The Dripping Springs High School Theatre Department is committed to producing work that matches the rigor and professionalism expected in all DSHS student endeavors. At the secondary level, theatre production has a responsibility to expose students to the playwrights, traditions, and innovations that helped to build the foundation of modern theatre. Additionally, theatre arts education has a focus beyond preparing students for work in professional theatre – it also prepares the mind and body for the creativity and problem solving required for success in every career field, especially in light of our rapidly changing world. Knowledge of theatre history also brings resonance and relevance to other curricular areas (for example, Beaumarchais’ The Marriage of Figaro is a comedic work, but it also stoked the fires of the French Revolution; Arthur Miller’s The Crucible stands as an indictment of not only the shortsighted Puritans of Salem, but also of the hysteria of the McCarthy-era blacklists). DSHS does not aim to produce “high school theatre”, but instead helps students craft productions that entertain, provoke, and enlighten with the best that this unique art form has to offer.
A Focus on Excellence
We feel a great responsibility to select material that challenges and respects our students and our audiences, as reflected in past choices to produce works by authors including Arthur Miller (The Crucible in 2008), William Shakespeare (The Tempest - 2008, A Midsummer Night’s Dream - 2011, As You Like It - 2013, Romeo & Juliet - 2015), Oscar Wilde (The Importance of Being Ernest in 2007), comedy legends George S. Kauffman and Moss Hart (The Man Who Came to Dinner, 2009 UIL District and Area co-Champion One Act Play), and ground-breaking playwright Tom Stoppard (Rosencrantz & Guildenstern Are Dead, 2010 District co-Champion One Act Play). For the past three years, DSHS has been one of eight schools asked to perform in the annual Greater Austin High School Musical Theatre Awards at The Long Center for the Performing Arts. DSHS performers and technicians were also thrilled to bring their production of Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice to the UIL One-Act Play Contest State Meet in 2014, marking DSHS’ first appearance at State! In 2017 DSHS Theatre will perform as part of the American High School Theatre Festival at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in Edinburgh, Scotland.
Outreach and Advocacy
Theatre in Dripping Springs does not stop when the curtain closes! Since 2012, DSHS theatre students have created workshops using their one-act play productions (starting with The Outsiders). They bring their presentation to Dripping Springs Middle School, where they engaged with younger students on a theme connecting their show with academic curricula.
In addition to workshops, DSHS’ Intermediate Theatre ensembles writes and produces an original theatre for youth production each year in order to share theatre with the 5th grade students at our district’s elementary schools. In other examples of students using theatre to explore their world, in 2014 the Advanced Theatre ensembles gathered research and personal accounts of life in Dripping Springs, using their findings to create a night of experimental, interactive performance that challenged the audiences’ perceptions.
THE COMPLEAT FEMALE STAGE BEAUTY
BRIGHTON BEACH MEMOIRS
A MIDSUMMER NIGHT'S DREAM
LEND ME A TENOR