Middle School

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The Dalton Theater Department takes as its mission:
• to build a community and culture of learning, collaboration, and creative theater art through curriculum and production;
• to nurture collaborative relationships among young theater artists as they make meaning with text, voice, music, rhythm, movement, light, form, texture and color;
• to develop in our students habits of observation, self-study and critical commentary which are generous in spirit, insightful and helpful;
• to bring to life before the Dalton community a broad range of dramatic literature, performance styles, and challenging programming.
• to offer as many students as possible opportunities to participate in the unique conjunction of work and play, instruction and delight, that is the Art of Theater.

Learn more about Theatre Arts
5th Grade Theater
7th/8th Acting
7th/8th Theater Tech
Emphasis is placed on the following theater skills...
Tongue twisters
Mime exercises
Animal imagery
Detailed examination of the process of designing and building the sets for the
main-stage shows
Memorizing poems and short monologues
Emphasis is placed on the following theater skills...
Tongue Twisters
Improvisation exercises
Student writing assignments, including short scenes and monologues
Shakespeare insult contest
Juggling workshop
Vocal warm-ups and voice exercises
Emphasis is placed on the following theater skills...
Extensive use of hand and power tools
Working with the designer’s models and elevations
Employing a variety of painting techniques
Solving challenges of designing and building
original props
Learning basic sewing skills
building masks
Writing and creating puppets for an original puppet show
  • Theater 6

    In 6th grade, theater class is tied closely with English class and the annual Greek Festival. Students begin with basic theater study in voice, text and choral movement and move to more sophisticated work in developing group acting technique, recital and devising. Students also have guided discussions into the polysemous meanings of classical texts (Greek and otherwise—for example “The Prologue to “Oedipus Rex” from Sophocles, “Invocation to the Muse” from “The Iliad” and “The New Colossus” by Emma Lazarus).
    In the latter half of 6th grade theater, the student work more intently on writing their own first-person narrative monologues from the point-of-view of their selected Greek character (Gods to men) and work with their English teachers and GF directors to write, edit, rehearse and perform their own monologue in the Greek Festival as well as acting in support of other monologues through group acting, mime, music and dance. Students/directors (for monologues) focus on character creation and development for performance which enhances understanding and personal connection.
  • Theater 7/8

    In 7/8 theater, students enter into a more serious relationship with text and character. Scene study is used with intent of helping students work with intentions and connect with a character’s motivations. The goal is for them to commit to interpreting a text, rather than simply reading words. Improvisation exercises are used to develop strong interaction with scene partners, to help students be “in the moment” and promote an emotional, rather than intellectual, connection with the scene. Students create their own text in response to writing assignments. They also study mechanics of the vocal instrument, working with exercises to build vocal strength and help them discover and make use of their different resonators.
  • Theater Tech 7/8

    Theater Tech is centered around the responsibility of helping build the sets for the three main-stage productions and DTW. This is real work, incorporating manual and power tools, painting, modeling techniques, and learning the specific skills that distinguish building for the theater. Students are exposed to the design components, working from the models and ground plans. They are integrated fully the collaborative process and feel a strong connection to each production. When not building sets, the class engages in a buoyant investigation into less familiar theatrical worlds, like puppetry and Noh. They will also work on fun projects involving costume and prop design and building.


  • Photo of Robert Sloan
    Robert Sloan
    Middle and High School Theatre Teacher and Theatre Department Chair
    (212) 423-5212
    Brown University - B.A.
  • Photo of Kevin Gallagher
    Kevin Gallagher
    Middle School Play Director
    (212) 423-5495 x3041
    Montclair State College - B.A.
    Hunter College, City University of New York - M.A.
  • Photo of Ernie Johns
    Ernie Johns
    Technical Director
    Virginia Commonwealth University - B.F.A.
    Brooklyn College - M.F.A.
  • Photo of Ian Quinlan
    Ian Quinlan
    Middle School Theater Teacher
  • Photo of Margaret Zeder
    Margaret Zeder
    Middle and High School Theatre Arts and Design Teacher
    (212) 423-5532
    Scripps College - B.A.
    Holbourne Centre for Performing Arts, London
    N.Y.U. Tisch School of the Arts - M.F.A.
212.423.5200 |
(K-3) 53 East 91st Street, New York, NY 10128
(4-12) 108 East 89th Street, New York, NY 10128