Pre-K to 8
At Darlington, students are exposed to the art of theatre beginning in pre-K with annual class productions. Through second grade, each class performs a musical once a year for parents, friends, and their peers in grades pre-K to 2. This allows students to not only experience the stage, but to build self-confidence at an early age. Students memorize all speaking parts and work on their projection and expression.
As students grow at Darlington, they develop as performers in class plays, concerts and presentations such as the Third Grade Wax Museum and the Thatcher Hall Spring Musical for grades 3-8.
Middle school students have the opportunity to take a formal Theatre course taught by the Upper School theatre director. This class is specifically geared toward equipping students with a theatrical performance skills foundation and provides the opportunity to connect with Upper School performers and work in the Zelle Black Box Theatre. It also offers students the opportunity to strengthen their public speaking and acting skills through experiments, scene work and group projects.
Upper School students can take courses in Theatrical Performance, Stagecraft and Cinema Studies, which focus on the development of foundational skills in technical theatre, directorial aesthetics and acting theory.
Performance: Students engage in an intensive study of acting theory and practices from the Greeks to the modern age. They also develop strong skills and a knowledge base of professional practices, stage movement, and voice for the actor, studying through monologues, scene work, and exploratory workshops. This course is taught primarily in the Zelle Black Box Theatre, which provides a wonderful, intimate stage experience for actors.
Stagecraft: Students learn basic set construction skills and work in project-based groups. These “techies” learn the foundational skills to eventually construct full-scale sets for two major theatrical productions. Students also learn to design and rig lighting and sound in the Zelle Black Box Theatre and participate in costume and prop design and construction.
Cinema: Students are introduced to the art of cinematic storytelling and Aristotle's poetics through in-depth study of great directors in the American film canon. This class allows students to explore the similarities and differences in how the fundamentals of acting, directing and narrative structure translate across various mediums. Cinema is taught in the newly renovated Awsumb Room, which features tiered seating and state-of-the-art surround sound, projector, and movie screen.
Students involved in Darlington’s theatre program are exposed to a variety of experiences both in and out of the classroom. Upper School students interested in theatre are invited to participate in fall and winter productions as actors, technicians, stage managers, and assistant directors. Our full-scale productions are highly anticipated and feature incredible scenery and costumes. The Fall Play is produced in the Zelle Black Box Theatre and, under the leadership of the theatre director, is entirely built, performed, and technically run by theatre students. The Winter Musical, which is performed in downtown Rome’s newly renovated City Auditorium or beautiful Historic DeSoto Theatre, features the same student-constructed, professional-quality sets along with professional costumes, technical aspects, and a full-scale, student-centered orchestra. Recent productions have included “The Curious Savage,” “Little Shop of Horrors,” “A Doll’s House,” “Once Upon a Mattress,” “Beauty and the Beast,” “The Sound of Music,” “Grease,” “The 39 Steps,” “Les Miserables,” “Anything Goes,” “The Music Man,” “The King and I,” and “Hello Dolly!”
Each year, a variety of students are also awarded leadership and performance awards based on their work throughout the year, and many students involved in productions are eligible for induction into The Darlington Players theatre troupe.