The theatre program is designed to educate students in the theory, design, and practice of dramatic expression, in preparation for the students’ continued development at the collegiate level. Our curriculum is grounded in the study of drama through experiential learning, serving the pre-professional as well as those with no prior experience. The faculty is comprised of four full and part-time instructors, including two designers. Students have the opportunity to study acting, directing, costuming, scene design, lighting, public speaking, and playwriting as elective courses within our diverse course of study. We offer an extensive performance schedule through our play production elective course, resulting in three faculty-directed shows a year.
The theatre program also boasts dynamic co-curricular opportunities through Drama Labs, a series of student-directed one-act plays produced every Friday night in our theater classroom. Additionally, there is a student-run improv group as well as occasional community service projects. With more than 25 productions a year, there are ample opportunities for everyone to be involved.
In alternate years, the theatre program tours a production internationally. The Andover theatre program has won several awards, leading to its selection as the only high school to perform five times at the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland. Students who audition and are selected to participate in this program receive the benefit of an international touring experience accompanied by a two-week immersion in the world famous Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Additionally, the theatre program seeks to broaden students’ theatrical study by hiring guest artists ranging from local specialists to internationally recognized artists.
The Rosenkranz Shakespeare Fund
The Rosenkranz Shakespeare Fund was established by Nicholas Quinn Rosenkranz ’88, in honor of his 25th reunion, to support theatre at Phillips Academy. Rosenkranz discovered his love of theatre at Andover, in K. Kelly Wise’s legendary class, Novel & Drama, and Rosenkranz directed his first production, Tina Howe’s Painting Churches, in the Drama Lab in 1988. Rosenkranz is a constitutional law professor by day, but he remains passionately involved in the theatre, producing Broadway plays in his spare time (including, most recently, David Mamet’s Race and Tom Stoppard’s Arcadia). The Rosenkranz Shakespeare Fund will support at least one major theatrical production each year in the Theatre Department, preferably by William Shakespeare.