The Theater Program at Montgomery Bell Academy

The Theater Program at MBA helps students develop creative solutions to complex problems. In facing the challenges of performance, students develop sensitivity to the interpersonal relationships inherent in the collaborative process and grow as individuals, thus preparing them for all enterprises that value these qualities. 

As teachers, we emphasize two things about theater from the beginning: character and collaboration. We start with the Greeks' understanding of character as moral fiber and discuss how the work of both drama and life is about building character. Perhaps the most distinctive aspect of theater as an art form is that it is collaborative. This means that if the work is to be good, then the whole group of various artists must work together with a shared vision and goal. In rehearsals, we emphasize working as an ensemble with no "star" system. Every contribution is important and necessary for opening night to happen. In classes and rehearsals, we continually emphasize cooperating together and sacrificing personal ego for the greater good of the "team" and for the excellence of the work itself. As director Constantin Stanislavski demands, "You must make up you mind, once and for all, did you come here to serve art, and to make sacrifices for its sake, or to exploit your own personal ends? " The greatest test of the success of the play, more important than numbers in the audience or praise from critics, is how well we have worked together to produce the show. 

Specifically, the theater program's curricular and extra-curricular offerings provide a history and an appreciation of drama for the beginning student, as well as extensive training and college preparation for the advanced student.

MBA's 2019-2020 Theater Season

August 28 - 31 
No, No, Nanette  
by Irving Caesar & Otto Harbach with music by Vincent Youmans 
The time is 1925, and the place is New York City. In this classic of 
musical theater, a Bible salesman, his wife, their lawyer friend and his wife, and the salesman's young ward, Nanette, get into various romantic entanglements and misunderstandings. Janette Fox Klocko directs this lighthearted romp through the Jazz Age. Reserve tickets (free for 
students, faculty and staff but required for everyone) go on sale the week before the show. You must reserve your ticket online to 
attend. Performance times: Wednesday, Thursday and Friday @6:30 & Sat @2 at Harpeth Hall. 
 
October 24 - 26
Sueño (competition one-act) 
by José Rivera
 This play, our entry in the Tennessee Theater Association competition, tells the story of a mythical Spanish king who imprisons his own son in a tower from birth to protect his reign and thwart predictions of astrologers who said the boy would grow up to be a monster. After several years, however, the king has a change of heart and orders his son brought to the palace for a test. The newly freed prince is so angry and behaves so badly that the king banishes him again to prison. Waking up in the tower, the son is convinced that the entire experience was a dream, but a peasant uprising liberates the confused prisoner once more. The results are fascinating! Dr. Fuller directs this adaptation of Pedro Calderon’s Golden Age adventure about free will and self-fulfilling prophecies. Performance times on campus: Thursday, Friday (10/24 & 10/25) @6:30; Saturday (10/26) @7 at MBA.
 
November 22-24
Play! Write! 2019
Our inaugural 48-hour improv-inspired original play competition begins with games and suggestions from the audience on Friday evening. Writing teams will have 12 hours to write the drafts of their new plays. Limited rehearsals will take place over the weekend before the curtain rises Sunday evening. This fundraiser benefits Endada. Begins Friday at 5 p.m. and ends with performances of new works on Sunday at 5 p.m. 
 
­January 23 – 25
The Legend of Sleepy Hollow
by Kathryn Schultz Miller
When learned Ichabod Crane, the new schoolmaster, arrives in the 
village of Sleepy Hollow, he quickly encounters the lovely Katrina Van Tassel, the brutish Brom Bones, and the widespread superstition of the townsfolk. He soon learns that the town is also home to spooky
 apparitions, including the famous Headless Horseman. This adaptation of Washington Irving's classic tale, directed by Nelson Berry, brings both comedy and suspense for the whole family. Performance times: Thursday & Friday @ 6:30; Saturday @2 at MBA.

February 20 – 23
The Knight of the Burning Pestle 
by Francis Beaumont 
This play within a play from 1607 is a boisterous and satirical collision of citizen drama and chivalric, courtly romance. A grocer and his wife interrupt The London Merchant, wreaking havoc on the production and causing the addition of a new character, a “knight” who will uphold the honor of the grocery business. This hilarious burlesque of Elizabethan London life in five acts will be performed under the direction of Malcolm Morrison with full musical accompaniment. Performance times: Thursday & Friday  @6:30; Saturday @7; Sunday @2 at MBA.
 
April 22 – 23
Student-Directed One Act Plays  
Seniors in the Studio Theater class choose and direct a collection of short plays, including some of their new, original works. Performance times: Wednesday and Thursday @6:30 at MBA.
 

Meet the Theater Department

List of 5 members.

  • Photo of Cal Fuller

    Dr. Cal Fuller 

    Vis. & Perform. Arts Chair, Theater Program Director, Senior Seminar, Service Club Advisor
    Northwestern University - Ph.D.
    University of Chicago - M.A.
    Davidson College - BA
    At MBA since 1997
  • Photo of Malcolm Morrison

    Mr. Malcolm Morrison 

    347
    South Bank University - Advanced Diploma
    University of London - B. Ed (Hons)
    Johnson & Wales University - M. Ed (part)
    At MBA since 2000
  • Photo of Nelson Berry

    Mr. Nelson Berry 06

    Latin Teacher, Theater, 10th Gr. Concessions, International Thespian Society
    University of the South: Sewanee - B.A.
    University of Georgia - M.A.
    At MBA since 2010
  • Photo of Hunter Woolwine

    Mr. Hunter Woolwine 12

    At MBA since 2017
  • Photo of Jack Chambers

    Mr. Jack Chambers 

    Network Administrator
    University of the South
    At MBA since 2015

Montgomery Bell Academy

4001 Harding Road
Nashville, TN 37205
(615) 298-5514