Through the Performing Arts program at LWGMS, students build strong voices, strong minds, and strong bodies. Through literary and historical analysis and interpretation and memorization of the script and songs, students develop strong minds; by learning to perform with strong voices, students develop confidence; and finally, through learning to use physical movements and dance to express emotion and meaning, students develop strong bodies.
The Performing Arts program also provides opportunities for students to practice teamwork and leadership skills. As members of a cast and crew, the students must learn to work together and be responsible on both an individual level as well as for the entire group. In addition to performing as actors and musicians, students take on leadership roles in stage management, lighting, sound, and set design, assisting the director, and choreographing musical numbers. Each year’s production is an event that relies on teamwork and peer support for success; consequently, with every show the girls learn to work cohesively and collaboratively. The process of creating a show is filled with opportunities for social and emotional learning and the personal growth that results from meeting challenges and taking appropriate risks. It is an all-school, cross-curricular lesson that involves every member of the student body.
The progression of the program from sixth grade to eighth grade reflects the idea that as girls become more confident in their performance skills, the role size and responsibility increases. In the Fall and Winter all school musical productions, sixth graders generally have smaller roles and seventh graders have larger roles and leads; every sixth and seventh grader has a speaking role. Eighth graders work as the crew, and perform as musicians and as members of the ensemble. During the Spring term, seventh graders may apply to work as the stage crew for the eighth grade play. The eighth grade play reflects a culminating event for the drama program in that every girl has a larger role, takes more creative control, and has more responsibility in this production.