Defense Date


Document Type


Degree Name

Master of Fine Arts



First Advisor

James W. Parker


The theatre curriculum at Hopewell High School began eleven years ago with one course; it now has expanded to three courses. Because the last course in the sequence may be repeated for credit, a student in this curriculum may earn four credits in theatre study.

The first course is English 124, entitled Drama I, and it may be taken by students in grades 9 through 12. This course introduces the student to performing in pantomime, improvisation, and in scripted scenes. The second course is English 125, entitled Drama II, which is open to students in grades 10 through 12 who have completed Drama I; college bound juniors and seniors without any theatre credits may also take Drama II. The emphasis in Drama II is theatre history and literature. The third course is English 147, entitled Theatre Ensemble, which is a play production course with work on the production process leading toward a finished performance. Students in Theatre Ensemble must have successfully completed at least one other theatre course, and they must submit an audition and/or interview for admission to the course. Theatre Ensemble may be repeated once for credit.

The overall objectives of the theatre program at Hopewell High School are:

  1. to provide the student with a creative vehicle to learn about himself and about himself with others

  2. to provide the school with a viable and visible performing arts group

  3. to provide the community with its only regular theatre group

  4. to use school and community resources in theatrical production and study

  5. to provide training in acting, production, theatre history, dramatic literature, and management skills

  6. to encourage independent study and artistic endeavor

  7. to follow current mandates and guidelines of the Virginia State Department of Education

  8. to provide training on the high school level for the gifted theatre student who has professional goals

  9. to cooperate with, and often incorporate, all other arts programs within the school system

  10. to assist in the development of a total appreciation of all of the arts

  11. to develop a program on the secondary level in dance and movement

  12. to develop a community theatre group

It is important that any curriculum have objectives, but it is even more important that a theatre program have strong objectives which will win the support of the school board, the school administration, the faculty, and the study body. The theatre curriculum at Hopewell High School has been fortunate in this regard.


Scanned, with permission from the author, from the original print version, which resides in University Archives.


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VCU University Archives

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VCU Theses and Dissertations

Date of Submission