Viz encourages girls and young women to develop their gifts in an environment that values excellence in scholarship, spirituality, leadership, and service. Our theater program is just one way we instill these core values in our students. Through a range of courses, students learn all aspects of theater production and apply those skills in hands-on roles for every part of each show, both onstage and backstage.
First through fifth grade students can participate in our Lower School musical. The musical is a ‘no cut’ program meaning anyone who wants to be on stage can be on stage. A production team including a director, music director, and choreographer work alongside Upper School mentors to put together a full musical featuring our Lower School students. In addition to roles on stage, fifth graders also have the option to work on the stage crew.
If a production need arises, Lower School students may be invited to audition for the Upper School musical.
Eighth grade students are required to take a semester of creative drama. This class is designed to build confidence and communication skills as students explore a variety of performance styles.
Students in grades 6-8 are invited to audition for three annual productions: the Upper School/Middle School musical, a Middle School non-musical play, and student-directed one acts (short plays directed by juniors and seniors).
Students who are not interested in being on stage have the option to sign up to work backstage. These productions require stage crew, costume crew, lights and sound, as well as set building and painting. Eighth graders have an opportunity to take leadership roles in these areas for the Middle School play and Lower School musical.
Middle School students also have the option to participate in the city-wide Bellarmine Speech League.
Ninth grade students are required to take a public speaking course. In this course, they develop formal speech delivery skills and speech writing skills as they present a variety of types of speeches. Tenth through twelfth grade students have two theater elective options: Introduction to Acting and Technical Theater. Introduction to Acting is a course geared towards teaching specific acting techniques and theories. In Technical Theatre, students learn the art of building a set including use of power tools.
Viz offers three performance opportunities for Upper School students: the Upper School/Middle School musical, an Upper School non-musical play, and student-directed one acts (short plays directed by juniors and seniors with underclassmen in the cast).
Students who are interested in assisting backstage can work on building sets, sewing costumes, props, lights, sound, hair and make-up, marketing, or stage management. We take a student-centered approach with our theater program, allowing students to take on leadership roles as they learn all elements of a production.
For those serious about public speaking, Viz offers a very active and successful Youth in Government program and a Mock trial program, which provides students practical experience on the state level.
Our Visual & Performing Arts Department has been featured in Ladue News. Read the article.