In class, sixth, seventh, and eighth-grade students build on the foundation of acting they acquire during the Middle School Arts Program. Upper School students, in Theater Arts and Honors Theater Arts, read and discuss in their entirety at least six famous plays from world literature, as well as rehearse and perform scenes from the plays. In all theater arts classes, weekly scene study requires students to perform, critique, and be critiqued, while regular practice, workshops, and guest artists expose students to the principles of improvisational theater. Students build on and refine their acting technique by analyzing scenes from films and by sampling some of the excellent live theater in the area.
Outside the classroom, theater students perform in the yearly musical, December and May scene studies, and the end-of-year Arts performance, which showcases dramatic, musical, and dance talent at Pacific Ridge School. Young thespians also compete in the ESU Shakespeare Festival, a nation-wide high school competition where students perform Shakespearean monologues and sonnets. Interested students from all grades are welcome to join the Drama club, whose work has culminated with performances in the Student Shakespeare Festival at Balboa Park. Pacific Ridge also participates in the Ben Vereen Awards for excellence in musical theater each year, and has twice been represented by our students at the National High School Musical Theater Awards in New York.
Once on this Island, by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty Peter Pan, Jr., Disney adapatation, J..M. Barrie The Wedding Singer, by Tim Herlihy Little Mermaid, Jr., Disney production The Curious Savage, by John Patrick All Shook Up, by Joe DiPietro Zombie Prom, Jr., by John Dempsey, Dana P. Rowe School For Lies, by David Ives Pippin, by Stephen Schwartz, Bob Fosse, Roger O. Hirson Legally Blonde, Jr., original book by Amanda Brown Kiss Me Kate, by Samuel and Bella Spewack, Cole Porter Seussical, Jr., by Lynn Ahrens and Stephen Flaherty From Up Here, by Liz Flahive Into the Woods, by James Lapine and Stephen Sondheim The Boy Friend, by Sandy Wilson Singing in the Rain, by Betty Comden and Adolph Green Guys and Dolls, by Jo Swerling, Abe Burrows, Frank Loesser Grease, by Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey Once Upon a Mattress, by Mary Rogers and Marshall Barer
In April, two Pacific Ridge students entered a COVID writing contest run by actor Jelani Alladin (Kristoff in the Broadway production of Frozen). Both won the opportunity to have their productions digitally performed by Broadways actors. These performances brought light to both students and actors as theater activity was closed down due to COVID. Way to go, Jordan and Lily!