Drama, Theater, and Dance

BB&N’s drama, theater, and dance programs emphasize teamwork, teach foundational skills, and support artistic growth.

The curriculum encourages students to view life through an artistic lens, express themselves creatively, and engage in collaborative experiences that contribute to their personal and emotional growth.


In Lower School, the drama program engages 5th and 6th graders in improvisation, scene work, monologues, and performances, fostering skills in character development, dialogue creation, and real-life connections. In Middle School, performing arts offers opportunities through production development and self-expression. Upper School students can explore and cultivate their creative skills through theater, dance, and related disciplines, from performance on stage to designing and directing students.

Drama, Theater, and Dance

At the lower school, the drama program engages our 5th and 6th grade students in improvisation work, small group scenes and monologue work, as well as performance opportunities. Students learn to create characters and dialogues in both small and large groups. Learning to analyze scenes and scenarios and make connections to real life are all a part of the importance of theater for our brick building students. Our students can explore their creativity and develop their skills in observation, attention, imagination, physical expression, emotional awareness, interpersonal awareness, and narrative ability. The program also aims to stimulate and challenge those students already familiar with some aspects of theater. Emphasis is on the cooperative process of creating and working toward a goal. The 5th grade performs a one-act play by homeroom, while the 6th grade participates in a full-length musical with singing, dancing, costumes, lighting, and special effects.

At the middle school, 7th grade drama is an introduction to theatre performance. Classes focus on improvisation that will help students trust and access their creative instincts on the stage. Students create scenes and characters based on their own experiences and discuss the ways in which art relates to everyday life. Emphasis is given to learning to be supportive members of a creative group, understanding compassion as an essential acting tool, and the role of Theater in the community, past and present. The quarter culminates in a performance for the 7th grade class.

At the upper school, the dance program exposes students of any level to a wide variety of styles and types of dance practices. Dancers become more flexible and strong through traditional warm up exercises. Classes involve basic “across the floor” work involving leaps, turns, and kick combinations, and learning dance routines at the end of classes each week. Specific styles of dance at BB&N include jazz, ballet, swing, musical theater, and a focus on famous dancers/choreographers of the 20th century. Students learn proper dance vocabulary and are expected to remember the names of steps as well as routines from week to week. Each dancer is encouraged to work at their own pace and find the relationship between dance as both an individual and performance art.

At the middle school, The BB&N Players, an Improv Troupe, is part of the BB&N Community. The troupe assists the school in many ways including serving as assembly emcees and assisting faculty with skits for various school events such as the read a thon, community service and sports assembles. The Players perform two improv shows during the year. Seventh graders audition in May for the following school year.

At the upper school, theater studies provide students with a wide and varied exploration of both the theater and the performing arts in general. Studies include script analysis, character development, improvisation, acting for the stage, techniques for the actor, as well as notable theater creators and methodologies. Students are encouraged to develop not only performance skills for the actor but also the skills required of playwrights, directors, and designers. The course culminates in a student presentation of either something studied during the course or of a piece of work created by the group. There is also an advanced version of this course.

At the upper school, students are given the opportunity to learn about theatrical productions through acting, stagecraft, or costume design may elect to participate in this Theatrical Production course. Satisfactory completion of this course includes full participation in the show (play or musical) along with the completion of a rehearsal journal. The rehearsal journal documents the student’s weekly activity, the development of skills and knowledge in the role, and includes research and critical observations of the process. Additionally, students regularly meet with the show’s Director to discuss progression and goals. This course receives 0.25 arts credit for each season of participation. There is also an advanced version of this course.