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A Look at Madeira School's Performing Arts

The home for the Performing Arts Department is Madeira's Chapel Auditorium, a 590-seat proscenium theater, situated in a wooded area overlooking the Potomac River. The facility has a thrust stage with counter-weight fly system and a Strand 300 series light console. Working spaces include an art gallery, scene shop, dance studio, drama rehearsal room, choral and chamber ensemble rehearsal spaces, a private instruction studio, theory and ear-training lab, and three practice rooms. There are seven upright and three grand pianos including a nine-foot Steinway concert grand on the stage.

Within this state-of-the-art facility, three artistic disciplines are represented — drama, dance and music. Each discipline has beginning, intermediate and advanced curriculum offerings designed to meet the needs of both the curious newcomer and the already dedicated student artist.

In drama, students have the opportunity to study acting, directing, play writing, and technical theater. Among other performance opportunities, the theater department hosts the One-Acts Festival each spring where students design, direct and produce one-act plays. In dance, students explore traditional and non-traditional dance forms from both western and eastern cultures. A further study of dance structure is provided by the choreography classes. Dancers perform at both school assemblies and the local WAISPE Dance Festival. The music department provides students ensemble and solo performance opportunities in both the vocal and instrumental mediums.

The Madeira Soiree recital series and the annual Pops Concert have become well-known features of campus life. In addition, students have the opportunity to study music from a non-performance perspective through the history and analysis course. In some years, if student level of expertise demands, an AP-level course in music theory can be offered. The three wings of the Performing Arts Department unite each year in the production of two major dramatic productions, the fall play and the winter musical. Participation is by audition and is open to all.