Amy Meislin Pollack, Class of 1970 and a children’s-book author, returned to the place where she was first inspired to write — the Kent Place Primary School. Amy visited the fourth- and fifth-grade classrooms to read from one of her books and lead writing workshops to foster creativity and explore the art of storytelling.
Kent Place theater students are exposed to a variety of acting styles and genres that develop the skill of engaging with content, either published or devised, that allows their voices to be heard and their creativity to shine.
Our program seeks to develop artistic awareness and an appreciation of theater as an essential, valued part of contemporary culture.
The Value of Creative Expression
For students, the value of creative expression through theater is undeniable — but the unique approach that distinguishes our program is our clear focus on identifying and nurturing individual voice.
For more than 30 years, we've welcomed the development of countless new scripts, original performances, cabaret presentations, and exceptional student initiatives.
The Theater Program at KPS changed my life. I never thought I had what it takes to be on a stage, to pour myself into a character, or to be in the spotlight for more than a few minutes. But I discovered a passion in myself that I didn’t know existed. The experience I had in theater opened my eyes to the fulfillment and excitement that comes from live performance. I was challenged, I learned, I grew, I made amazing friends, and I had fun doing it." Asha, ALUMNA
These workshops introduce students to basic acting techniques and skills including Linklater voice work, improvisation, text and character analysis, and defining objectives and actions through deliberate decision making. The class culminates in group acting projects with in-class performances for a small audience.
The Acting Seminar is designed for 10th- and 11th-grade actors to refine their ability to "respond truthfully under imaginary circumstances." Students acquire tangible acting skills that deepen the actor's connection to the play, allowing them to build believable and sustainable characters in a scene or play.
Offered to 11th- and 12th-graders in consultation with the Performing Arts Chair, students admitted to Performance Company work as an ensemble grounded in empathy, community, and social justice. As an acting and writing team, students contribute ideas and accept and incorporate the ideas of others as they prepare a devised or scripted work.
Each year, the Upper School produces two fully-staged productions. Interested students are encouraged to apply. Previous productions include Silent Sky, The Hello Girls, Radium Girls, Les Miserables, and As You Like It. This fall's musical will be Chicago: High School Edition.
Second-graders explore telling and sharing stories, while 3rd graders create an Opera. Fourth and fifth-graders stage full productions, unravelling the challenges of plot twists and character portrayal.
Learning creative theater skills through stage movement, the voice of the actor, pantomime, and improvisation, students can participate in a fully-staged play or musical. 7th and 8th-graders may also elect trimester workshops.
From introductory acting workshops to academic theater classes (performing in published plays or collaborating on original work), students find close-knit community among actors and backstage crews.