Arts

Performing Arts: Music, Theater, Dance

The Performing Arts program consists of three disciplines: dance, music, and theater. But whichever you choose to study, all of the disciplines focus on the “liveness” of this live art form. The teaching emphasizes “being present,” finding an authentic, spontaneous response, striving for mastery, and quality of both process and product.

Music

Contemporary Music
Music classes are composed primarily of small ensembles, and opportunities abound for singers and instrumentalists to work at their own level, and in a wide variety of music styles that they love. Students learn the fine art of group dynamics, group problem-solving, work ethic and artistic collaboration. They participate in the selection of repertoire, contribute to arrangements, and work to develop a unified group voice.

Our program has a good balance of technical learning and hands-on experience, and allows for increasing autonomy as students advance through the levels. For the younger students, that often means a lot of adult presence; for the older ones, it can mean that the adults become consultants for the students.

Teachers and coaches help students to “own” their work. The result is that students invest themselves beyond the requirements.

Leadership from experienced students is highly valued and has become part of the culture. The more experienced musicians pass on their love of music and commitment to excellence.

Classical Music
Advanced Chamber Ensemble is a course that focuses on building ensemble and performance skills. It is intended for students who have demonstrated a high level of commitment to play a musical instrument and are willing to practice regularly on their own. Students are exposed to a variety of repertoire taken from all periods of musical history (baroque, classical, romantic, 19th century and contemporary). This diverse curriculum provides each individual with technical and interpretive challenges. Students also benefit from exposure to visiting artists who work with these groups as both experienced chamber music coaches and active performers able to pass on their first-hand professional experience. Special workshops focus on extending the musical horizon and instrumental-specific technique. The class is open to strings, winds and pianists and requires an informal audition. Ranging from duos, trios and quartets to larger ensembles, the different groups formed within the class rehearse on a rotating schedule and perform regularly on and off campus.

Courses
Advanced Chamber Ensemble
American Roots Music
Contemporary Music Seminar
Foundations of Music Performance
Jazz Band
World Music & Rhythm
Music Theory
Digital Music Production

Performances
Dec 7-9, Roots/World/Chamber Concert, 6:30PM
Jan 9, Alumni Music Concert, 11:10AM & 12:05PM
Jan 18-20, Contemporary Music Seminar Concert, 6;30PM
May 3-5 Contemporary Music Seminar Concert/Senior Tribute, 6:30PM
May 17-19, Roots/World/Chamber Concert, 6:30PM
TBD, Falkirk Chamber Music

Theater

“Playing with a purpose” characterizes our program. We believe that play is essential to the pursuit of creative expression. We have fun! The program gives equal emphasis to naturalistic and physical approaches to theater, exposing students to American and international theater forms and artists.
 
The curricular program is made up of four levels of classes, which offer breadth and depth. The curricular program is open to all. There are no auditions—entry is not based on talent or experience but rather on a desire to learn. In the first year of theater, students are given a strong foundation in acting as well as an expansive overview of theater history. By their fourth year, students have become a company of actors with a deep connection to each other and a sophisticated, shared vocabulary. The spring production, usually an original piece, is created for and by the group.

The co-curricular program consists of two main stage theater productions per year, which are open to all Marin Academy students, regardless of their experience or whether or not they are enrolled in a theater class. The co-curricular productions offer a varied and atypical repertoire of plays, including works by classic and contemporary playwrights, and original plays composed and adapted by the directors.  With both a traditional proscenium arch stage and a black box theater, our two performance spaces allow students to have two very different theater experiences.

Student-generated work
In addition to main stage and theater company productions, there are many opportunities for student-generated work: through student-directed one-act play festivals, independent studies, senior projects, and improv club.  Students can also choose to work side-by-side with theater professionals in the areas of design, technical theater, and directing on all three productions.

Courses
Theater I: Text
Theater II: Improvisation
Theater III/IV: Company
Theater: Independent Study

Performances
Nov 2-4, Fall Theater Production, “The Grapes of Wrath”, 6:30PM
Feb 7 & 9, One Act Theater Festival, Program A, 6:30PM
Feb 8 & 10, One Act Theater Festival, Program B, 6:30PM
May 9-11, Spring Theater Performance (Black Box), 6:30PM (Wed/Th); 3:30PM & 7:30PM (Fri)

Dance

The MA dance program offers Hip Hop, Taiko and two levels of the audition-based Marin Academy Dance Company. Students study with a faculty of professional dance artists, and are regularly exposed to an expansive view of dance through diverse master classes and choreography with renowned guest artists. Each semester, students take field trips to view live performances by professional dance companies from around the world. In all classes, at all levels, students explore the artistic, historical and cultural context of dance and how dance, choreography and performance provide opportunities for deeper understanding of self and culture.  With an emphasis on student choreography and performance, students train in a collaborative, supportive environment with the freedom to experiment and find their voice. The aim is to integrate technical dance training and choreographic process with critical thinking, in order to cultivate thoughtful dancers.

Courses
Hip Hop Dance
Taiko Ensemble
Marin Academy Dance Company I/II (MADCO)
Marin Academy Dance Company III/IV (MADCO)

Performances
Nov 30, Fall Dance Assembly, 11:10AM & 12:05PM (Th)
April 25, Spring Dance Assembly, 11:10AM & 12:05PM (Th)
April 26 & 27, Evening Dance Concert, 6:30PM (Fri/Sat)

Meet Our Performing Arts Faculty

List of 8 members.