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Senn Arts Theatre

Senn Arts Theatre is an ensemble based theatre program that activates observation, critical thinking, and problem solving to develop students' artistic voice. With the support of their teachers, ensemble, and the Chicago Theatre community, young artists use their voice to react to and create works of theatre from diverse global perspectives. Every Senn Arts Theatre student participates in performance classes and departmental productions and also has the opportunity to explore and pursue all disciplines and aspects of theatre arts. Our robust partnerships with members of the Chicago theatre community allow students the opportunity to work firsthand with theatre professionals to gain practical insight into the inside workings of the theatre world.

Rob Schroeder,

Curriculum Overview

First Years: Building Ensemble
In their first year, theatre students learn the value of ensemble. In performance, students learn the tools of the actor, how to support each other, and build their community so they may openly share and work with each other. Through playwriting workshops and experiencing live theatre performances, students learn about dramatic structure, they experience how to rehearse and perform two showcases through our arts residencies, and are introduced to careers in the theatre. 

Courses: Theatre Fundamentals, Drama I

Sophomores: Exploring Voice
In their sophomore year, theatre students build on the foundations they have learned to dig deeper into the message of theatre pieces, further examine how theatre explores ideas, and begin building their own creative voice. Using their ensemble for support, students will investigate their connection to the art they create through our theatre residencies. Students will begin trusting their instincts and taking risks when making creative choices as well as explore how experienced theatre-makers do the same. 

Courses: Theatre Academy I, Drama II

Juniors: Finding Voice
In their junior year, theatre students will apply skills they have learned through their explorations in sophomore and first years. They will begin the rigorous IB Theatre process making artistic choices for theatre work they will complete in senior year. They will start solidifying their own artistic process and voice through researching theatre theorists, world theatre traditions, imagining their own theatre production, and collaborating with ensemble members to create their own theatre piece. 

Courses: IB HL Theatre Arts I, Drama III

Seniors: Using Voice
In Senior Year, theatre students become their own theatre makers. From the research they prepared in junior year, students will create an original collaborative theatre piece with their ensemble members and a solo theatre piece. Students will also complete their directorial vision for their play, as well as present work from a world theatre tradition. Students will learn the profession of theatre through professional writing, preparing an audition portfolio, and examining theatre through critical review. These student-centered experiences will prepare students to enter the theatre world with a clear understanding of their own artistic voice.

Courses: IB HL Theatre Arts II, Drama IV