7-12 Performing Arts

The Performing Arts program focuses on creating competent, confident musicians, artists, and communicators. The theater and music classes give students many opportunities to participate in onstage performances as actors, musicians, singers, dancers or members of the technical support staff. Students can participate in full stage plays and musical performances as well as tour with Pinewood’s award-winning choirs.


"Set in and around a large pool of water onstage, Metamorphoses juxtaposes the ancient and the contemporary in both language and image to reflect the variety and persistence of narrative in the face of inevitable change."
- Northwestern University Press

October 26-28, 2017
Upper Campus Theatre
Tickets Available in October

2017-18 Season


Course Catalog

Grades 7-8

Musical Theatre Workshop 7

Grade 7
Musical Theatre Workshop 7 gives students the opportunity to learn techniques and develop skills in music, dance, and acting. Students sing a varied musical theatre repertoire, perform monologues and scenes, and learn different styles of dance. This course contains some lectures, reading and written work, but primarily focuses on performance-based activities. At the end of the six-week course, students present a performance showcasing the skills they have learned in a daytime performance for their peers and an evening performance for friends and family.


Communications 7

Grade 7
Communications 7 is a foundational course in formal public speaking and presentation. Students will be taught basic communication mechanics including, but not limited to: eye contact, volume and inflection, stance and dress, prop usage, hand and body gestures and language. The main goal is to remove the stress and anxiety associated with public speaking by preparing students with an organized plan and structure in a nurturing environment. In addition to extemporaneous speeches, students will give a variety of formal speeches including one group speech. Students will prepare a proper outline for each formal speech and participate in the critique process. Teacher and peer reviews will help students refine their skills. Classroom use of the iPad will allow students to record their presentations, practice, review, and self-evaluate their performances.

Musical Theatre Performance 8

Grade 8
Musical Theatre Performance 8 gives students a more in-depth experience developing the techniques and skills learned in Musical Theatre Workshop 7 through the rehearsal and presentation of a fully-staged musical theatre production. Students will audition for roles, and learn songs, scenes, and choreography within the context of the show. In addition to performance-based activities, this course also contains lectures, and reading and written work. At the end of the semester, students perform in required performances for friends and family.

Grades 9-12

MUSIC | Music Theory 1

Grade 10
Music Theory 1 introduces students to the fundamentals of music theory and practice. This course contains lectures, critical listening, written work, and creative compositional activities, beginning with simple note and rhythm reading and advancing to basic harmonic analysis and musical composition. Students also learn beginning keyboarding skills and practice ear training and rhythmic dictation. At the end of the semester, students complete a comprehensive final exam that includes sections on musical vocabulary, composition, and analysis. This course fulfills half of the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

MUSIC | Music Theory 2

Grade 11
Music Theory 2 gives students an intermediate overview of music theory and practice, building upon the foundational concepts learned in Music Theory 1. Topics of study begin with triads and advance to intermediate harmonic and formal analysis and musical arranging and composition. This course contains lectures, critical listening, written work, and creative compositional activities, and continues to develop beginning/ intermediate keyboarding skills, ear training, and rhythmic dictation. At the end of the semester, students complete a comprehensive final exam that includes sections on musical vocabulary, composition, and analysis. This course fulfills half of the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

MUSIC | Women's Chorus

Grades 9-10
Women’s Chorus is a female choir for girls in grades 9–10. This course gives students the opportunity to rehearse and perform a variety of choral literature encompassing many different musical styles and languages, and to participate in concerts, festivals, and competitions. In rehearsal, students learn basic vocal technique, stage presence, performance, ear training skills, choral singing (up to 3 or 4 part harmony), and some solo singing. Each year, the Women’s Chorus may participate with the Pinewood Singers in a touring opportunity, generally rotating between international and national tours. (course may be taken multiple times)

MUSIC | Pinewood Singers

Grades 9, 10 (boys), 11, 12 (co-ed)
Pinewood Singers is a mixed voice vocal ensemble for boys in grades 9–12 and girls in grades 11–12. The group rehearses and performs a variety of choral literature encompassing many different musical styles and languages, and participates in concerts, festivals, and competitions. In rehearsal, students learn basic vocal technique, stage presence, performance, ear training skills, choral singing (up to 6 part harmony), and some solo singing. Each year, students may participate in a touring opportunity, generally rotating between international and national tours. (course may be taken multiple times)

THEATRE | Theatre 1

Grade 10
Theatre 1 is a beginning acting class that introduces students to the dramatic arts, allowing them to experience the diversity and excitement of theater and enabling them to gain confidence in performance on stage and off. Students will study and perform exercises designed to build skills in character development, vocal projection and voice, face, and body expressiveness. Some of the specific areas of study may include improvisation, storytelling, method acting, memorization techniques, and non-verbal communication. Students will communicate their understanding of concepts covered in this class through short essays on character analysis and dramatic criticism, and through peer evaluations and oral presentations. This course fulfills half of the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

THEATRE | Theatre 2

Grade 11
Theatre 2 continues to build on the skills introduced in the Theatre 1 class. Additional areas of study will include an emphasis on acting techniques, voice and diction, blocking and movement, script analysis, set and lighting design, production process and audition techniques. Performances will be recorded on video for self-review and evaluation and students will be graded on daily participation, monologues, scenes and readings presented in class as well as through a variety of written work. This course fulfills half of the Visual and Performing Arts requirement.

THEATRE | Technical Theatre

Grades 9-12
In Technical Theatre, students work hands-on as designers, carpenters, and technicians in the areas of stagecraft, lighting, and stage management. Students in Technical Theatre will provide the essential technical assistance for all productions and events held at Pinewood. Technical Theatre students will be asked to participate during evening hours to work backstage during dress rehearsals and during the run of the show. (course may be taken multiple times)

THEATRE | Drama

Grades 9-12
Every year, Pinewood Performing Arts produces two full-scale theatrical productions, a straight play in the fall and a large-scale musical in the spring. Though it varies from season to season, an additional small-cast musical may be offered in the winter. Casting is done at the discretion of the director and musical director who base their decisions on the student audition, availability, and overall impression. All roles are available to all students who audition regardless of experience or class year. Each production takes six to twelve weeks with rehearsals held after school. Rehearsals culminate in a run of fully produced performances open to the public. (course may be taken multiple times)

"I've heard the choir perform on a number of occasions and have always been impressed by the quality and professionalism of the groups. Thanks for enriching our future generations with substance and character."
- Community Member
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Robust Enrichment + Rigorous Academics | True to Our Roots

Considering our strong foundation, it’s no wonder that Pinewood students’ academic achievements match or exceed those of any school in the area. And with the guidance of our comprehensive, expert-­led college counseling program, our students go on to attend the finest colleges and universities in the nation.

Cayden Ehrlich '16 Hits the Note

Cayden is lending his voice to the Carleton Singing Knights at Carleton College. The group is an all-male, student-run collegiate a cappella group. Founded in 1955, the group is the oldest and only all-male a cappella group on Carleton College's campus.