The Drama program at Friends Select is meant to educate, entertain, inform and transform. Students engage in authentic project-based learning in a safe, supportive, yet challenging environment. They learn to take risks through the art of collaboration. Careful attention to process results in a product they can all be proud of. We also take advantage of the city's vibrant theater community by attending live performances and hosting artists from the Walnut Street, Philly Young Playwrights, Hedgerow Theatre, and others.
The Curtain Rises
Lower School students can participate in plays via the After School Program, which puts on two shows a year. In second grade, the students write and produce their own play, complete with sets and costumes.
Take the Stage
Middle School students can choose Drama for their performance elective. These classes are intentionally small and an audition helps determine placement. Additionally, Middle School students may participate in the annual play, which is a full-scale production each winter.In 5/6 Drama, the emphasis is on creative drama and storytelling. Students perform stories for Kindergarten students in the winter and a showcase of folktales in the spring. In 7/8 Drama, the emphasis is more on craft. Students delve into costume/set design, playwriting, and monologue work. We perform at an LS Assembly and then a short play for the MS community.
Artistic Exploration and Experimentation
FSS Theater presents two mainstage productions each year (in the fall and spring). Students can get involved in a variety of ways: performing onstage, building/painting scenery and props, designing costumes, or running light and sound. We also participate in the Greater Philadelphia Cappies, a theater journalism program which recognizes excellence in high school theater.
Upper School Drama courses includes instruction in a broad range of skills, including the acting craft, direction, production, theatrical design, screenwriting and playwriting, and developing a critical approach to theater. Students produce a variety of work both independently and in groups throughout each year. We enjoy a vibrant partnership with Philly Young Playwrights, hosting teaching artists to mentor our students in writing monologues and plays. The Mary Margaret Longaker ‘27 Playwriting Competition recognizes a winning student play each year, chosen by a panel of faculty, alumni, and theater professionals.
The student body produces several Open Mic Nights during the year which highlight an incredible depth of independent student creativity, dramatically and otherwise. There is a student-run Thespian Troupe club in Upper School as well, which can be a fulfilling outlet for students unable to participate in the drama courses or productions.