Academy Boys Take the Stage
At San Antonio Academy boys learn to demonstrate poise and confidence and express themselves clearly and expressively as a result of the numerous opportunities they have to perform in front of an audience.
One of the unique aspects of San Antonio Academy’s approach to teaching Shakespeare is the fact that stage performance of his work is an integral component of the eighth grade language arts curriculum. In other schools, if The Bard’s plays are produced, they are usually sponsored by drama clubs, theatre classes, or fine arts electives, a methodology that inevitably attracts only those students who have theatrical talent (or at least those who are drawn to the performance arts). At SAA the eighth grade Shakespeare unit encompasses every student in the graduating class, a fact that frequently leads to boys who initially had little or no interest in drama or Shakespeare actually thriving in the play, discovering as they do so talents they had not known they possessed. Even more significant, as a curricular unit, the annual Shakespeare production provides an invaluable instructional tool for unlocking the relevancy of classic work, through a combination of classroom study and a great deal of kinetic activity: a perfect educational approach for middle school boys.
Second Grade Greek Play
Adorned in togas, second graders reveal Greek myths and carry symbols to represent the gods portrayed during the annual Greek Play. The boys show poise and confidence and speak clearly and expressively without scripts. Each student holds up asign that states the moral of the myth he told, while the audience recites it in unison. Some memorable morals include: "Respect your parents." "Don't be greedy." "Listen to instructions and obey." Performances are followed up with a Greek Feast in the classrooms.
New in 2016, under the direction of teachers Kristin Railsback and Anne Trevathan, the Kinder boys performed their very own play in Ellison Hall to the delight of parents, family members, and other Academy students. Following their studies on the environment, each Kinder section presented a play that focused on the negative effects of pollution and deforestation.
Every year the boys in prekindergarten wow parents, friends and students with outstanding performances of two plays. In addition to memorizing their lines, the boys also decorate their own masks, paint backdrops and design programs for the event. Following the performances, guests and actors gather outside Ellison Hall to celebrate "a job well done" with cookies and juice.
One of the most powerful ways SAA taps into the instinctive kinetic tendencies of young boys is through the school's strong theatrical thrust into every aspect of its curriculum. Because peformance and public speaking is an integral part for every grade-level, boys experience prolonged and comprehensive exposure to skills that enhance the development of poise, confidence and rhetorical assurance."
- Brendan Moore, English Dept. Chair