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 2020-2021 Theater Season
September 1 - 4
by Greg Kotis and Mark Hollmann
"Is that really the title?" you ask. It is! Despite the unlikely name, this
Tony-Award-winning hit is a serious-yet-humorous tale of greed, corruption, love, and revolution during a severe water shortage. After a 20-year drought, private toilets became outlawed. When his family falls victim to this tyranny, Bobby Strong spearheads a revolution – unaware of the consequences of his actions! Dr. Fuller directs our 23rd collaborative musical with HH.
Performance times: Wednesday & Thursday at 6:30, Friday at 4:00 & Sat at 2:00 at MBA. Reserve tickets (free for MBA & HH students, faculty and staff but required for everyone) go on sale the week before the show.
November 4 - 7
The Compleat Wrks of Wllm Shkspr
by Adam Long, Daniel Singer, and Jess Winfield
The challenge: perform the complete works of William Shakespeare in one evening. That’s right. All 37 plays by William Shakespeare in under two hours. Since it debuted at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival more than a generation ago, this irreverent romp through the works of the Bard of Avon has had audiences laughing out loud at Shakespeare Festivals around the world. Can our troupe of high school thespians rise to the challenge and pull off this extraordinary feat? And what about Shakespeare’s 154 sonnets? We invite you to come and see for yourself. So whether you’re a friend, Roman, or MBA gentleman, lend us your ears and join the MBA Players for an evening of revels and misadventured piteous overthrows.
Performance times: Thursday & Friday at 6:30; Saturday at 7:00; Sun-day at 2:00. Tickets available at the door: free for MBA & HH students, faculty, and staff; $10 for other adults & $5 for other students.
January 20 – 22
How to Survive Being in a
by Don Zolidis
Look, it's inevitable: one day, you're going to end up in a Shakespeare play. Shakespeare's characters make a habit of dying dramatically, but is there another way? Could Caesar get through March without ending up like Gallic cheese? Does no one take St. Crispin's day off? Why does no one listen to witches? Join us for a comedic evening of helpful tips on surviving the Bloody Bard, and maybe you'll live to see Henry XXV!
Performance times: Thursday & Friday at 6:30; Saturday at 2:00 at MBA. Tickets available at the door: free for MBA & HH students, faculty & staff; $5 for all others.
February 24 – 27
by Arthur Miller
Inspired by the McCarthy hearings of the 1950s and based on historical accounts of the Salem witch trials, this play focuses on the discovery of several girls attempting to conjure spirits from the dead. Rather than suffer punishment for their actions, the girls accused others of practicing witchcraft. Dr. Fuller directs this American classic about how desperate finger-pointing in a repressive community results in mass paranoia and fear.
Performance times: Thursday & Friday at 6:30; Saturday at 7:00; Sunday at 2:00. Tickets available at the door: free for MBA & HH stu-dents, faculty, & staff; $10 for adults & $5 for other students.
April 14 – 16
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, Thursday & Friday at 6:30. Tickets available at the door: free for MBA & HH students, faculty & staff; $5 for all others.