Community School Fine Arts
The schoolwide arts program at Community School gives students opportunities for creative self-expression and develops a lifelong appreciation for art.
It is the goal of the Art Department to offer opportunities to students that they may understand and develop facility with the techniques and processes of the arts as a means of expressing emotions and concepts. Opportunities will be provided to encourage skill development and develop artistic appreciation along with self-expression.
The curriculum is based on observational and expressive drawing, art history, color theory, the elements and principles of design, painting, printmaking, sculpture, design problems, ceramics, photography, computer graphics, studio art, metals and printmaking, a vocabulary of art terms, and critiquing of artwork. Students will work towards refinement of sketchbooks, portfolios, and creation of independent projects.
The Upper School theatre program mounts two productions a year, a straight play and a musical. Our students are taught by teachers who are professionals within the areas of music, drama, dance and design.
We educate students who are likely to go on to becoming performers, drama teachers, or active supporters of the performing arts. We do not just work with obviously talented students, however. Sometimes we cast students looking for friends; or shy students who want to learn to open up and be comfortable in social situations. We develop the talents of students as actors, singers, dancers and stage designers in a small repertory company, in which students advance from supporting roles to leads in the course of their high school years. Our choice of repertoire is determined by the talent of this company, and by our desire to find material for our actors that they, as well as our audiences, will learn from and enjoy. We are aware of the fact that our productions are seen by more people than any other school activity, contributing significantly to giving the school its profile.
A selection of our repertoire in recent years will give an impression of our style and taste, and the issues we have addressed: Oklahoma!, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Twelfth Night, A Winter’s Tale, Hamlet, Othello (five by Shakespeare), The Boys From Syracuse and Kiss Me Kate (two Shakespeare-based musicals), A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum (musical based on Plautus), The Miser, The Imaginary Invalid (Moliere), A Christmas Carol (Dickens), The Importance of Being Earnest, Blithe Spirit (Wilde and Coward. High Comedy),You Can’t Take It With You, Merton of the Movies, Stage Door (three by Kaufman & Co.), Easter (Strindberg. Spirituality), Of Mice and Men (Steinbeck. Social Realism), The Good Soul of Setzuan, The Threepenny Opera,The Caucasian Chalk Circle (three by Bertolt Brecht, Communism), No Exit (Sartre. Existentialism), The Zoo Story,The Lesson, Rhinoceros (Albee. Ionesco. Theatre of the Absurd), Annie Get Your Gun, Damn Yankees, The Pajama Game, Gypsy (Americana), She Loves Me, The Pirates of Penzance (Operettas). One year a playwrighting class produced a student-written play, Whatever. The Upper School Art Department teaches a class in stage design, in which students design and, to some extent, build and paint the sets for the season.