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Celebrating the creative spirit.

Expansive self-expression through
visual and performing arts.
The fine and performing arts stand out as a distinguishing strength at Moravian Academy. Upper Schoolers choose from some two dozen arts courses that span studio art, music, and theater and that offer the opportunity to pursue individual interests to an advanced level. Students can also choose to join multiple vocal groups and instrumental ensembles, take to the stage in the annual drama, musical, and Coffeehouse variety show (a grand-scale Upper School tradition), or join the many Moravian Academy musicians who have earned honors at regional and state music festivals.

It is a three-show season at the Upper School with Coffee house in the fall, followed by winter and spring production featuring musicals and every from Shakespeare to Stoppard. 


Music has always played a significant role in Moravian history and culture. This tradition is reflected in our music program, where a variety of formal and less formal opportunities are available to students wishing to explore their own musical curiosities. Students can choose to take part in one of the three vocal ensembles, four instrumental ensembles, or three handbell choirs. Students can perform on a regular basis at major events including the Coffeehouse variety show, the Vespers service, and the Spring Choral and Instrumental Concerts.

The Red and Gold Recital presents serious music students with the chance to perform works from their private study, while less formal open mic nights are also available throughout the year.
Since coming to MA as a fifth-grader who wasn’t really into music, I now play the piano, trombone, bass, and drums. I’m a member of the jazz band, pit orchestra, and wind ensemble, sing with the Chamber Singers and Chorale, and perform in Coffeehouse. Music is woven into life here and has become so important to me. Being able to participate in musical activities every day helps me de-stress and is something I enjoy doing so much — it really helps balance the day. Based on how involved I’ve been and all of the opportunities and encouragement faculty members have provided, I know that I’ll definitely be doing something with music in the future.
-- Dylan

Theatre Curriculum

List of 4 items.

  • Introduction to Theatre

    This introductory survey course is designed to provide the students with an understanding of the development of written and performed drama, with a focus on its roots in Ancient Greece, through the Shakespearean Era, and into present-day musical theatre which acts as the foundation to prepare them for the further MA Theatre Curriculum.  Beginning the year with an exploration of the theatre space and the aforementioned historical examination, the remainder of the year will focus on other realms of equal import in creating theatre.  Following the history portion, the class will focus on the technical aspects of theatre.  With a stress on Set Shop Safety, the students will learn the proper use of the tools of the scenic building trade and dabble in a few scenic painting techniques, as time and safety requirements dictate.  Finally, we focus on Training for the Speaking Voice and text analysis/presentation.  This basic building block of the actor’s trade provides valuable material for every walk of life.  Using the work of Kristin Linklater, the goal of this unit is to provide the students with a solid base in clear vocal production and public speaking, as well as an introduction to the International Phonetic Alphabet.  Students are expected to attend and/or participate in both the Winter Musical, Spring Drama, and see one production at the Professional, Collegiate, or Community Theatre level when live theatre is safely in production, each experience documented by the student in essay form.
  • Acting I – Fundamentals

    This course is designed to provide the actor with a variety of fundamental tools of voice, movement, and acting technique.  We begin with a focus on healthy vocal production and physical relaxation as a more in-depth examination of the Linklater technique and its practical application.  Students will then move into the exploration of fundamental acting technique using methods developed by Robert Cohen in the Stanislavski tradition, practicing with modern and contemporary American Canon.  Throughout the year, we frequently revisit voice, speech, and relaxation as well as introducing useful physical/movement-based techniques/exercises.  The final exercise of the year will be a unit of basic stage combat and safety. 
  • Acting II – Style

    This course is designed to enhance the actor’s development and personal technique by exploring three major styles theatre: Realism with Henrik Ibsen, High Comedy using the principles of Maria Aitken extended into an exploration of Noel Coward, William Shakespeare comic speeches, as well as a unit in dialect transcription training via our established understanding of the International Phonetic Alphabet.   Through research projects, actor journals, and practical application through scene and monologue work, the actor will gain a variety of additional tools for their craft. 
  • Acting III - Contemporary Scene Studey

    This course focuses on works of the Contemporary Theatre and application of conceptualization in the classical theatre canon.  The actor is expected to have a strong grasp of the fundamental tools of the actors’ craft and the rich history of the art form as offered in our previous courses; so when moving into Acting Three, they are prepared to investigate fully not only character through the text and external research, but style and concept.  The vibrant plays of study will change annually to reflect the dynamic nature of the art of theatre culminating in an individual final project crafting a presentation of a pre-1920’s play removed from its original place and time in “Project: Concept.”

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