Drama at The New School




Pre-K - 5th Grade Productions

The purpose of The New School drama program is to encourage young people to play and create through cooperation and collaboration. Our classroom curriculum and productions on stage help students experience empathy, self-discovery, expression, communication, problem solving and confidence.

We begin in Pre-K by inviting the children to explore the world of “Farnahan’s Circus,” an original musical written by Andrea Romine and Betty Butcher, the original founders of The New School’s drama program back in the 1970s. Early Education music teacher Mr. Troy, along with assistance from drama faculty Ms. Jonny and Ms. Sam, introduce the songs, characters and ideas of “Farnahan’s Circus” throughout the school year, allowing children to switch roles and create their own. The wild cats, acrobats, super kids and clowns sometimes parade through the school to remind us of the work and play in progress. By the end of the year, the school is treated to circus acts on our stage and on the playground, in the hallways and in the preschool gym. Performances will be at 10am and 6:30pm on Thursday, May 9th.

Kindergarteners and first graders continue the long tradition of transforming our stage into a winter wonderland with “The Magical Forest.” Featuring Betty Butcher’s original music and live piano accompaniment, the story of a blizzard almost preventing Santa from delivering toys comes to life year after year. Performances will be at 10am and 6:30pm on Thursday, December 20th.

Our second through fifth graders have the opportunity to be in a big musical on stage in mid-March. This year will be SEUSSICAL, just in time to celebrate Dr. Seuss’ birthday and Read Across America Month. The set, props and publicity will be created by New School students of all ages in collaboration with drama, art, music, tinkering studio and woodshop classes. SEUSSICAL will perform Thursday, March 14th at 10:00am and 6:30pm.

Middle & Upper School Drama with Jonny Schremmer & Samanthe Burrow

Adolescents can find it difficult to express their emotions, and drama provides a great outlet for young people to explore a wide range of feelings including delight, anger and unhappiness. We hope to create a fun and safe space for our middle school students to collaborate with their peers, gain confidence in who they are, and develop empathy for others through games, exercises, writing and performance. Our fifth and sixth graders take Intro to Drama with Ms. Jonny and Ms. Sam where they explore basic acting techniques through drama games and beginning technical theatre skills.

Drama I is offered to our upper school students beginning in 7th grade. This is a year long course that explores acting techniques, character development, scene work and technical theatre skills. Drama I students will help with the set, costumes, props, sound and light for SEUSSICAL, and they will run the show backstage. These students will create a performance of their own to share with the rest of the school during Arts Week in late April.