The Theatre Arts department of the Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools is home to approximately 65 professional, certified theatre arts teachers. In addition, we offer an extensive array of classes in theatre arts, which are all an essential part of learning.
Theatre Arts, the imagined and enacted world of human beings, is one of the primary ways students in Charlotte-Mecklenburg Schools learn about life - actions and consequences, customs and beliefs, and others and themselves. Offered at most high schools and middle schools throughout the district, including two elementary performing arts magnet programs, theatre arts classes are taught by certified theatre arts teachers. Additionally, at the high school level, classes are offered in technical theatre, offering students a window into the world of backstage.
As students study Theatre Arts, they begin to view and construct dramatic works as metaphorical visions of life that embrace meanings, juxtaposition, ambiguity, and varied interpretations. By creating, performing, analyzing, and critiquing dramatic performances, students develop a deeper understanding and acceptance of personal issues and a broader worldview that includes international issues. They learn to see the created world of theatre through the eyes of the playwright, actor, designer, and director. Students use drama to express themselves, thus confidently developing their "personal voice."
Theatre arts in our schools teach the basic life skills, thinking skills and personal qualities, which:
- Develop an understanding of diverse people's ideas, attitudes, beliefs, and feelings in different times throughout history as communicated through literature and theatre.
- Employ techniques for teaching and learning through developmental processes and activity-oriented methods.
- Promote higher-level critical and creative thinking skills, problem recognition and problem-solving, intuition, examination and implementation of conflict resolution, and the learning of reading, writing, math, and other curriculum areas.
- Assist in focusing the emotions for controlled use, strengthening the imagination for creative self-expression, disciplining the voice and body for purposeful use, expanding intellectual horizons to include aesthetic awareness, developing self-discipline, and providing a basic understanding and critical appreciation of all the theatre arts.
- Involve making connections between theatre arts and other art forms, other curriculum areas, dramatic media, and technology-related use, including numbers and data.
- Provide an intense study of what playwrights seek to convey and how this is intensified through theatrical production, thus giving students insights into countless aspects of the diverse and changing world.
- Include the reading, viewing, listening, researching, writing, speaking, preparing to perform, performing, and directing traditional and experimental theatrical forms and the accompanying aspects of technical production.
- Engage students in the creative process and the practical application of theatre techniques (such as observing, considering the possibility, and communicating) which students can use in studying other curriculum areas and lifelong learning.
- Enable students to function and communicate more proficiently, work independently as a team member, value the individual contributions of others, and learn virtually any subject matter more dynamically.