The Emery/Weiner performing arts program is broken down into two components: stagecraft and theatre arts.
In keeping with The Emery/Weiner School’s holistic approach to theatre education, the stagecraft program is dedicated to training students in all aspects of theatre production. While our talented student actors are performing on stage, our enthusiastic student technical crew is busily working backstage. From the scenic designs to the lighting and sound execution; from the stage management to the costume changes, our tech theatre students do it all!
Stagecraft courses concentrate on safety and proper use of theatre machinery paired with a solid training program in theatrical painting techniques, scenic construction, lighting techniques, sound execution, and prop creation. Dedicated technical theatre students may enroll in design and production, a year-long course focused on advanced techniques for lighting, sound, and set design.
Every theatrical production at The Emery/Weiner School is run by the stagecraft students. By allowing them to gain this hands-on experience, and by outfitting our theaters with the most up-to-date technology, we ensure the students leaving our stagecraft program are properly prepared for college and professional-level theatrical work. Thanks to generous community donors, our Becker Theater is equipped with deck automation, automated fly rail systems, and more; making it the most state-of-the-art school theatre space in Houston. The Levine Innovation Lab also offers a wealth of equipment utilized by our stagecraft program, including 3D printer, CNC router, and more.
In addition to the six theatre productions mounted at the school each year, Emery/Weiner Stagecraft students have the opportunity to work on a multitude of special events throughout the school year and, through partnerships with different professional theatre companies within the Houston area, gain experience visiting and learning from technical theatre professionals.
The Emery/Weiner School's theatre program continues to thrive, providing students with exemplary theatrical training, and sharing exciting theatre experiences with the community. Theatre classes at The Emery/Weiner School run the gamut of skills and techniques for students grades sixth through twelfth. In addition to acting, students can also explore dance, directing, play-writing, theatre design, theatre history, and multi-disciplinary collaboration.
The Emery/Weiner School offers six major theatrical productions annually (as well as various student productions and performance opportunities throughout the year). The shows vary greatly from year to year in terms of style and content in order to give students and audiences the opportunity to experience a broad theatrical spectrum. All students, grades sixth through twelfth, are eligible to participate in specific productions.
At the Middle School level, Theatre Arts begins with an introductory theatre rotation in the first semester of the sixth grade year. In the second semester of sixth grade, students engage in two longer half-semester rotations, based on their interest and aptitude. At the seventh and eighth grade levels, students may choose to enroll in semester-long theatre arts courses, which build acting skills, collaboration, confidence, and creativity. Middle School students also have the option to study Dance, with a curriculum designed for both new and experienced dancers. Additionally, Middle School students can participate as cast and/or crew members in three mainstage productions offered each year — the Middle School Play, the Middle School Musical, and the One-School Musical, which brings together students from grades sixth through twelfth in one collaborative, family-friendly, community musical.
At the Upper School level, students may enroll in Theatre Arts I, an introductory acting course which focuses on foundational performance skills and scene study. Theatre Arts II is an advanced course delving into specific schools of acting techniques and theories, directing, script analysis, and scene study. Dance I and Dance II offer exciting growth opportunities for both beginner and experienced dancers, through technique training, choreography, and performance. In the spring of their junior year, students may apply to be a member of the senior directing seminar. This select group spends the fall semester studying directing theory and craft, theatrical movements, and creation of artistic works in various media. The semester culminates in the Senior Directed Projects — a production created, managed, produced, and directed entirely by the Senior Directors.
Students may also explore more specific or niche theatrical interests at an advanced level through our independent study programming, working one-on-one with arts faculty. Upper School students can participate as cast and/or crew members in three mainstage productions offered each year — the Upper School Play, the Upper School Musical, and the One-School Musical — as well as the Senior Directed Projects and other performance opportunities throughout the year. Theatre participants may also choose to apply for membership in the EWS International Thespian Society Troupe (ITS), an honor society which recognizes excellence and dedication in high school theatre, and whose troupes lead within their schools’ theatre programs through outreach and service.