At Country Day, every student has the chance to shine as they begin performing in front of peers, parents, and faculty as young as junior kindergarten. While it's fun for parents to see their little ones on stage, these performances, which are often curriculum-based, also help build confidence and allow students to develop communication and public speaking skills.

The progression of performance skills continues through Middle School and culminates in Upper School with 10 theater arts courses and participation in award-winning productions. 

Third grade students perform in a play

Lower School

Lower School drama is dedicated to providing students with a dynamic and fun introduction into the world of theatre and teaching them the joys and techniques of being a great performer on and off the stage. Our students begin performing in front of peers, parents, and faculty as young as junior kindergarten. All students participate in a production in every grade, and by fourth grade, every class participates in its own play. Each stage production advances students' understanding of their presence on stage, character development, and the intricate yet fun ways music and dance are incorporated into theatre.

Middle School students perform in the Sound of Music

Middle School

In the Middle School, drama courses focus on improvisation, character development, creative scene work, scene-writing techniques, and film. All Middle School students are encouraged to audition for two theatre productions presented in the fall and spring.

Upper School

Upper School students focus more selectively on their dramatic interests and are offered opportunities to be involved both in curricular and extracurricular settings. More in-depth theatrical courses are offered, such as acting skills, movement for actors, acting and production concepts, musical theatre, and more. Classes are taught in our state-of-the-art Black Box Theater and dance room.

Upper School Musical: Catch Me if You Can

Three theatre productions are scheduled throughout the year, which often win awards: a fall one-act play, which is taken to competition, a winter musical, and a spring play. In addition to acting on stage, opportunities abound for students to be involved behind the scenes in technical theatre.

Upper School drama performance

Theater Arts At a Glance

  • Five 2018 Blumey Award nominations for The Drowsy Chaperone, including Best Musical
  • Back-to-back state championships for one-act plays in 2017 and 2018
  • Multiple awards for direction, production design, choreography, and acting from the NC Theater Association
  • Three dedicated drama instructors, one at each division
  • Across all divisions, the theater arts program involves
    —878 cast members and 40 crew members
    —53 performances per year
    —275 parent and faculty volunteers
    —530+ hours of rehearsal
  • 53 theater performances held each year among students in grades JK–12.

Theater Productions

Third Grade Play

All Lower School students participate in a production in every grade.