Theatre Arts

Students studying Theatre Arts will embark on an exploration of the many creative pathways that a career in theatre has to offer. From dance to directing to theatre design, students will explore all aspects including the art of acting. 

The Westinghouse Art Academy Theatre Arts Department is proud to offer a more collegiate-centered Theatre Arts program for high school-aged performers, directors, designers, and aspiring technicians. Our goal is to provide students with the skills that they will need to move on to competitive college programs as well as professional theatre experiences. Classes are designed to encourage students to create imaginative and compelling characters, to regard their voices and bodies as creative instruments, to expose them to theatrical literature, and to instill in them a sense of respect and professionalism for the art form that will stay with them throughout their lives.

Theatre Arts majors at Westinghouse Arts Academy will utilize, develop, and apply their creative skills in a variety of practical applications and contexts. Students will explore visual storytelling through the study, design, and construction of sets, costumes, makeup and special effects, props, lighting, projection, and sound.

Collaboration is paramount, and students in this focus will gain hands-on experience supporting the artistic events and programming for all arts areas at Westinghouse Arts Academy. A focus in Theatre Arts will allow students to explore career options in the field, which may include: actors, directors, designers, technicians, dramaturgs, administrators, and stage managers. Employers can include: Universal Studios Orlando, Disney, Google, Microsoft, Universities, Colleges, High Schools, National and State Arts Foundations, Regional Theatre, and Broadway.

Rebecca R. Lustig

412-646-1718 Ext. 8040

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Rebecca R. Lustig (She/Her) was born and raised in Ohio. She received her MFA in Theatre Management from Wayne State University, her MA in Theatre and Directing from Miami University, and her BA in Theatre Arts from Ashland University. Mrs. Lustig served as a Board Member at Large and Vice President for Wyoming Educators of Secondary Theatre, whose mission is to support and enhance quality theatre education in Wyoming schools. She served as the Artistic Producer for the Put-in-Bay Community Theatre, and the President of the Put-in-Bay Arts Council both in Put-in-Bay, OH. Mrs.Lustig served as the Acting Teacher for Gillette Performing Arts Workshop and worked on several community productions including: The Best Christmas Pageant Ever, A Christmas Carol, HONK!, Annie, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Zara Spook and Other Lures, Marisol, and Afraid of the Dark. In her free time, Mrs. Lustig served on the board for the Fur Kids Foundation, a nonprofit organization that provides education and aid to promote the well-being of families with animals. Mrs.Lustig is excited for another year at Westinghouse Arts Academy where she serves as the Head of the Theatre Arts Program, and the Director of the International Thespian Society Troupe. Mrs. Lustig strives to create an inclusive environment for all students to learn, be curious, have fun, and explore the world of Theatre Arts. 

What to Expect

 

Developing artists and artisans, this department focuses on the conceptual, technical, and artistic elements of all designs by working collaboratively to tell a compelling story. Theatre Arts majors at Westinghouse Arts Academy will utilize, develop, and apply their creative skills in a variety of practical applications and contexts. Students will explore visual storytelling through the study, design, and construction of sets, costumes, makeup and special effects, props, lighting, projection, and sound. Collaboration is paramount, and students in this focus will gain hands-on experience supporting the artistic events and programming for all arts areas at Westinghouse Arts Academy. A focus in Theatre Arts will allow students to explore career options in the field, which may include: actors, directors, designers, technicians, dramaturgs, administrators, and stage managers. Employers can include: Universal Studios Orlando, Disney, Google, Microsoft, Universities, Colleges, High Schools, National and State Arts Foundations, Regional Theatre, and Broadway.

Learning Objectives:

Studying Theatre Arts is equal parts dramatic processes and theatrical products. Students who choose this pathway will focus on core areas developed by the National Coalition for Core Arts Standards for Theatre Arts: Creating; Performing, Presenting, Producing; Responding; and Connecting. 

In Theatre Arts, students will learn to: 

  • Synthesize and relate knowledge and personal experiences to make art.
  • Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding. 
  • Relate artistic ideas and works with societal, cultural, and historical context to deepen understanding.
  • Generate and conceptualize artistic ideas and work.
  • Organize and develop artistic ideas and work.
  • Refine new work through play, drama processes and theatre experiences using critical analysis and experimentation.
  • elect, analyze, and interpret artistic work for presentation.
  • Develop and refine artistic techniques and work for presentation.
  • Convey meaning through the presentation of artistic work.
  • Perceive and analyze artistic work.
  • Interpret intent and meaning in artistic work.
  • Apply criteria to evaluate artistic work.

Audition/Portfolio Requirements:

Acting:

If you are interested in performance, you will perform one memorized monologue. Be prepared to discuss your goals as a performer, and how you prepared for your monologue.

Technical:

If you are interested in technical theatre, you must submit a portfolio of your artistic work. This portfolio should include at least five(5) drawings, photographs, sculptures, or photographs of your work. Be prepared to discuss your goals as a theatre technician or artist, and how you prepared for your interview. 

How to prepare:

  • Monologue should be 1-2 minutes, and must be memorized.
  • Monologue can be either comedy or drama.
  • Selection must be from a play (not from a movie or a book of monologues).

*Please do not use monologues that contain excessive foul language, descriptions of sexual activity, or other age-inappropriate material.*  

If you do not currently have a monologue to share, please select a monologue from this document Instructor Approved Monologues

Artistic Expectations:

We value academic and artistic success. Just as students need to master core academic content in order to be successful in life, we want our students to grow and develop their artistic skills and abilities. Students who are dedicated to completing the program requirements find that their progress will be satisfactory or better than. Students who fail to meet the requirements are usually not completing assignments at all or on time, or do not have acceptable school and/or class attendance. When a student has not met a minimum threshold to be in good standing within the artistic program by the end of the first semester, and that typically is a minimum grade point average of 2.0 in their core art program course, a student will be assigned to Artistic Probation.

Artistic Probation is a means to get students back on track with their artistic goals. A conference is held with the student, parents/guardians, art teacher administration and school counselors to discuss ways to support the student. For the duration of the 2nd semester, students meet with their assigned school counselor once a week as well as participate in weekly check-ins with their art teacher to monitor their progress and address any concerns. Students are also connected to support services as applicable to their situation. If the student fails to show academic progress as measured by a final year grade point average of less than a 2.0 in their core art program course, the student will be deemed as “failing to show artistic progress”. Another conference is held to discuss next steps and determine whether the student should continue attending WAACS. If the student is making satisfactory academic progress in their core academic subjects, the student could consider transferring to another art program provided they participate in the required admissions process and are given acceptance into the new art program.

Opportunities/Events:

 

Fall Play

The fall play is an opportunity for all students to participate in a collection of one act plays or a full length play. Students will audition at the beginning of the school year and rehearsals generally begin in late August or early September. Performances will take place in late October or early November. These are fully realized productions where students help build sets, costumes, run lights, sound, front of house, box office, stage manage, and star in. Starting with the 2022-23 school year, the repertoire will rotate as follows: Contemporary Production(21st Century Playwright), Shakespeare Production , Modern Production(20th Century Playwright) Wild Card Production(One Acts, Stylised Production, Comedia d’Arte, etc.)
International Thespian Society(ITS) is a Theatre Honor Society. ITS is a collective of students interested in the art of theatre on any level. It is an honor society committed to promoting leadership opportunities and excellence in all theatrical designs(scenic, costume, sound, lighting, and makeup) performance(acting and musical), film making(short, animated, documentary), technical theatre(stage management and costume construction), theatre management(publicity and marketing), and so much more.

 

The International Thespian Society

International Thespian Society (ITS) is a Theatre Honor Society. ITS is a collective of students interested in the art of theatre on any level. It is an honor society committed to promoting leadership opportunities and excellence in all theatrical designs (scenic, costume, sound, lighting, and makeup), performance (acting and musical), film making (short, animated, documentary), technical theatre (stage management and costume construction), theatre management (publicity and marketing), and so much more.

The ITS has been cultivating student involvement in theatre arts since 1929, celebrating 90+ years! With over 4800 troupes located in all 50 states, in 13 countries world-wide including new chapters in China and Canada, with 130,000+ current members totaling 2.4+ million Thespians inducted.

Students involved in ITS have the opportunity to compete against other Thespians at the State and National level.

 

Past Masterclasses:

Introduction to Lighting Design,
Introduction to Sound Design

Required Courses

Acting 1

Students will engage in a deeper exploration of auditioning and the rehearsal process. Focus will be placed on Modern and Contemporary texts/scripts where students will delve into long form character analysis and development. Central focus will be placed on scene work and working with partners and or small groups. Students will participate in Studio Class throughout the semester/year, which is an opportunity to perform selected monologues or scene work for faculty and students. Prerequisite – Introduction to Acting. This course is open to all Theatre Arts and Musical Theatre students, but will be primarily populated by Sophomores. This course is not open to all students at Westinghouse.

Acting 2

Students will undertake a more in depth examination of specialized acting styles. Focus will be on exploration of Shakespeare and Commedia dell’Arte. Students will use monologue and scene work to explore these areas. Students will also concentrate on preparing for College Auditions and developing their Self Taping skills. Students will participate in Studio Class throughout the semester/year, which is an opportunity to perform selected monologues or scene work for faculty and students. Prerequisite – Acting I. This class is required of all Junior Theatre Arts students. If necessary, TA201 Acting I and TA302 Acting II, may be combined. This course is not open to students at Westinghouse.

Acting 3

Focus will be placed on the various acting techniques of Michael Chekhov, Jerzy Grotowski, Bertolt Brecht, and Theatre of the Absurd. Students will also focus on Auditioning for college, summer theatre programs, or summer stock. Students will participate in Studio Class throughout the semester/year, which is an opportunity to perform selected monologues or scene work for faculty and students. Prerequisite – Acting II. This course is required of all Senior Theatre Arts students. This course is not open to all Westinghouse students.

Fundamentals of Directing

This course examines the basics of directing for the stage with emphasis on communication, collaboration, and cooperation. Students will learn more about the design process, the auditioning and casting process; and script analysis all from the director’s perspective. Students will practice a variety of exercises and encounter modern
texts and techniques, with opportunities to direct small scenes or One Acts. This course is required of all Junior Theatre Arts students. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students or permission of the instructor.

Directing II

This course will study notable directors in Theatre past and present. The emphasis will be understanding different types/styles of directing and discovering your style of directing. Students may direct One Acts written by Playwriting students. Prerequisite: Fundamentals of Directing

Fundamentals of Play Structure & Playwriting

This course will examine the essential elements of play construction, with early emphasis on structure through literary analysis of dramatic texts. Students will study the basics of playwriting through exercises and practice, culminating in the completion of a One Act Play. This play may be produced at the New Works Festival at the end of the school year. This course is required of Senior Theatre Arts students. This course is open to all upperclassmen at Westinghouse.

Introduction to Acting

This course will introduce the beginning actor to foundational acting skills, techniques, and methodologies. Students will explore acting through pantomime, improvisation, storytelling, basic character development, and they begin building their repertoire for auditions. Students will participate in Studio Class throughout the semester/year, which is an opportunity to perform selected monologues for faculty and students. This course is required of all incoming Freshman Theatre Arts students and newly enrolled Theatre Arts students. This course is open to all Westinghouse students as an Art Elective.

“Introduction to Dance” – Dance Course

Students will select an Intro to Dance course offering from the Dance Program. Intro to Tap, Intro to Contemporary, or Hip Hop are all offered as a semester elective and are open to all Westinghouse students. This dance class will also count toward a PE credit. This is a requirement for Theatre Arts Students.

Introduction to Theatrical Design

Part history of Design, part elements and principles of design, this course will offer students the opportunity to learn more about scenic, costume, lighting, sound, and make up design. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students, but is open to any student at Westinghouse.

Modern and Contemporary Drama

This course will examine major dramatic texts in America from the beginning of the 20th century to the present. Primarily a literature course, students will engage in class discussions and encounter contemporary American social issues addressed by the theatre. This course is required of all Sophomore Theatre Arts students. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students or permission of the instructor.

Professional Aspects

A study of the practical demands and requirements of a professional career in Theatre with emphasis on portfolio development and audition skills. Students will develop knowledge of resume building techniques, unions, career prospects, and the business of making theatre. Emphasis will be placed on SETC, and ITF and how to use these professional organizations to audition for colleges, universities, and summer theatre opportunities. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students.

Script Analysis/Dramatic Criticism

This course will explore the dramatic form and structure of a play. Students will read and analyze various scripts in order to study the playwright’s intentions, methods, and meaning. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students, but is open to any student at Westinghouse.

Stage Movement (and Dance)

This course is an introduction to Dance. Preferably, students would take this course through the Dance Program. This class will count as a PE credit. This is a requirement for Theatre Arts Students. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students or permission of the instructor.

Styles of Theatre

This Theatre History course will examine the various styles of theatre from Realism to Physical Theatre, Theatre of the Absurd to Poor Theatre and everything in between. Students will study and analyze various plays and engage in class discussions and project work. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students, but is open to any student at Westinghouse.

Theatre Arts Senior Seminar

This will serve as the requirement for Senior Seminar, for all Theatre Arts students. In this year long course students will be required to collaborate with each other to devise a new theatre work OR adapt an existing children’s story to be performed for elementary school audiences. Students will organize, produce, and perform every aspect of the production. Later in the year, students will prepare and market a showcase to be presented to theatre professionals. This course is required of all Senior Theatre Arts students. This course is only open to Senior Theatre Arts students or Senior Musical Theatre students.

Theatre History I/Stagecraft

This full year course consists of a semester course in Theatre History I followed by a semester course of Stagecraft. This course is intended to broaden the theatre students’ understanding of and appreciation for Theatre History. Students will study the origins of Theatre, Greek, Roman, and Medieval dramatic conventions, theories, practices, and traditions. Exploration of basic Production elements will also be covered. These include, but are not limited to: set construction, stage safety; lighting equipment, lighting equipment usage, and lighting equipment safety; sound equipment, sound equipment usage, and sound equipment safety, props, costumes, and stage management.This course is required of all incoming Freshman and newly enrolled students. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students or permission of the instructor.

Theatre History II

Theatre History II will examine theatrical and dramatic conventions, theories, practices, and traditions from the Renaissance to Modern Theatre. Students will read plays from this time period, engage in class discussions, complete group projects, and write a paper or two. This course is for Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre students or permission of the instructor.

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