Rolling Hills Prep, REACH, and Renaissance Schools performing arts program supports our creative spirits pillar through the exploration of theatre and music.
Through the theatre program, students are involved in the production of high-quality plays and musicals. They enjoy the opportunity to build acting, playwriting, directing and design skills in theatre and technical theatre courses and expand and share those skills through productions guided by professional artists on and off campus. The program offers opportunities for participation in varied musical genres, providing high-quality instruction that brings out the best in students.
Drama classes begin in middle school with improvisation games, story dramatizations, and the performance of plays and self-written skits. Students have performances on Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day, International Day, and other showcases throughout the year. Our 8th Grade students present a play at the conclusion of their trimester of study - either acting on stage or providing technical support as stage crew off stage. In the upper school, students may take Theatre I & II to develop acting, playwriting, and directing skills. Students build creative thinking, teamwork, and aesthetic analysis skills through theatre games and exercises, scene studies, reading and deconstructing plays, and viewing and discussing plays. The advanced level Theatre III and Advanced Acting Honors classes focus on expanding vocal and physical technique through an in-depth examination of different theatre styles and solo work creation. Upper school drama students also appeared in at least one evening presentation of their coursework, performed to great applause from family and friends. Technical Theatre 1 & II offers upper school students design skills in lighting, sound, stagecraft, and Stage Management.
Middle school general music allows students to learn, interact with, and make music. Students develop skills in Western music theory and explore musical knowledge from world cultures. Classes are sequenced to increase music literacy and develop instrumental proficiency. Students use their voices through singing and chanting, playing instruments, including boomwhackers, kalimbas, hand chimes, djembes, piano, and guitar.
The curricula for upper school music classes are developed in partnership with students to help them achieve their goals and follow their interests. Applied Music Lab is a class for composers and instrumental musicians to learn and create music; the class also focuses on learning about music across genres, time periods, and cultures. Voice is a class for singers, rappers, and other vocal artists to practice and perform music independently and collaboratively; projects can range from folk music trios and classical quartets to K-pop solos and improvisation circles.
Middle School Musical
The Middle School Musical is open to any middle school students who participate both on stage as performers and off-stage in the technical theatre crew. Past performances in the Adam Rice Memorial Theater (ART) have included Beauty and the Beast, Honk! and Into the Woods.
Fall Play/All School Fall Play
Students audition for all parts of the fall play, which has included comedies and dramas. Some recent productions in the Adam Rice Memorial Theater (ART) include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Antigone, an original student written play - Council For Change, and Macbeth. Students manage the production and technical aspects of the shows, including building, painting, lighting, and sound. Past productions have been recognized by the California Theatre Association and the California State Thespians.
Upper School Musical/All School Musical
The spring musical is open by audition. We alternate having an Upper School and All School Musical which are performed at the historic Warner Grand Theater, a beautifully renovated 1939 Art Deco theatre space in San Pedro. The musical is supported by a live orchestra, giving students a true Broadway feel. Past musicals have included Godspell, Hello Dolly!, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, The Wedding Singer, and Urinetown. Students also play a key role backstage and have the opportunity to work alongside working professionals in the technical theatre world.
RHP and Ren are members of the International Thespian Society and the California State Thespians. Membership is earned through participation on stage and backstage.
Additional performance opportunities abound for musicians and performers of all types. Annual events showcasing student talent include International Day and Grandparents’ and Friends’ Day, two Coffee Houses, Classical Night, a Spring Performing Arts Showcase, and the 8th Grade Play.