School Statement of Purpose
“The Greater Hartford Academy of the Arts Half-Day Program is an institution dedicated to a pre-professional arts education in an equitable, culturally competent environment.”
Length of School Day
3 hours 15 minutes - Monday through Thursday
1:00pm - 4:15pm
Monday/Wednesday - Tuesday/Thursday Alternating Schedule
Period 1: 1:00 - 2:20
Period 2: 2:25-3:20
Period 3: 3:25-4:15
About Our School
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Director of the Arts
DRAFT - Arts Half Day - Course Catalog
Ballet classes incorporate the basic elements of classical ballet, using techniques standardized by Agrippina Vaganova. The class work focuses on body alignment, basic body positions, general strength and simple coordination of all parts of the body.
The structure of the class remains the same focusing on the development of vocabulary, understanding the theory behind the technique, reinforcing alignment, use of turnout, and basic coordination. New elements are added individually, and are not combined with other elements until completely mastered.
Class work will focus on increasingly complex elements, with an emphasis on supporting side strength, proper transfer of weight and foot articulation. Students will begin to use more arm movements in coordination with the leg movements. Theory is discussed; knowledge of new vocabulary is tested. Barre work begins to take less time, and there is more focus on grand allegro.
This class continues to build in complexity, adding new and more challenging dance vocabulary. Correlations are made between the barre and the center work. The basics of alignment, turnout, articulation and flexibility continue to be a focus. At this level, theory becomes more significant
Our most advanced level, exercises continue to incorporate strength, flexibility, coordination and articulation. Students must learn exercises more quickly, and self- correction should be automatic. Exercises continue to become longer, requiring more stamina. Vocabulary and theory are assumed and tested.
This ballet class is comprised of pointe exercises at the barre and center work. The focus will be strengthening the feet and ankles. Once the students have demonstrated proficiency in basic exercises, simple ballet variation work will be added.
This class will introduce students to the basic elements of modern dance introducing correct alignment, vocabulary and movement common in all styles of modern dance technique. It will focus on strength, coordination, flexibility, use of breath, core support and use of space.
This class continues concepts of breath, core support, alignment, rotation, phrasing and spatial intent. Through the class students have the opportunity to develop kinesthetic awareness, proper body alignment, physical strength, flexibility, endurance, and care of the body while exploring expressive movement through modern technique.
Concentrated work will focus on strength, alignment, isolation of torso, use of weight, space and time to exploring working off balance. Following the exercises dedicated to the back are leg exercises, and movement sequences that travel. Curves, tilts, contractions, spiraling and lifting of the back as well as shifts of weight through space are the main elements of Cunningham Technique.
Concentrated work will focus on strength, alignment, use of weight, space and time as well as continue to explore working off balance. Contraction, release of the torso, spiral of the back and shift of weight through space are the main elements of the Graham technique. There is technique-specific vocabulary including contraction, spiral and names of exercises.
Our most advanced level is designed to increase and advance the students’ range as technicians, performers and artists by deepening skills that are applicable to all dance styles. Students will be encouraged and challenged to take risks with their performance skills. Class is completed with choreography phrases to develop artistry and performance skills.
This is the first course in which students learn to find and following their own creative movement impulses. The emphasis is on finding ways to inspire spontaneously improvised movement responses through the use of a variety of provided sources.
This course introduces students to fundamental methods of creating and describing choreography. It will introduce key vocabulary and exercises that are prevalent in composition work including: space, body, shape, timing, dynamics, intent, compositional phrase elements and giving feedback.
Defining, refining, and developing the elements, principles, and forms of choreography with increasing amounts of independent work are key to this class. Students work to craft space, time, shape, motion and energy through problem solving and exercises. Senior Composition
Senior Composition and Production will build on course work from previous levels of dance. Students will apply the skills they have acquired to prepare for college and the development of solo material that can be used when auditioning for college dance programs. Each student embodies the role of director of their own work and as dancers in the work of their peers.
This semester course is designed as a unique opportunity to orient new dancers to the Academy dance department and to provide an understanding of the requirements of the program of studies. The course includes an introductory study of the historical context of the techniques studied in the department.
This course focuses on the skills that a student needs to incorporate into their life for a healthy and successful career in dance. Students explore four basic subject areas as they pertain to dance: health, pedagogy, audition skills and performance techniques.
This course introduces students to the roots and time periods of dance history focusing primarily on Western theatrical dance. Ballet and modern dance, with respect to their connections to culture, world history, and influences on present day dance forms, are the main focus.
The course will include a warm up of the whole body in center floor. The warm up leads into contemporary combinations of movement with emphasis on new ways of combining movements.
The class incorporates basic elements of classical Jazz Dance. Concentrated work focuses on key vocabulary and exercises prevalent in jazz technique including: isolations, specific stretches, traveling patterns and phrase work.
This class is a beginning level conditioning class which focuses on gaining strength and flexibility needed for dance technique. It will emphasize abdominal, back, leg and arm strength as well as increasing flexibility in the legs, back and hips.
This one semester class provides students with a structured rehearsal experience with choreography material designed for and by students that culminates in performance. Content includes artistic interpretation, style, musicality, and coaching relevant to the movement presented weekly and developed throughout the semester.
Electives offered within dance are meant to broaden the students’ experience and provide an opportunity to gain knowledge in different dance styles.
Musical Theater Majors
This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of classical ballet technique. The class will focus on basic ballet technique, proper body alignment, terminology and musicality. Students will be introduced to elementary barre and center work.
Through group warm-ups, one-on-one work with the instructor in front of the class, constructive feedback from peers, and self-evaluation, students will gain an understanding of vocal anatomy and physiology, a general understanding of breath control, and an exposure to singing in different registers. Students will be guided in repertoire selection.
Students will continue to build upon skill learned in Voice I as they learn to blend their registers and to begin the synthesis of both dramatic and vocal aspects of singing. Students begin to select their own repertoire.
Students will continue to build upon skill learned in Voice I & II. Students will identify their strengths and focus on improving personal weaknesses. Students will begin to build their repertoire book.
Students will continue to build upon skill learned in Voice I, II & III. Students will develop full synthesis of vocal and dramatic elements of singing. Students will develop their repertoire books so that they are balanced in style. Students will also learn to make appropriate music “cuts” for their use in auditions.
In this class, students will study and explore the many different genres of music inside of Musical Theater. Styles to be explored include classical/operetta, country, folk, R&B, gospel and pop/rock.
In this class, students will learn the basics of reading music, including intervals, key signatures, and sight singing. Students will work kinesthetically and will use various forms of technology to demonstrate their mastery.
Chorale is designed to allow individual singers to come together to learn ensemble pieces and to learn the value of contributing to a larger group. Emphasis will be placed on musicianship and ear training.
The basics of acting will be explored through physical and vocal exercises, improvisation, monologues, and scene study. We will learn how to approach text in preparation for character development and performance.
This class will build upon the fundamental skills acquired in Acting I. Focus will be given to working physically as an actor and to connecting personally to text.
This class will build upon the skills acquired in Acting I and II. In addition to exploring contemporary work, particular attention will be given to classical texts including Shakespeare and the Greeks.
This advance acting class asks students to synthesize textual analysis, character development, vocal work, and physicality to create believable characters through modern texts in both monologues and scenes. Students will study the work of Rudolf Laban by exploring viewpointing and his eight effort actions.
Audition Prep is a full year course geared toward helping students get ready for college and professional auditions. Students will study presentation of self in both dress and manner, material selection and preparation (both monologues and songs), resume preparation, and headshot selection. They will develop an audition binder with monologues and songs varying in style and length. In addition, students will learn about the college pre-screen process, and how to create a solid pre-screen audition for their college applications.
is a workshop based class featuring various dance styles and choreographers from Musical Theater history. Students will apply the foundational concepts taught in Jazz 1 & 2 to learn combinations and choreography from classical to contemporary Broadway musicals allowing the students to further develop their performance and stage skills.
The Jazz I curriculum is based on ballet technique layered with traditional Jazz movements. Class will include a proper warm-up, isolations, stretches, conditioning, across-the-floor progressions and combinations. This class will focus on applying proper dance technique and developing complex rhythms and patterns.
This class will focus on developing strength and flexibility through alignment and correct use of the students’ muscles and joints. Warm –up and progressions in class will use classical Jazz techniques such and pirouettes, battements and jetes etc, to further develop the students’ musicality, athleticism, alignment and performance.
This class incorporates center work, across-the-floor, and choreography focusing on an advanced level of Jazz technique. There is emphasis on Jazz vocabulary, style, rhythmic and dynamic phrasing. Students will push themselves technically while further developing their musicality and expression.
This class is geared toward creating synthesis between the three art forms involved in creating Musical Theater: Acting, Singing, and Dancing. Students will work together to create fully staged musical pieces in a rehearsal room environment for an informal performance. Students will be exposed to various genres of Musical Theater over the course.
Students will learn basics of music notation and improve their ability to make connections between what is heard and what is seen, focusing on major tonality. They will gain a familiarity with the piano keyboard, including basic reading and two-hand independence, while gaining the ability to use the keyboard as a tool for greater theoretical understanding.
In addition to deepening the skills learned in Theory Fundamentals, students will learn about the acoustical foundations of Western harmony, 47 particularly how the overtone series affects how we hear dissonance and consonance. They will sing, read, and play melodies, bass lines, and harmonies to increase their understanding of multi-part music. They will learn intervals and deepen their familiarity with minor tonality. They will explore more advanced keyboard skills such as basic tonic-dominant progressions and more advanced two-part reading.
In addition to deepening the skills learned in Harmony, students will learn about chord progressions and how composers use harmony and traditional musical forms to satisfy or deny listener expectations. Students will study more complex rhythms and more advanced tonal concepts, including basic chromaticism. They will increase their keyboard skills, including harmonizing a melody and playing from a lead sheet.
Students will use all the skills gleaned in the first three levels of theory to evaluate the compositions of others. They will explore complex rhythms of Latin and jazz music, as well as more advanced chromaticism. They will create their own compositions based on the models they have studied while incorporating skills they have learned in their major rep and ensemble classes. They will use the keyboard as a tool for understanding theory concepts, as well as improving their reading, coordination, and playing a variety of left hand accompaniments and chord progressions.
This large jazz ensemble travels to competitions and performs high-level jazz repertoire. Students will work on music reading, improvising, and playing as an ensemble in the jazz style.
Instrumentation is traditional Big Band set up; (trumpet, sax, trombone, guitar, bass, drums, and piano only) .
In this course, students will prepare memorized solo performances of songs from the musical theater repertoire. They will inform their performances with research into the musicals from which their songs are taken, and they will learn to analyze their own performances and those of their peers for opportunities for improvement.
This class focuses on popular music, students will gain a repertoire of swing, jazz standards, blues and pop. They will also start to learn how to improvise, changing the melody to better tell the story and even trying a bit of scat.
Academy Orchestra is a large ensemble class that focuses on the study and performance of music within the classical tradition of the symphony orchestra. Students will learn the necessary skills to be a part of a large ensemble working towards a common goal, as well as idiomatic techniques and styles that pertain to the performance of classical music.
In this class students will listen to and analyze recordings by the master drummers in Jazz. Focus will be on accompanying and soloing on the drumset. The standard snare drum rudiments will be covered and applied to the drum set. Students will apply the concepts learned here in Jazz Choir, Jazz Orchestra and Academy Big band.
The Academy Jazz Orchestra is a standard orchestra with a jazz rhythm section,(piano bass and drums), and will also feature instrumental and vocal soloists singing songs from recordings like Ella Fitzgerald’s, “The Songbook Albums”.
This class involves singers and instrumentalists combining to perform songs from the Pop Music genre over the last 20 years. Singers will work on improving their stage presence and conveying the meaning of their music, while instrumentalists will work on reading music, accompanying singers, and playing musically to support the emotion and meaning of the song.
In this class students will rehearse and perform music from the 50’s through the 70’s that represent the Rhythm and Blues or Motown era. The repertoire will include songs by Ben E. King, Otis Redding, The Temptations, The Four tops and Aretha Franklin.
Chorale is designed to allow individual singers to come together to learn ensemble pieces and to learn the value of contributing to a larger group. Emphasis will be placed on musicianship and ear training. This ensemble will be open to all students pending an interview with the instructor.
The basics of acting will be explored through physical and vocal exercises, improvisation, monologues, and scene study. We will learn how to approach the text in preparation for character and performance.
In this class, the students will learn how to read a play as a performance piece rather than as a literary work. Texts are analyzed for dramatic structure and character clues.
Students in Personal Theatre will be exposed to a variety of theatre techniques and activities (including improvisation and theatre games) while writing and generating through the lenses of personal and public material.
This course will focus on theatrical needs of the voice. Students will learn how to incorporate proper breathing and relaxation exercises, how to use the body as a channel of air rather than as a muscle to push sound out, and the function of the diaphragm, jaw, and articulators.
This course serves as an introduction to Shakespeare’s plays and the methods by which artists interpret them. Students will read Shakespeare’s original text, then explore different adaptations of the work across art forms (including film, musical theater, literature, and contemporary plays).
In this year-long course, students work individually and as an ensemble to develop awareness, focus and a deeper understanding of objectives and actions primarily through Scene Study. Students analyze dramatic texts in order to develop the physical, emotional and social dimensions of characters.
In this class, students learn the basics behind improvisational performance, a theater style where the only motto is, "Don't Be Prepared." A serious approach to comedy will be practiced and something brand new will be created at every class meeting. By using short, long and competitive forms, students develop an active approach to improvisation and hone their skills to become comedy confident.
Commedia dell’ Arte is a form of Italian street theatre and improvisational comedy, which dates back to the sixteenth century. Students will study mime, physical comedy,
and the development of a clown character, slapstick and circus skills such as juggling, balancing, and acrobatics on the road to becoming complete Commedia performers.
Students will discover acting from the perspective of performing by speaking and acting through another with at least two styles of puppets. Styles of puppet performance covered in the class may include but not be limited to: Object Theatre, Hand Puppetry, Rod Puppetry, and Marionettes.
This class is designed as an introduction to the business of acting. Each student will develop a variety of monologues in their audition portfolio. The course will also cover a range of topics including resume building, representation, headshot selection, creating a website and reel, voice over work, and other various aspects of networking.
This course will explore the potential of the neutral mask as a means of freeing the expressive potential of the actors’ body.
Students will be exposed to music and dance from around the world. Meetings will include instruction in African, Latin, Asian, and/or American dance forms. Students will be encouraged to use their own creativity and cultural dance knowledge to create solos or small group dances.
A project-based course designed to reinforce and further develop students’ skills as a Theater Makers. Throughout the year, students undertake genre specific projects that challenge them to apply the skills they have learned in their previous classes, and to Conceptualize and Develop original theater work.
This class focuses on learning how to apply basic stage makeup for performance and the many techniques and applications used to create illusions and unique characters for the stage
This course is based on the physical training and creative energy of renowned Japanese theater artist, Tadashi Suzuki. The students participate in rigorous physical exercises geared towards heightening their strength, focus, intensity and stamina.
Students will explore ways of creating original theatre using physical form and gesture. Students will gain experience with Viewpoints and Laban Movement Analysis, two physical acting methods used to train actors, build ensembles and create movement for the stage.
This class will continue the exploration of texts from Shakespeare’s repertoire. Using abstract vocal and physical techniques, students will continue finding all the life in Shakespeare’s language, while incorporating character, beats and intention.
Students will develop the tools to prepare for a character and change characters. This class will train students to identify and adapt the physical qualities of a character through dance styles, improvisation, and the study of basic movement qualities
This physical, high energy acting class will students will take a journey into the world of physical comedic acting and clowning. They will learn the rules of clowning and various clowning techniques to create scenes featuring original clown characters.
Using a series of progressive exercises, students will practice and perfect the techniques of visual storytelling. By creating an artistic laboratory setting, the curriculum challenges the students to make strong, clear choices and effectively communicate to actors and designers on a daily basis, developing practical applications of the theories behind directing.
This course will provide an overview of the history of theater from the present day back to the Greeks. A non-Eurocentric approach will be taken to include Asian and African theater in the curriculum. Students are required to do research and make presentations in class and to pool their knowledge and resources. Cultural eras will be brought to life in the classroom as students explore text, performance styles, and costume/scenic design.
In this course students read contemporary plays by and/or about underrepresented cultures to hear the stories less heard and the stories of the oppressed. This course is intended to cultivate further empathy and compassion towards others and understanding of how storytelling can change the world.
This course is designed to introduce students to the craft of dramatic writing. Students engage in short writing exercises which focus upon specific elements of playwriting and which develop their own ideas for dramatic material.
Students will explore the potential of the human voice to create characters and tell stories without relying on visual clues. They will develop skills which are applicable in the fields emerging fields of audio books, dramatic podcasts and video game voice-overs.
Students will create original theater pieces from real-life stories and interviews. Students will work together to examine contemporary issues and develop their own plays by sharing and performing the stories of the interviewees.
This is a project-based course designed to introduce students to the possibilities of using Theater as a vehicle for effecting social change. Students will devise and perform a series of informal projects which call attention to issues within their communities and which ask their audience to consider possible solutions.
Students will explore techniques to develop actor-generated, original works of theater. Working both in small groups and alone, students will learn to utilize physical theater and storytelling methodologies to create their own work.
An introduction to the use of vocal technique in telling stories. Students will explore the importance of breath support and clear enunciation in creating performances that are meant to be heard rather than seen.
Theater Design and Production Major
In this introductory course, students learn the basic elements and principles of drawing, and their use across a variety of artistic mediums. Line, shape, space, mass, color, texture, ornament, as well as the ideas of harmony, balance, proportion, emphasis, and rhythm will be explored throughout numerous artistic challenges in this project-based class.
Introduction to Theatre is a course that covers basic Theatre Production & Design terminology and how theatre works from behind the scenes. Working both with classroom projects and on Arts Academy productions, students are introduced to basic drafting, scenic construction and painting techniques.
This class is an introduction to both the business and the art of costume design. Students will explore the designer’s responsibilities to all the collaborators in a production, and to the process the designer goes through to create the designs, w ith a focus on research and color theory. Students will each be responsible for the design and construction of at least one costume for the Arts Academy Spring Musical.
An investigation of sound design in theater and media production. The skills developed for this course prepare the student to work with directors in designing audio for theater and video production including sound effect creation. Students develop an understanding of sound mixing, audio processing techniques, sound effect creation, and the creation of soundscapes for theater and video.
An introduction to computer technology used in theatrical design. Students work on Macintosh Computers with a variety of software programs including Vectorworks, Adobe Illustrator and Photoshop, Web Design incorporating on-line portfolios
This course explores the principles and theories of stage management and production management as applied to preparation, rehearsal and performance of a theatre production. Coursework will include study and focus on production organization, planning, budgeting and performance
Students explore the fundamental techniques used in manual and computer aided technical drawing. Students acquire the skills needed to read, analyze and produce technical and architectural style drawings as well as three dimensional modelling techiques used in theater production.
Visual Arts Major
Students develop basic drawing skills, including the ability to perceive and express visual relationships by understanding and implementing the Elements & Principles of Design.
Students develop basic color theory through watercolor, ink and acrylic painting techniques. The ability to perceive and express relationships by understanding and implementing the Elements & Principles of Design are also included in the curriculum for this course.
While working from observation students will create compositions beyond representation to explore conceptual and pictorial issues and investigate a wide range of contemporary issues and themes.
Further exploration of color theory, knowledge and application with the wet media such as watercolor, ink, acrylic and an introduction to water soluble oil paint. The significance of color will be explored as an Art Element and relationships between color through the Elements and Principles of Design will be examined.
Students develop technical skills in a variety of studio print media such as monotype, linoleum block printing, drypoint etching and relief plate rubbings. Repetitious drawing practices and an understanding of color theory are significant components to this course.
This course provides an introductory exposure to the history of ceramics and a beginning level experience in the use of clay as a fine art medium. Forming techniques, surface development and glazing, and kiln firing practices will be introduced. Both the functional and sculptural ceramic traditions will be explored.
This course is designed to allow advanced ceramic students to work on developing a personal expression in clay. Each student has the option to direct their own projects with guidance by the instructor, if needed an assignment can be designated by the instructor with focus on hand-building, throwing on the wheel or experimental glazing techniques.
This course provides an introduction to the language of the visual arts and a foundation for individual understanding and enjoyment of art. This class will focus on how art communicates, how to analyze and interpret it, and how we can see it as a cultural product that reveals something about the society that produced it.
This course will further explore more unique, personal and conceptual approaches. Students will have the opportunity to experiment within each project. A responsible student will become familiar with traditional and digital mediums, the means of creating and delivering art, the history of illustration and design, and the expectations of working as an artist in the field.
This class will focus on the fundamentals of visual thinking through the process of drawing by direct observation. Experimentation with different materials, sharpening observational skills (eye-hand coordination) will result in a refined technique in order to draw subject matter such as: portraits, still life, landscape in a realistic and convincing way. Students who successfully complete this course have the ability to earn 3 college credits, which are transferable to 1000’s of universities nationwide.
This course introduces students to Computer Graphics, and explores Adobe Illustrator by using a drafting tablet for creation and manipulation, effects, graphic illustration techniques, and typographic functions in applying the computer graphics medium to problem solving in graphic design.
Students in this class will be introduced to the fundamentals of digital photography and the technical aspects involved with using a digital camera. Students will learn how to up load images, proper use of storage and manipulation of imagery through Adobe Photoshop and Lightroom.
Students will be introduced to a variety of book making techniques, which will include different styles binding and orientation. The class will use many collaging materials, wet and dry media and multiple binding techniques to create one of a kind personal artist books.
Students will be introduced to a variety of traditional and non-traditional multimedia techniques in response to visual art making challenges. Media explored will include watercolor, ink, gouache, collage, acrylic, mono-printing practices and Xerox transfer.
This course is for students interested in developing their knowledge in the most up to date Adobe Photoshop Suite (APS). APS is a complex graphics and image editing software, and paint program. This course will incorporate the Elements and Principles of Design in to the methods and techniques associated with APS.