The Drama Program at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts is focused not only on developing performance skills, but also on the ability of students to communicate and explore ideas and their own voices through the dramatic arts. In grades 9 and 10, drama courses emphasize process drama. While theatrical skills like script analysis and physical theatre are taught, the focus is on exploring themes like family crises, the perception of teens by society, immigration and civil disobedience. Students learn to express their own ideas through drama, to tell narratives that explore difficult choices and to interpret and understand their world.
In grade 11 and 12 students build on the foundational skills from grades 9 and 10 as they increasingly move from process drama to theatrical performance. In grade 11, dramatic arts students can study Acting, where students develop a better understanding of their bodies and voices as performers, learn to analyze scripts and perform in a studio setting. Improvisation is offered for students who are interested in playwriting on their feet, using comedy to explore the complexity and universality of human experience, and for the opportunity to break down their inhibitions. In Grade 12, students culminate their drama education in Grade 12 Drama, where they learn about Canadian and Post-Colonial theatre, explore Stanislavski’s method in greater detail and develop a collective creation to perform for a school audience.
At Rosedale, students can also develop skills specifically for theatre and production. In Grade 10, students can take a Technical Theatre course, where they learn the workings of the backstage. They learn to set up and operate theatrical sound and lighting systems, how to draft a set to scale, stage management and basic theatrical design. In grades 11 and 12 senior students can take Drama Production, in which students develop a main stage play as actors and production crew. After the main stage show, grade 11 Drama Production students write scripts that are selected for production for our in-school Fringe Festival, a four-night festival of short plays that are scripted, directed, produced, and performed by students in the course.
The facilities include 3 dramatic arts studios equipped with sound and lighting that are often used as black box theatres. There is an 800 seat auditorium with a full lighting grid and professional sound equipment. Rosedale has full time theatre technician to support all the performing arts and also to train and run our thriving stage crew. Other extracurricular opportunities include Sears Drama Festival and Improvisation Club. Students also benefit from many guest artists that enter our classrooms and partnerships with professional theatre companies. In the past Rosedale had partnerships with the Stratford Festival, Soulpepper, and Te-Amim Theatre.
The goal of the drama program at Rosedale Heights School of the Arts is to present opportunities for students to develop their ability to express themselves through stories and drama, to explore the world they live in, and to perform and produce theatrical productions of their own devising. Dramatic arts students develop sophisticated transferable skills of effective teamwork, communication and presentation skills.