drama program at north hills
The North Hills Drama Program dates back to 1958 and includes an introduction to theatre course, as well as four curricular levels of acting for grades 9-12. In addition to these classes, both the middle and high school drama clubs produce theatrical productions every school year – the fall play, winter musical, and spring musical. Lastly, the high school drama club produces a student showcase every spring.
The middle school winter musical is open to students in grades 7-9. Members of this drama club present a musical production annually during the last weekend in January. These musicals are shortened versions of full-scale shows, and are designed specifically for middle school voices. In addition to the cast members performing on stage, a tech crew is selected as part of the drama club to build set pieces and manage the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show, such as scene changes, light and sound operation. Auditions are held for the cast at the end of October.
The high school theatre courses focus primarily on acting techniques and direction: styles, dialects, improvisation, staging, and auditioning skills. The introductory class includes units on history of theatre, types of theatres, set design, costumes, make-up, and performance. All of these courses are semester based.
High school students may participate in the high school drama club's fall play and spring musical productions in the following ways:
High school students may submit an application to middle school drama director, Lisa Marcellus, if interested in student directing the winter musical. Student directors help in the following areas: acting, dance, set building, hair & make-up, and costumes.
Members of the North Hills Drama Club earn points from 7th-12th grade for the International Thespian Society. This program nationally recognizes students for their contributions to the arts and can award them honors.
The North Hills High School musical competes with 30 other Pittsburgh schools in the Gene Kelly Awards for Excellence in Musical Theatre every year. This program offers scholarships and a chance to perform downtown at the Benedum Center, if nominated for Best Musical. The North Hills Drama Club has received nominations in all eligible categories and earned awards for Best Actress, Best Supporting Actor, Best Supporting Actress, Best Choreography, and Best Ensemble.
The International Thespian Society (ITS) officers produce a student showcase of dramatic talent at the end of each school year. Students of the Drama Club direct, choreograph, accompany, and perform one acts, scenes, monologues, vocal solos, duets, and dance pieces. As part of the evening's program, members earning enough points are inducted into the International Thespian Society.
Elementary students may soon have the opportunity to participate in a summer musical camp held in the high school.
Drama Club alumni parents collaborate with the current staff to create an annual Drama Club Gala Fundraiser in June. We invite student alumni to perform selections from their North Hills Drama Club theatrical experiences.