Drama

MENLO US DRAMA’S 2019/2020 SEASON

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by Stephen Schwartz

As told by a traveling troupe of actors led by the cunning and charming Leading Player, Pippin is the story of a young prince, heir to the throne, who is searching for his own “corner of the sky.” Pippin returns from university certain that he will find a fulfilling purpose in life. As encouraged by the Leading Player, Pippin dabbles in bloody battle, licentious and lusty sexual entanglements, and savvy political maneuvers, only to discover that true happiness is more complicated than he thought. With infectious tunes by Stephen Schwartz and classic choreography from Bob Fosse, Pippin is both a humorous allegory about growing up and a dark tale of the danger of false appearances and empty promises.

Show Information:
The show must go on! The cast of Pippin is working hard from our the safety of our homes and we’re excited to announce that Pippin is happening - VIRTUALLY - on Saturday, May 30th at 7PM!  Stay tuned for screening information.  We’ve got magic to do, just for you! 


 

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Tartuff Highlights…

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Cabaret Highlights…

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The cast and crew of Cabaret extend a sincere thank you to all those who continue to support the arts at Menlo! 

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Menlo Drama Gives Back

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Menlo Drama Give Back raises $1,824 for The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund! The Menlo Drama Department strives to ‘Give Back’ both on and off stage. Through donations during our productions, we encourage public support for both national and international programs benefitting people affected by health, wellness, and community issues. To date, Menlo Gives Back has raised and distributed over $43,000 to various charities globally.

The cast of TARTUFF chose to support The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund. The sexual harassment that has been reported in the last two years has been both horrific and illuminating. The TIME’S UP Legal Defense Fund supports the brave individuals who have come forward, at great risk to themselves, to seek the justice they deserve and to protect others from similar behavior.  his Fund helps workers connect with lawyers and bring cases of workplace sexual harassment and related retaliation — regardless of industry, rank or role.  Workplace sexual harassment and retaliation have often gone unchecked; now is the time to finally stop both.  Visit //nwlc.org/times-up-legal-defense-fund/ for more information.

 

Drama Courses

  • Drama

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  • Improv: Whose Line is It Anyway? 2S

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    The course will focus on the foundations of good improv, including:

    1. Spontaneity
    2. Affirmation
    3. Character
    4. Emotion
    5. Space Objects
    6. Sharing Control
    7. Status
    8. Endowments
    9. Narrative

    Milestones of the course may include:

    · Collaboration with the Stanford Improvisers

    · A field trip to see “professional” improv in San Francisco

    · A capstone performance at the end of the semester!

    Enduring Understandings:

    1. Saying “yes!” to the unexpected develops selflessness and empathy, teaches listening and openness, and leads to life-changing experiences and relationships.

    2. Failure is an essential part of improv, art, and life, and it must be accepted before any meaningful risk can be taken.

    3. Sharing control and working for the good of the group are hallmarks of great improv and good people.

    Outcomes: In addition to the enduring understandings, students who complete the course will become members of MImps, the Menlo Improvisers. Students will be able to practice with the troupe and play in shows with their fellow improvisers for the rest of their Menlo career.

    The MIMPS, Menlo Improvisors, will make their public debut with an evening of Improv in the new Spieker Center for the Performing Arts.

  • Musical Theatre’s Secret Lab 1S

    Designed to introduce, explore and develop a solid understanding of the musical theatre cannon, both past and present. With on-site and in real-time simulated auditions, we will learn the techniques of acting a song and how to use subtext and monologues to make your performance of a song more believable. We will examine the construction of a song and take a look at it’s various parts. We’ll discuss the voice. We’ll examine a wide range of musical theatre songs and shows that exist and learn which types are best suitable for your skill level. We will learn the valuable tool of providing and receiving constructive feedback as we explore a model for providing others with feedback in a meaningful way.

    This course will provide you with a step-by–step process to pick the best material and prepare fully for a wide range of audition situations. Practical work sessions on ‘how to audition’ will be an important part of this class. We will also look at acting and musical theatre schools, programs and summer opportunities that best suits you.

    It doesn’t matter where you are trying out for a Broadway show, auditioning for college or simply jamming with friends, there is something here to help everyone make the most of the skills they already possess.

    The course will focus on the foundations of a positive presentation including:

    Expanding self-expression
    Building basic principles of acting including character analysis through song with the use of objectives, and obstacles
    The choosing and collecting a variety of songs to perform, audition or enjoyment

    Skills that will be developed include:

    Flexibility
    Spontaneity
    Affirmation
    Song Analysis

    Milestones of the course may include:

    Guest Artist auditors
    Collaboration with neighboring musical theatre high school classes in the Bay area
    A field trip to see a “professional” show in the Bay Area.
    A capstone performance at the end of the semester!

    Outcomes: Students will showcase their work in a capstone performance, “20 musicals in 20 minutes” in the new Spieker Center.

    Prerequisite – Currently in Drama 1 or have taken Drama 1

About Menlo Drama

Menlo’s Upper School drama program includes courses in drama and musical theatre in addition to producing full-length plays each fall, winter, and spring. Past productions have included Heathers, Twelfth Night, Cabaret, The Laramie Project, Fiddler on the Roof, The Miracle Worker, Urinetown, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Avenue Q.

Steven Minning

Steven Minning is the Creative Arts and Upper School Drama Director. He has worked as a director and choreographer in New York, and around the world. As an Associate Director he has staged the Broadway, National and International tours of Billy Elliot, The Lion King, Show Boat, The Will Rogers Follies, and Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion. He has directed and choreographed for major events such as State Farm National Agency Convention in Las Vegas, the Coca-Cola Olympic reception in Atlanta and the World Cup opening ceremonies. He teaches drama and musical Theatre.