Theatre Focus activities kicked off last month with a back-to-school party for new and returning members, as well as auditions and callbacks for the theatre company’s fall production of one of Shakespeare’s finest comedies.
For the uninitiated, Theatre Focus is a community of St. Stephen’s students and faculty dedicated to the study, practice and production of theatre. This special offering, integrated within the larger theatre program, provides extra programming opportunities for students interested in deepening their knowledge of and experience in theatre arts. This capstone program is led by Lindsay Brustein, director of Theatre Focus, and Mike Dolan, film and theatre instructor.
According to Brustein, this year’s company of actors and technical crew is incredibly diverse. Participants include 13 9th graders, six 10th graders, seven 11th graders and seven 12th graders. Among them are eight residential boarders and 25 day students.
“We've had a lot of fun getting to know our company so far this year,” Brustein said of the back-to-school party on Aug. 23 that included a number of ensemble-building techniques. “Students also have just finished the audition process and begun rehearsals for our fall play, ‘A Midsummer Night's Dream.’”The production will be led by guest director Gwen Kelso, an actor, director and educator who has taught at The American Academy of Dramatic Arts in New York, Brooklyn Academy of Music and ZACH Theatre in Austin.
“The Theatre Focus Council—student leaders who act as company captains—also has begun making plans for our First Fridays company gatherings, our Middle School mentorship program, and more,” Brustein said. “In addition, we are firming up plans for some exciting upcoming workshops.”
Mark your calendars now for Theatre Focus performances of “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” at 7:30 p.m. on Dec. 2 and 3, and 2 p.m. on Dec. 4.