Drama at The New School

Pre-K - 4th 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. The wild cats, acrobats, super kids and clowns 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. Performances will be at 10am and 6:30pm on Thursday, May 7th.

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 12th.

Our second through fourth graders have the opportunity to be in a big musical on stage in October. This year will be "101 Dalmatians!" Drama I students will assist in designing and building the set, costumes and props and will run the show backstage and in the booth. "101 Dalmatians" will perform Thursday, October 24th 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 can choose the Drama elective (one class with Ms. Jonny and one class with Ms. Sam) where they explore basic acting techniques through drama games and beginning technical theatre skills. During the spring semester, middle school drama students will rehearse their show in class and perform for the public on Thursday, April 30th at 6:30.

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. These students will create a performance of their own to share with the rest of the school in early April. The public performance will be Thursday, April 2nd at 6:30pm with a performance for middle school and junior high on Friday, April 3rd at 1:00pm. 

Drama II is offered to our upper school students beginning in 8th grade. This is a year long course that is focused on Costume History and Design. Spanning from Ancient Rome to the end of the 19th century, students will use group presentations, design assignments, and small acting exercises to demonstrate their knowledge of clothing history.