Friendship. Scholarship. Sportsmanship.
Welcome to the Greensboro Day School Theatre Program. Come visit and learn more about the top-notch work that goes on our campus.
The mission of the educational theatre program at Greensboro Day School puts emphasis on the process, rather than the product, training both performers and technicians. Students develop individual creative expression and communication skills through working in an ensemble setting. In this nurturing environment, the program provides opportunities to develop self-esteem, time management, goal setting, and critical listening skills. The process subscribes to the highest levels of excellence, in which each part is vital to the whole. An effort is made to work with dramatic literature that serves as a springboard for discussion and inspires us to move beyond the complacent.
The Upper School Drama Program's class offerings include Beginning and Advanced Acting, Show Choir/Cabaret, Play Production, and Public Speaking. Show Choir and Play Production can be repeated for credit. The Upper School Drama Club meets throughout the year and has participated in activities such as the North Carolina Thespian Festival, the Greensboro Day School Fall Festival, the ESU Shakespeare Recitation Competition, outings to shows around the state, community service performances, and our students have been selected three times to perform in the Broadway ensembles of the highly acclaimed performances of RagtimeParade and Crazy for You- all performed at Lincoln Center.
The Drama Club is Troupe #6570 of the International Thespian Society, and any student involved in the drama program can qualify for induction into ITS. Inductions are done annually at MAD Night in the spring. There are also at least three extracurricular shows produced annually.
Upper School Technical Theatre students and Stage Managers not only work backstage but can also enroll in a technical theatre program to qualify them for part-time jobs working with rentals in our popular Davison Center for the Arts.
Rehearsals for Upper School productions are typically 6:30-9:30pm Monday-Thursday and 1:00-5:00 on Sundays. This allows those who wish to do sports, choral groups and other after school activities to participate. The rehearsal period is 6-8 weeks for most shows. One Act or Improv shows will usually have a shorter rehearsal period.
Everyone is required to be present the final two weeks of rehearsals, which includes all dress rehearsals and all Technical rehearsals. The rehearsal schedule is given out at auditions.
Stage Managers have the same hours as the cast—they cover and run all rehearsals, and run the show when it is in performance. Our Stage Managers attend a weekly Production Meeting at lunch and try to rotate rehearsal coverage until the final two weeks when all of them are required to be present. The running crew generally has a 2-week commitment to the show. They attend Dry Tech during pre-production as well as Tech rehearsal the weekend prior to the run of the show. They also attend all dress rehearsals and performances. The popularity of stage management and crew positions in recent years may necessitate some selectivity for positions.
All cast and crew are encouraged to help work on set construction after school or on Saturdays in the theatre as they are scheduled.
Auditions are open to all upper school students. Roles are not precast and experience is not required. All it takes is a willingness to get involved and showing up.
Specific information regarding what material to prepare will be announced prior to auditions. Our directors are available to help with audition selections and preparation. We want you to put thought into your audition – preparing material appropriate to the show you are auditioning for. We do expect that students who audition are open to playing any role they are cast in.
As we are casting — please have patience with us! This is a difficult and subjective process. We select the best person for the role based on their audition, regardless of seniority. However, when a decision is split, all things being equal, the role will go to the more senior student.
We can’t put on a great show without you! Parent volunteers are always welcome. Major volunteer positions needed on productions include:
Costume Manager - heads up a team that accumulates, constructs and/or alters costumes, helps with cleaning and returning costumes after the show closes, etc.
Box Office - We need multiple volunteers to help sell tickets before each show. The MAD Society coordinates this.
Sunday Snacks and Tech Dinner - We need multiple volunteers to help provide snacks and dinner items for Sunday afternoon rehearsals and Tech rehearsal. Also, we need a parent to coordinate/host a closing night party.
Parent Blitz - Stop in and help us with the set, costumes, props, etc.
MAD Society (Music, Art, and Drama - Fine Arts Boosters) The MAD Society is a booster group that supports the Music, Art, and Drama departments at Greensboro Day School. For shows, they are in charge of Box Office volunteers, concessions, and the Opening Night reception.
The students in the Greensboro Day School Theatre Department are given many opportunities to travel and have theatrical experiences around the country. With an ongoing agreement with Manhattan Concert Productions, we have been given the opportunity to join the ensembles of one-night-only Broadway concerts at Lincoln Center. Our students have been seen in the Broadway ensembles of Ragtime (with Patina Miller, Lea Salonga, Norm Lewis, and Kerry Butler), Parade (with Jeremy Jordan, Laura Benanti, Ramin Karimloo, and Jason Robert Brown conducting), and Crazy for You (with Tony Yazbeck, Laura Osnes, Rachel Dratch, Rachel Bloom, Jerry O’Connell, Jack McBrayer and Susan Stroman directing). Our International Thespian (ITS) Troupe #6570 has received numerous Critics’ Choice Awards and “Superior” ratings at the North Carolina Thespian Festival and has qualified for the National Thespian Festival in events like Musical Group, Monologue, Mime, Musical Solo, Musical Duet, and Stage Management.
We strive to provide our students with worthwhile experiences, both here at GDS and beyond, that will help them to grow as artists and as people.
Producing a middle school musical is an exciting but sometimes chaotic experience. This process of working with young thespians has been described as “trying to contain a basket full of puppies.” Their energy and enthusiasm are charming, but keeping them all focused is the challenge. Something magical always happens on opening night as these bouncy puppies are transformed. The curtain opens to reveal talented, focused middle school performers who look and act far beyond their years.
How does it happen?
The middle school drama program has been making a difference in the lives of Greensboro Day School middle school students for many years. Some schools have taken drama out of the middle school in favor of more academic time. Those of us who understand the adolescent realize that helping students to tap into their creativity and imagination is developmentally appropriate and necessary in teaching the whole child. Students who are encouraged to develop their creative side are more successful with their other academics. Acting is also a physical activity, which helps a young person to focus his/her creative energy in a positive, productive way.
Being a part of a show teaches a student responsibility, cooperation, focus, and empathy. Sometimes the shy student who is reluctant to participate in other activities shines on the stage. During the awkward stage of adolescence, some students feel more comfortable portraying a character on stage because they can be someone different from themselves. For others, it is a confidence booster. It is a time to explore and find a supportive community. Many students find success and acceptance on as well as off stage.
Each year, the middle school produces at least one musical in which all students are invited to participate either as cast or crew-members. They will explore the art of theater through staging, singing, speaking, and dancing. Students on the crew learn about the technical aspects of a show including how to be an effective leader. Students learn these theater skills from dedicated, seasoned theater teachers. Past shows have included Little Mermaid, Jr.,Aladdin, Jr.,Oliver!,Back to the 80’s, Shrek the Musical, Jr., and The Music Man, Jr. Students who participate in multiple productions can be honored as inductees in the Junior Thespian Society; our middle school troupe charter was established in May of 1993.
The Greensboro Day School middle school drama program offers students a creative outlet during a very awkward and confusing time in their lives. While a few of these students may one day choose drama as a career, most will use the knowledge and experience in the theater to become effective, enthusiastic audience members. Our school is fortunate to have a supportive administration who values the arts and talented teachers who find joy in unlocking yet another creative voice. There is truly magic in the middle.
The Lower School Drama program at Greensboro Day School is part of Auxiliary Programs. Students can register for drama as an afterschool class, which has a fee for participation. Third and Fourth grade classes are in the fall, and First and Second grade classes are in the spring. These meet once a week in the Lower School chorus room and gym except for the week prior to the production. This week they will meet multiple times in the Center for the Arts. Students are expected to be at all rehearsals during show week and at each performance. Performances for Third and Fourth grades are in the Sloan Theatre, and First and Second grade performances are in the Bell Family Studio Theatre. The program concentrates on creative dramatics and storytelling at the youngest ages and builds up to a 30 to 60-minute musical. Music and dance are also part of these classes. The Lower School classes are designed to give students age appropriate theatre experiences, which help develop their creativity, expression, confidence, and love of theatre. We welcome parent volunteers as well—we especially depend on them as costume volunteers and to provide snacks.
Meet Our Faculty
List of 4 members.
Ms. Jennifer Jellicorse
Greensboro Day School
Mrs. Denise Johnson
Greensboro Day School
US Drama; Theatre Production Manager
Mr. Dana Lowell
Greensboro Day School
Theatre Technical Director
Ms. Jillian Williams
Greensboro Day School
MS, US Latin Teacher
Enjoy videos of the students in action!
Fall Arts Festival: Middle School Musical
Fall Arts Festival: Upper School Musical
Greensboro Day School develops the intellectual, ethical, and interpersonal foundations students need to become constructive contributors to the world.