The Foote School’s Drama Program provides students with an understanding of the importance of drama as an expression of the human experience, as well as with an appreciation of the role of the many forms of theater in cultural literacy.
Drama fosters creativity, giving students the opportunity to improvise, act on a stage and write plays, as well as participate in the technical aspects of the theater. Learning the discipline and craft necessary for this constructive creation builds numerous skills, among those the crucial abilities to reason, make important decisions, and solve problems.
The drama program provides students with tools for critical assessment of what they read, see, and hear, with models and standards of excellence, and with a sense of the emotional power of theater — its ability to stir and inspire an audience. Finally, and of paramount importance, because theater illuminates the constancy of the human condition, its study furthers the students’ understanding of themselves.
To create an environment conducive to drama, certain behavioral objectives must be met. These objectives are important for the development of attitudes that contribute to individual growth and effective group functioning. They include:
- thinking independently and feeling free to express one’s opinions and feelings
- respecting other people’s points of view even when they differ from one’s own
- learning to handle responsibility
- contributing in a positive way to group interaction
- learning to focus and concentrate
- improving listening skills
- supporting other members of the group
- learning to humanly cooperate and artistically collaborate
The 2019–2020 theater season at Foote promises to be an exciting one!
Harvey by Mary Chase
The 7th/8th grade production, Harvey is a Pulitzer Prize winner. This popular comedy is about Elwood P. Dowd, considered the “perfect gentleman,” and his six-foot-tall invisible friend, a rabbit named Harvey! Elwood’s sister, Veta, and her daughter, Myrtle Mae, are so embarrassed by what they consider Elwood’s foolish antics that they attempt to have him committed to a sanitarium. By mistake, however, Veta is committed rather than Elwood, and the fun begins! Plot twists and a surprise ending result in laughter and a great theater experience that the whole family will enjoy.
Thursday through Saturday, December 5, 6, 7 at 7 p.m. and Sunday, December 8, 2019, at 1 p.m. in the Robert D. Sandine Theater.
The Miser by Moliere
Moliere is regarded at one of the theater’s top comic geniuses, and The Miser is one of his best works. The plot concerns the classic conflict of love and money. The miser, Harpagon, wants his daughter Elise, to marry a wealthy old man, Anselme, who, much to Harpagon’s delight, will accept her without a dowry. Elise, however, has her heart set on the penniless Valère. Meanwhile, Harpagon himself has set his eye on young, impoverished Mariane, but he doesn’t know that his son Cléante also loves her! Harpagon’s stinginess sets off a chain reaction of hysterical situations, mistaken identities, and all-round great theatrical fun.
Tuesday through Friday, March 3 – 6, 2020, at 7 p.m. in the Robert D. Sandine Theater.
Foote Summer Theater 2020
This will be the 40th year anniversary of this extraordinary six-week educational theater program for students from grade 7 upwards! Students can choose to perform or learn technical skills in construction, painting, costumes, props, and make-up.Foote Summer Theater is open to students from Foote and all other schools!
The name of the major musical to be presented will soon be announced.
Dates: June 22 — July 31, 2020
Registration begins in February at which time a detailed description of the program and the instructors will be available on the Foote School website under summer programs. Enroll for a memorable summer of learning and fun!
Julian Schlusberg is the Chair of Foote’s comprehensive Kindergarten through Grade 9 drama program and has been the Artistic Director of Foote’s Summer Theater Program for its entire 39-year history. He has received the John C. Barner National Theater Teacher of the Year Award, the Greater New Haven Arts Council Award, and was the first recipient of The Long Wharf Theatre’s Mary Hunter Wolf Award for Excellence in the Art and Teaching of Theater. He was the recipient of the Connecticut Drama Association’s Lifetime Achievement Award and Distinguished Service Award, and was twice honored by the Governor of Connecticut for his leadership in educational theater. He is the critically acclaimed author of Lessons for the Stage and Letters from the Prophets: A Theater Teacher's Memoir. Many of his students pursue successful careers in professional and educational theater, film, TV, playwriting, and technical theater.