The Theatre Program at Allen-Stevenson combines artistic practice with intellectual inquiry. Our goal is to foster a spirit of intellectual and artistic curiosity in students by presenting venerable theories, practices, and the classical canon, while remaining equally committed to innovation and fresh vision. To this end, the department offers traditional coursework in theatre as well as many performance opportunities.
Students learn by doing. Thus, we strive to create an artistic environment where the unique talents and interests of each individual student can thrive. In our theaters, students are provided a safe haven in which they are free to experiment and critically examine the results of their own work and that of their peers.
Finally, we are committed to creating an active learning environment, which inspires work that will ultimately contribute to the cultural richness and diversity of our local and global communities. Regardless of whether our students choose to continue participating in the performing arts as they move on to high school, they will leave Allen-Stevenson with a solid foundation in the theatre arts and an understanding of the importance of art in any society.
Curriculum & Performance Offerings
In the Lower School, students perform in an original play each year with their class. Their teacher serves as the director, and they perform their play during the assembly time for the entire Lower School. In the Third Grade, students segue into a more professional theatrical experience. The entire Third Grade comes together to create a larger musical theatre performance directed by the theatre department director.
In the Middle School, boys have several performance opportunities through class projects that are assisted by faculty in the theatre, music and dance departments. Boys in the Fifth and Sixth Grades may participate in the annual Gilbert and Sullivan production, which includes boys in grades 5 – 9. The sixth grade boys also have the opportunity to perform at Nightingale-Bamford in a musical with the sixth grade girls.
In the Upper School, students have the opportunity to participate in two main stage productions each year. Seventh, eighth and ninth grade boys may participate in the annual Gilbert and Sullivan production, which includes boys in fifth through ninth grades. The eighth and ninth grade boys may perform in the autumn Shakespeare play and the seventh grade boys have a play in the spring, which is traditionally an American drama or comedy.
For more detailed information, please visit our Divisional Curriculum pages.
Technical Theatre at Allen-Stevenson
In the Upper School, boys are able to work in the technical aspects of the theatre. There is a Technical Theatre course that is open to all Upper School boys. In this course, students learn by doing as they master lighting design, sound design, stage management, properties, scenic design and painting, costume design, and stage makeup. The students in this elective design and construct everything needed for the main stage productions and they work the show as the light board operator, sound technician, spotlight operator, stage manager etc.

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Allen-Stevenson’s distinctive “enlightened traditional” approach educates boys to become scholars and gentlemen.