Learning Expression and Empathy

Whether it is the importance of family bonds in Proof, the faithful friendships in The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe, or the validation of virtue over wealth in Cinderella, all truth is God’s truth. The theatre department at Harding is a safe place for students to explore how they can be a part of telling stories of truth through their gifts of performance, design, and technical skills.  


Offerings

  • Lower School

    Lower students to learn to express themselves through movement, drama, and speech. Every year, lower school students perform a musical on the O. O. Emmons stage. After-school theatre enrichment programs are available through LEAP camps.

  • Middle School

    Fine Arts Exploration (grade 6)
    Sixth graders take a Fine Arts Exploration course where they experience band, chorus, visual art, and theatre. This helps them find their particular interests and aids them in choosing fine arts electives throughout the rest of upper school.

    Improv Theatre Troupe (grades 6–8)
    Prerequisite: Teacher approval
    Improv Theatre Troupe is for students who have a desire to perform theatrically in front of their peers, especially younger students. Students hone their acting skills as well as improvise together as a group. The troupe performs before several audiences throughout the year including chapel performances. Through their experiences in Improv Theatre Troupe, students learn how to perform as one and use their talents to glorify God.

    Middle School Play (grades 6–8)
    Every year, the middle school produces and performs a play on the O. O. Emmons stage. All middle school students can audition. Students learn both onstage and offstage skills such as performance, vocal technique, design, set, costumes, lights, and sound.

  • Upper School

    Drama Class (grades 9–12)
    Drama is an interactive performance class. Students who select this class should be prepared to read, write, rehearse, and memorize. The class begins with an introduction to theatre, including history of theatre. Students receive instruction in basic acting, improvisation, monologues, short plays, and ensemble acting. In addition, they study the technical side of theatre including makeup, set design, and blocking. Students are expected to attend and critique one off-campus play each quarter and to participate in some level in the production of Harding’s play(s).

    Upper School Play (grades 9–12)
    Every year, the upper school produces and performs a play on the O. O. Emmons stage. All upper school students can audition. Students learn both onstage and offstage skills such as performance, vocal technique, design, set, costumes, lights, and sound.

    Upper School Musical (grades 9–12)
    Every year, the upper school produces and performs a musical on the O. O. Emmons stage. All upper school students can audition. Students learn both onstage and offstage skills such as performance, vocal technique, design, set, costumes, lights, and sound.


2023–2024 Theatre Season

Disney’s Winnie the Pooh KIDS

Show Dates
Friday, November 10, 6:30 p.m.
Saturday, November 11, 2:00 p.m.


Seussical

Show Dates
Thursday, February 15, 7:00 p.m.
Friday, February 16, 7:00 p.m.
Saturday, February 17, 2:00 p.m.


Awards & Recognitions

The Orpheum hosts the High School Musical Theatre Awards every year to recognize excellent school productions. We are proud of our casts and crews for their nominations and wins!

  • Freaky Friday (2022–23)

    The Full Cast for Outstanding Large Ensemble
    Outstanding Student Orchestra
    Brooks Tomlinson for Outstanding Featured Actor

  • Little Women (2021–22)

    Outstanding Costumes (winner)

  • Shrek the Musical (2018–19)

    Katie Reidel for Outstanding Featured Actress
    Tessa Mullinix, Ayana Walls, and Maia Bennett for Outstanding Small Ensemble–Dragon
    Elena Parkhurst for The Bravo Award
    Tyler Patterson for Outstanding Technical Achievement Award
    Outstanding Artistic Element—Dragon
    Outstanding Student Orchestra

  • The Little Mermaid (2017–18)

    Chandler Donlin for The Bravo Award (winner)
    Tyler Patterson for Outstanding Student Technical Achievement Award
    Bella Malone for Outstanding Featured Actress
    Outstanding Student Orchestra

  • Sister Act (2016–17)

    Outstanding Production Materials
    Aubrey Dearen for Outstanding Creative Achievement

  • Cinderella (2015–16)

    Katie Fisher McHugh for Best Supporting Actress
    Aubrey Dearen for Creative Achievement
    Outstanding Front of House
    Outstanding Costumes

  • The Drowsy Chaperone (2014–15)

    Best Lighting Design

  • Little Shop of Horrors (2013–14)

    Best Special Effects (The Audrey IIs)


Theatre News


Meet Our Theatre Teacher

Jennifer Aycock
Director of Theatre Arts
Email

Ms. Aycock’s Deep Hope: My Deep hope is for you to awaken and ignite the flame within so that you may enchant others with His creations.