DA and Theatre Department Mission

Douglas Anderson’s Theatre Department mirrors the school’s mission statement of becoming one of the foremost public arts high school theatre departments in the country.  We strive to provide an environment in which our students develop a passion for the art form that is based on an understanding and appreciation of theatre and its impact on the audience.

1. We strive to help our students create a “vision of excellence” for theatre. We help them create a frame of reference for themselves that allows for the determination of what is good theatrical work and why.
2. In the classroom, the process of the art form and an analytical approach to text is the cornerstone of the curriculum. The students continually investigate the environment of the play, the characters motivations and the play’s structure and meaning.  They learn to tap their own inner resources in a safe environment where they can take imaginative and creative risks.
3. The performance students will explore the integration of voice and body and develop a physical instrument that responds appropriately to the demands of performance.
4. Our classes use a methodology that requires the student use higher‐level critical thinking skills such as assimilation, synthesis, and evaluation.
5. Intensive group work is an integral part of the theatre process, therefore the classroom activities focus on group work. The students discover through group exercises to trust and learn from one another, to share ideas and build on each other’s perceptions, and, to ultimately create art of their own.
6. Our students will pursue post‐secondary education after graduation.

The Educational Process

Your student is now a member of a select group of individuals chosen from applicants across Northeast Florida. This “cast” includes some of the most creative talents in our community.

A busy year awaits the approximately 250 students here in the department. Classes, workshops, auditions, rehearsals, scholarships, and performances are just a few of the opportunities that enrich the unique educational environment at DA.

DA emphasizes the process of the art form and the analytical approach to the text. Therefore, the classroom work is the core of all programs in our department. All students must demonstrate a measurable level of mastery in their current classes before moving to the next level.  Theatre teachers at DA know that focusing on the process of theatre, including its literature fosters leaders who will think critically and creatively.

All students take classes in play analyses, art history, and theatre history. Performance majors add 4 years of acting and classes in stage movement, vocal development, stagecraft, and directing. Technical Theatre students take computerized design, painting, drawing,  Introduction to Technical Theatre and four years of stagecraft. Musical Theatre majors take additional classes in dance, vocal and acting every year.

With this philosophy, DA theatre students are qualified to compete on a national level with the most gifted young artists in the country. In the past, DA was invited to perform at the Edinburgh International Fringe Festival, the largest performing arts festival in the world.

Not all of our graduates continue in theatre, but over 95% go on to college. Following DA our grads take with them not only knowledge of their art form and its essential teamwork, but a strong introduction to the great literature of both our past and our present.