Menlo Upper School Drama Announces 2021-2022 Season!
Fall Musical: The 25th Annual Putman County
Performance Dates: November 12-14
Spelling Bee is a musical comedy with music and lyrics by William Finn, a book by Rachel Sheinkin, conceived by Rebecca Feldman with additional material by Jay Reiss. The show centers on a fictional spelling bee set in a geographically ambiguous Putnam Valley Middle School. Six quirky adolescents compete in the Bee, run by three equally quirky grown-ups. Through hilarious, touching, and catchy songs, each speller reveals his/her hopes, struggles, and passions as they make their way through the competition.
COME ONE COME ALL! No experience necessary!
Sign-up sheets with audition slots for Sept. 13 and 14, will be posted outside the Drama room in the CADC.
Callbacks will be held on Sept, 15 and 17.
Also coming in 2021-2022:
Performs in February 2022
Matilda: The Musical
Performs in May 2022
An all-school production featuring a combined Middle and Upper School cast
Since March of 2020, we have produced theatre in ways that we never dreamed of!
DRACULA: The National Premiere of a high school production, sanctioned by the authors and staged with large plexiglass shields while having a grand time making all kinds of successful outrageous sound effects as we blended Radio Theatre w/ Live Theatre!
MONOLOGUES & DIALOGUES: We got to perform for the first time in The Spieker Center - again in a new format that we’d never done before, with a NEW, untried, untested script, shot in a TV/PBS/Masterpiece Theatre-style that resulted in a rich and beautiful recording!
WORKING: We were not only challenged w/ bringing an outdated script into the 21st century, but we updated it without apology or false representation, with a LIVE BAND, and (a first on our stage), lip-synched ensemble vocals!
We really hope that you will take some time this summer to reflect, realize and celebrate all that you’ve accomplished this past year within yourself and with the Theatre Program.
Upper School Spring Musical: Working
View the show’s program here.
The Menlo Drama Department strives to ‘Give Back’ both on and off stage. Through donations during our productions, Menlo Drama Gives Back has raised and distributed almost $50,000 to various charities globally. The Working company has chosen to support Second Harvest of Silicon Valley. Every dollar raised provides two meals to those struggling, including many essential workers. It’s free to watch the show, and viewers are encouraged to make a donation to Second Harvest Silicon Valley via this link.
Now Playing: The Virtual Premiere of the Winter Production
Monologues & Dialogues
This never-before-seen original piece—filmed on our new Spieker Center stage—is a rich tapestry of selections from some of history’s greatest plays. Envisioned in the style of Masterpiece Theatre, it includes works ranging from classical to contemporary. It runs 54 minutes and is set in two acts.
Fall Show 2020: Dracula, A Comedy Of Terrors
Friday, Oct. 30, and Saturday, Oct 31, 7:00 pm.
Along the treacherous Borgo Pass In the mountains of Transylvania, a meek English real estate agent is on a harrowing journey to meet a new and mysterious client…who also just happens to be the most terrifying and ferocious monster the world has ever known: COUNT DRACULA! The story follows the legendary Count Dracula as he travels to England to seduce the woman of his dreams, stirring up danger, magic, sensuality, and silliness. Bram Stoker’s epic horror story reimagined with a dash of Mel Brooks and a pinch of Monty Python, presented as an old-time radio play. This lightning-fast, comedy is guaranteed to raise your pulse and emit blood-curdling screams of laughter!
The cast and crew of Cabaret extend a sincere thank you to all those who continue to support the arts at Menlo!
Menlo Drama Gives Back
Menlo Drama Gives Back raised $2,400 for the Boys and Girls Club of the Peninsula. The Menlo Drama Department strives to ‘Give Back’ both on and off stage. Through donations during our productions, we encourage public support for both national and international programs benefitting people affected by health, wellness, and community issues. To date, Menlo Gives Back has raised and distributed over $50,000 to various charities globally.
Discover your individual voice through this introductory course on the fundamental elements and process of theatre including history and design. Explore today’s theatre through improvisation, observation, and performance. Through theatre games and daily exercises, build confidence and an understanding of what your unique perspective can bring to any material. Voice and movement within units include musical theatre and scene work. By year’s end know the purpose of a scene, understand objective, character development, and have a solid overview of theatre from a performance and business point of view. Watch a video overview of this course here.
Production - Page to Spieker Stage (1S)
The first hands-on experience exploring and combining design, science, engineering, craftsmanship, art, and presentation inside the new Spieker Center for the Arts, this course is an opportunity to think big. It will cover digital theatrical LED lighting, live sound, production organization and management, set design, tools, construction, scenic painting, costume and prop design. Each student will be encouraged to find his/her own areas of interest. Learn how to safely use the diverse technology and tools of our new theater to take student projects from concept to completion. Students can also learn from working live events, concerts, dance, or theater. We will focus on collaboration, basic skill sets, and creativity. Watch a video overview of this course here.
Semester 1 Class (but may be offered 2nd Semester as needed)
About Menlo Drama
Menlo’s Upper School drama program includes courses in drama and musical theatre in addition to producing full-length plays each fall, winter, and spring. Past productions have included Heathers, Twelfth Night, Cabaret, The Laramie Project, Fiddler on the Roof, The Miracle Worker, Urinetown, The Diary of Anne Frank, and Avenue Q.
Steven Minning is the Creative Arts and Upper School Drama Director. He has worked as a director and choreographer in New York, and around the world. As an Associate Director he has staged the Broadway, National and International tours of Billy Elliot, The Lion King, Show Boat, The Will Rogers Follies, and Cirque du Soleil’s Dralion. He has directed and choreographed for major events such as State Farm National Agency Convention in Las Vegas, the Coca-Cola Olympic reception in Atlanta and the World Cup opening ceremonies. He teaches drama and musical Theatre.