You can do so many cool and different things—graphic arts, Student Produced Works, Architecture, Play Production, creating your own projects. Also they encourage us with things like Music Day and Coffee House.” Hayley '16 and Eleanor '16

In the Middle School Drama program, sixth grade students are introduced to the fundamentals of theatre: story and character. Seventh and eighth grade students then have the opportunity to learn all aspects of theater art and craft including creating a character, learning the discipline of rehearsal and performance, designing and building sets, lights, props and costumes and finally bringing all those elements together in public performances. This work is based on the ethics of the theater, which include preparation, doing your own work and leaving space for others to do their own work, taking risks and supporting others as they take risks, and putting the show first

Upper School students are given the opportunity to experience the process theater artists use to create meaningful theatrical experiences incorporating multiple levels of learning. Stagecraft students are exposed to the entire process of theatrical design, execution of theory by building their designs and finally the tech crew for performance. Play Production student actors (from audition to performance in both musical and non-musical plays) are exposed to the same process all actors embrace to perform in a fully mounted production. Acting or Reacting class students are exposed to an intense and fun semester course that focuses on learning acting skills from theater improvisation to scene study workshops. Mime and Stage Combat students focus on developing their physical performance strengths, and Film Studies classes cover the science and art of the motion picture on multiple levels from its earliest days to the present.

Student Distinctions:

  • Middle School musical productions of Once Upon a Mattress, Zombie Prom: The Atomic Edition, and Monte Christo
  • Upper School productions that cover an amazing variety of exposure to various forms of theater such as The Laramie Project, Little Shop of Horrors, The Rememberer, Urinetown, Rent, A Company of Wayward Saints and As You Like It
  • Student written, directed, designed and performed plays, including Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, Zanna Don’t, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, and The Fantasticks
  • Original student plays and musicals, including I’d Like to but I Can’t and The Border Line


  • Theater faculty Paul Fleming and Meleesa Wyatt regularly direct and act in regional theater productions.

Upcoming Events:

  • Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard
  • May 11 at 4:00 p.m.; May 12 and 13, 7:30 p.m., Founders Hall
  • Reserve your free tickets online at https://uprepabsurd.eventbrite.com

The University Prep Fine Arts Department presents Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead by Tom Stoppard. This semester, the Play Production class is plunging into a world of absurdist and existentialist tragicomedy and a most fascinating theatrical experience. This play's topsy-turvy plot follows Rosencrantz and Guildenstern, two minor characters from Shakespeare's Hamlet, as they ponder the meaning of their lives and search for their purpose in the dark world of the disillusioned Prince Hamlet. Their loyalty to the Prince of Denmark finally leads them to an ocean voyage where they lose Hamlet to pirates and discover that they are to be executed when they reach their destination. The great actor/director Laurence Olivier said that the play Hamlet, ". . . is a play about nothing." Tom Stoppard, the author of this play, said, "Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead, whatever else it is, is a comedy." This play could be considered to be an absurd play based on a play about nothing. How absurd!

Be prepared for an unorthodox night of theatre: Act one takes place in the Commons, and acts two and three in Founders Hall. All scenic design, technical creation and execution for this production is done by the Stagecraft class.