Theatre has been part of Aquinas’ tradition of excellence since the school was founded. Over the years, the Aquinas stage has fostered the creativity, skill, and confidence of generations of students. Our cast and crew members perform for audiences that include parents, grandparents, and even great-grandparents who have performed on the same stage. Our current Theatre Director, Megan Barbour, is herself a third-generation alumna and former Aquinas actor.
Our annual theatre season offers performance opportunities for all our students, whether they are in middle or high school. The mainstage season includes three productions, all student-run with adult supervision. Students are immersed in a wide range of genres, from contemporary shows (past shows include Hairspray, Little Shop of Horrors, and She Kills Monsters) to American classics (The Sound of Music, The Crucible, and Our Town), to Shakespeare (Romeo and Juliet, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, and The Tempest).
Beyond the mainstage season, students further develop their craft through our Annual 24-Hour Play Festival, which offers opportunities for student playwrights and directors as well as actors and technicians. In the past, we have also offered workshops, field trips, and trips to places like NYC and London.
Beginning in the 2018-2019 school year, Aquinas will partner with the Stratford Festival of Canada to bring Aquinas students Shakespeare programming not offered in any other U.S. high school. Our teachers are closely collaborating with the Festival to develop lesson plans and workshops to be taught by both Aquinas teachers and Stratford’s world-renowned company members in a series of master classes. After they are visited by the company members, we aim to bring our students to Stratford to immerse them in one of the world’s premier Shakespeare festivals.
In the classroom, our middle schoolers learn the elements of storytelling and collaborative performance, while our high schoolers dive into the world of theatre through classes like Introduction to Theatre and Introduction to Production, Dramatics, Acting, and Public Speaking.
Additionally, the Theatre Director and the department are active members of the New York State Theatre Education Association (NYSTEA). Our students attend the annual NYSTEA Student Conference in the Catskills where theatre professionals from New York City and the East coast, along with college theatre programs, hold varied workshops over a three day period.
Aquinas’ commitment to the theatre arts can be seen in the variety of production experience, classroom instruction, and programming offered to its students. We hope you will join us as an actor, technician, patron, or audience member to make our season the best one yet!