Mission Statement

The Academy of the Holy Cross, a Catholic college preparatory school sponsored by the Sisters of the Holy Cross since 1868, is dedicated to educating young women in a Christ-centered community which values diversity. The Academy is committed to developing women of courage, compassion and scholarship who responsibly embrace the social, spiritual and intellectual challenges of the world.

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Theater and Film

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Shakespeare famously declared that "All the world's a stage," and this sentiment rings particularly true at the Academy of the Holy Cross. Our theatre and film programs offer a thriving array of elective courses and clubs for young thespians, improvisational comediennes, and aspiring filmmakers alike. Twice a year, the Performing Arts Department produces a main stage play or musical, and students occupy every role of the production, both performing onstage or taking charge behind the scenes in stage management, sound, lights, set building, and costumes. For those who prefer a smaller stage experience, the Performing Arts department is proud to play host to the Impulse Improv team, the IB Film and Theatre Showcases, and the Holy Cross chapter of the International Thespian Society.


Theatre and Film Courses

Technical Theatre

This course is an introduction to the design and production processes of the various technical elements that make up a theatrical production. Students explore the areas of scenery, costumes, properties, lighting, sound, and effects through various projects, and they provide design and production support during class time to the Performing Arts Department’s extracurricular productions. No previous backstage experience is required.

Film Studies

Students will gain an appreciation for the complex and powerful art form of film. Throughout the semester, students will watch and analyze films from a wide variety of genres and filmmaking traditions, study the film history and theory behind those traditions, and ultimately build on this foundation through hands-on film-making projects. No prior filmmaking experience is necessary.

Introduction to Acting

Students gain a better understanding of the art and craft of acting, both as a performer and audience member. Over the course of the semester, students will explore various acting processes related to physical and vocal awareness, development of the imagination and senses, observation and spatial awareness, collaboration in ensemble and group work, and independence in solo work and reflection. Course work includes scenes, monologues, memorization techniques, and improvisation.

IB Theatre HL I

IB Theatre HL I is the first year of a two-year course in which students work to gain an advanced understanding of and appreciation for theatre contexts, theatre processes, and presenting theatre. Through in- and out-of-class projects, students face head-on the challenges and joys of creating theatre. Over the course of the year, students also learn to document and reflect on their own progress as young theatre practitioners through their IB Theatre journal. All students who continue on to the second year of the course are required to complete four IB assessments for this course at the end their second year.

IB Theatre HL II

IB Theatre HL II is the continuation of a two-year course during which students continue to study theatre contexts, theatre processes, and theatre presentations. Students continue to face the challenges and joys of creating theatre head on, as well as continue to reflect and document their own progress as young theatre practitioners. IB Theatre HL II culminates in the submission of four assessments required by the IB Organization. Students who enroll in this course are required to take the IB exam at the end of the year.

IB Film SL

IB Film SL is a one-year course in which students gain a thorough appreciation and understanding of film as a complex and powerful art form, and develop the technical and practical knowledge required during various film production processes. Over the course of the year, students will demonstrate skills and knowledge related to film language and analysis, film theory and history, and film production processes; students who register for the IB exam in May (optional for SL courses) will submit three assessments to the IB Organization, each of which focuses primarily on one area of the course. No previous experience with film is necessary.

IB Film HL I

IB Film is a two-year course in which students gain an advanced understanding of film as a complex art form, as well as the technical and practical knowledge required during various filmmaking processes. Over the two-year course, students will demonstrate advanced skills and knowledge relating to film language and analysis, film theory and history, and film production.In the spring of their second year, the course culminates with the submission of three IB assessments, one in each of the respective areas of the syllabus. With a special emphasis placed on experiencing a variety of filmmaking traditions, this course promotes an understanding of how people create art, tell stories, and communicate, not only in the United States, but also in other countries and cultures around the world.

IB Film HL II

IB Film HL II is the continuation of a two-year course, which culminates in the spring with the submission of three IB assessments, one in each of the respective areas of the IB Film syllabus (film history and theory, film language and analysis, and film production). Students who enroll in this course are required to take the IB exam at the end of the year.

Public Speaking

Students learn how to be effective communicators by studying, writing, and performing persuasive, entertaining, and informative speeches. In addition, students will explore rhetoric in society and learn to become critical listeners.

Public Speaking is also offered during the summer and may be used to fulfill the Performing Arts graduation requirement. Students may choose to take this summer course in order to allow additional elective options in their schedule or to complete a requirement for the Madeleva Scholars program. There is an additional fee associated with enrolling in this course during the Summer Intercession. Please see the Assistant Principal for Academics if you are interested in enrolling in this course.

Co Curricular

Impulse Improv Club

The Improv Club is a group of students who work at excelling in the art of theatrical improvisation.

Club members work to hone their improv skills in long form, sketch comedy, and short form formats (including games such as the ones seen on the hit TV show Whose Line is it Anyway?).

Students who attend all club rehearsals will have a variety of performance opportunities each semester, including the fall and spring Evenings of Performing Arts for Middle School Students, as well as the Improv Shows both semesters (November 11, and April 21).

Musicals and Plays

Twice a year our girls produce a staged production, either a musical or a play. In addition to the performers on stage girls take responsibility for backstage production of the performances including scenic design and set building, lighting, sound, pit orchestra, costumes, props, hair/makeup, and more!

Arts Calendar

Adrenaline Dance Team Practice
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Dance Studio
Adrenaline Dance Team Practice
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Dance Studio
Dance Concert Tech Rehearsal
Theatre, Theatre Lobby, Rooms 237 & 250

Spring 2017 Musical "Sister Act"