The OSA School of Theatre is an intensive training program which prepares students for post-secondary education and employment in theatre performance, creation, and scholarship. The faculty is comprised of working theatre artists and accomplished scholars who offer both instruction and mentorship, and who represent areas of specialty which cover a wide range of genres, styles, and historical periods.
Our middle school curriculum is a deeply immersive introduction to various types of theatre art which prepares students to declare a major in our high school program and for auditions and internships at outside theatre companies. Students build core skills in ensemble-based learning, characterization, theatre literacy, and text analysis. Each year one mainstage production is dedicated to our middle school population and they are also a core part of the acting company for our New Works Festival.
Our high school program offers coursework that has been certified as university-level training. High school students major in one of three areas: Acting, Musical Theatre, and Playwriting & Production.
- Acting: Students receive intensive training in all areas of acting from theory to practice. Over their four years, acting majors are exposed to numerous theories of characterization, including those of Stanislavski and the theorists who worked before and after him. A focus is placed on developing the body and the voice as instruments of acting craft, and students are asked to explore more intrapersonal work on risk-taking and self-reflection. Over four years students tackle text and practice from Ancient Greece to the present day.
- Musical Theatre: Students in this major focus equally on singing, dance, and acting. By the time they graduate, students will have taken courses in the core dance styles required of a musical theatre artist today (ballet, tap, jazz, hip-hop), courses on vocal technique grounded in classical and jazz practices, and intensive scene study and characterization courses specifically geared toward the musical theatre actor. Students are introduced to various methods for creating authentic characterizations utilizing song, text, and dance.
- Playwriting & Production: This major is unique in the country at the high school level for the depth of education in theatre creation and producing (students in this major do not receive training in technical theatre). A significant amount of the student's time is spent in playwriting and play development. Unlike a standard creative writing program, students in this major focus exclusively on producing performance texts. Students also get in-depth training through all four years in dramaturgy, directing, stage management, literary management, and producing traditional and non-traditional theatre. Students in this major write for (and produce) the annual New Works Festival.
Each year high school students across all three majors have the opportunity to participate in a mainstage production where two or more plays are produced and performed in rotating repertory.
Over the past several years our students have been offered admission to the finest BFA programs in the country in various areas of theatre craft, including: NYU, CalArts, UCLA, USC, DePaul University, Emerson College, and University of the Arts among others. In addition, our students routinely appear onstage and in production roles at major regional theatres including SF Playhouse, Crowded Fire Theatre, and CenterREP and are sought by producers and casting agents for film and television. The School of Theatre has ongoing partnerships with such respected arts organizations as the San Francisco Opera, The Flight Deck, Crowded Fire Theatre, Ubuntu Theatre Project, and Magic Theatre.
2016-2017 Mainstage Season
Middle School Production: Footloose - The Musical (Nov 3-5)
High School Repertory Production: The Oresteia (April 20-30)
New Works Festival (May 3-6, all grades)