The theater and dance offerings in the First Program emphasize personal expression while providing students opportunities to see their other curricular subjects through an arts lens. While exploring the use of their bodies in various projects, the students practice important skills that will serve them throughout their lives. Collaboration, flexibility, cooperation, thinking outside the box, and risk-taking are encouraged.
The first grade creative movement program has an emphasis on audience building. Students begin the process of reimagining stories through dance motifs. First graders also explore the national dance of Spain, flamenco, in conjunction with the Spanish program.
The second grade program focuses on musical theatre. It is connected to the social studies and literacy curricula, culminating in a musical dramatization of a piece of children’s literature that explores the different landmarks and neighborhoods of New York City.
Playwriting is the focus of the third grade theater arts curriculum. Students participate in guided discussions about the elements of a story using plot, character, action, and setting. They learn to differentiate between actor and character, identify basic character emotions, and explore specific characters’ physicality, including posture, movement, and pace.