapter of The International Thespian Society where students may accumulate point credits for work done on individual productions. Moreover, students attend the annual Texas State International Thespian Society Festival. Faculty members also participate in the Texas Educational Theatre Association and Theatre Educators of North Texas.
Seventh- and eighth-grade drama students engage in theatre as an art form as well as a skill. In Middle School drama, students learn about the rich history of performing arts from the standpoint of multiple cultural origins and develop their understanding of the collaborative nature of theatre. Students also hone their public speaking and performance skills.
Students work together to improve their confidence on stage as well as their understanding of the work needed to stage a production. Basic principles of the class include creative expression in acting and practical theater production skills as well as exposure to the historical and cultural heritage that theatre offers.
Each year the seventh- and eighth-grade students are invited to perform on stage in a fully staged musical that is designed and produced with the help of the Upper School theatre program. Our production standards are high, and the creative process is designed to build community through its shared vision and common goal.
In the fall, fifth- and sixth-grade students are invited to participate in Drama Club after school on Wednesdays and Fridays. Fifth- and sixth-grade curriculum consists of theatre games and exercises designed to build performance skills and confidence. Each year, in the spring, fifth- and sixth-grade students participate in a Drama Club production in which they are able to showcase their newly acquired skills.