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Instructor: Dennis Shive

The Castle Park Theater Department offers two levels of academic instruction. Beginning Drama is offered for students who have not had previous experience on stage or at any level of production. In this class, students are introduced to aspects of theater history from the Greeks to the Moderns including samples of plays from each era. In addition, there is instruction in acting techniques, improvisation, theater vocabulary, script writing, play analysis, pantomime, oral interpretation, and technical theater. Advanced Theater builds on the skills learned in Beginning Theater and requires at least one year of Beginning Drama and the permission of the teacher. At this level, students are required to perform and/or work on the technical aspects of the major school productions. Audition strategies are discussed, and students are coached to perform in competitions from the annual Shakespeare Festival in Balboa Park to county competitions sponsored by local colleges. Students at this level also have the opportunity to be invited to join the International Thespian Society, a honor program for theater students.

Academic research has proven that classes in Theater Arts develop confidence, speaking skills, creativity, leadership, and community building. Students learn to work effectively in a group through team building exercises and activities.


  • Original script writing based on the 36 Dramatic Situations
  • Performance of original scripts
  • Oral interpretation of a fairy tale
  • Two full scale productions per year
  • Set design of a scene
  • Research based on a specific area of theater
  • Indirect and direct characterization
  • Introduction to specific acting techniques


  • Cafe con Drama talent nights throughout the year
  • Focus and ensemble (team) building exercises
  • Participation in school assemblies
  • Competitions
  • Internships
  • Students prices for professional productions at the Old Globe Theater and La Jolla Playhouse