Menlo Upper School Drama
“If all we had was a bare stage with one light bulb, we could still do theater!” —Lou Volpe, Drama Teacher, Harry S. Truman high school, Levittown, PA
Theater is far more than what’s written on the page or performed on the stage. It’s about joy, balance, harmony, order, design, and composition. Theater is a process, a laboratory where we can experiment with creative expression and storytelling. It builds self-confidence and fosters empathy. Theater gives us permission to have fun and make a difference, even if all we have is a bare stage and a light bulb!
The Upper School Winter Play:
Learned LadiesFriday-Saturday, Jan. 27-28, 7:30 pm
Sunday, Jan. 29, 5:00 pm
Spieker Center for the Arts
Menlo Drama Comes Home!
Menlo Drama is proud to bring its award-winning production of Moliere’s The Learned Ladies direct from Edinburgh’s Fringe Festival to the Spieker Center for the Arts stage. This ‘new production’ brings a fresh approach to the silly and excessive behavior that is the play’s trademark, while largely maintaining the original plot surrounding the engagement between young lovers and their parents in this rapid-fire series of events. As one of Moliere’s last of his great plays in verse, The ‘Menlo’ Learned Ladies, is more extreme in satire and full of wildly ridiculous and comic characters, who are sure to bring laughter to all.
Reserved seating only.
Peter and the starcatcher
Thursday-Sunday, Apr. 27-30
the Spieker Center for the Arts
Menlo Drama at the Fringe Festival
The American High School Theatre Festival (AHSTF) selected Menlo Drama to perform four performances at the prestigious Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, July 30, 2022-August 12, 2022! Take a look at their incredible experience.
Where we’ve been!
Here’s a look back at the 2021-2022 drama season. It was thrilling to have Menlo Drama return to the stage with students performing to in-person audiences in Menlo’s new state-of-the-art Spieker Center.
Spelling Bee features an eclectic group of six middle schoolers vying for the spelling championship of a lifetime. While candidly disclosing hilarious and touching stories from their home lives, the tweens spell their way to the coveted title of winner.
Senior Spotlight—a historical retrospective of Menlo Drama seniors showcasing their talents over their last four years onstage along with newly filmed live performances on the Spieker stage. This video retrospective and recorded-live-performance hybrid celebrates the drama accomplishments of Amay Goel, Kate Richardson, Peter Hanson Tucker Gold, Uma Misha as well as many others.
A heartwarming story based on the beloved novel by Roald Dahl about an extraordinary girl who, armed with a sharp mind and a vivid imagination, dares to take a stand and change her destiny!
Menlo Drama Gives Back
Menlo’s 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 Menlo Drama Gives Back has raised and distributed almost $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 and/or 2S
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.
About Menlo Drama
Menlo’s Upper School drama program includes courses in drama and musical theater 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.