Shrek, our unlikely hero, and his loyal friend Donkey set off on a quest to rescue the beautiful (if slightly temperamental) Princess Fiona from her tower, guarded by a fire breathing love-sick dragon. Add the vertically challenged Lord Farquaad, a gang of fairytale misfits, and a biscuit with attitude, and we had an irresistible mix of adventure, laughter and romance. Shrek was performed on March 20 and March 21. Remarkable to note is that the show was run entirely by students. Students Asha R and Esther R ran the backstage crew through set changes and prop prep, students ran the lights and sound in the booth. Props and set decoration were done by our two Design Tech and Theater classes. An impressive show indeed!! This marked director Ms. Rogers’ final show at AES and the students and staff had some heartfelt thanks and wishes for all she has done for our theater program.

30 Reasons to Not be in a Play

On October 11th and 12th, our middle schoolers, under the direction of Ms. Rogers put on the Fall Production, “30 Reasons Not to be in a Play”. Director, Ms. Rogers, writes:

” Although 30 Reasons Not to Be in a Play highlights the negatives of putting on a play, it really is a love song to the theater and demonstrates that -despite the pitfalls – it’s what we do because we love it.
It take a community to put on a play; what you will see in our play represents weeks of work by our actors, crew and a score of adults who so generously gave of their time. The technical design and work was done entirely by our student crew, supervised by supportive adults, our students have learned new skills and have taken proud ownership of this show. I’m grateful for the support of so many parents who have volunteered their time to sell tickets; I’m especially grateful for the work of our two acting coaches; Char Weiler and Amy Camp, because this show would not be up and running without their tireless, inspired and creative work with our students. You all are part of our community too. We hope you enjoy our offering and appreciaate all our reasons for NOT being in a play.”


Visiting Artist: Mask Maker

In early December we were fortunate to have a visiting artist work with our theater students. Her name was Emily Gray and she came to us from the Trestle Mask company in the UK. She conducted workshops with our MS and HS students in the theater. Check out some of the fun in the photos below!

Visiting Artist Mark Hill: Physical Theater

[slideshow_deploy id=’2701’]

“Great acts are made up of small deeds”  Lao Tzu

MARK HILL is an international Physical Theatre performer and educator. For the past decade he has trained and performed with cutting edge Australian companies Zen Zen Zo, The Danger Ensemble and De Quincey Co. He has been a Butoh dancer with Dairakudakan (Japan) and SU-EN Butoh Company (Sweden) and has toured the world with Cabaret Punk musician Amanda Palmer of the US band The Dresden Dolls. Mark has taught Physical Theatre throughout Australia, ASIA and Europe, and he teaches extensively for ISTA (International Schools Theatre Association). Mark is an Australian Education Ambassador, an ASIALINK leader and was an Art and Health & Physical Education teacher for many years.


The students focused on three very important concepts in physical theatre:

Energy (7 levels: Floppy, Monday Morning Wake Up, Curiosity, Awareness of Senses Strong Emotion, Best Day of Your Life, Dynamic Stillness with 5 being optimal that integrates the senses with emotion)

Focus (Fixed Point, Peripheral Focus)

Physical Awareness

They then had the opportunity to work with shape within Dynamic Stillness.  Looking at the world through extraordinary shape with a focus on literal and abstract (interpretation and imagination) shape, allowed students to understand how their bodies create images in a performance.

Working together students created extraordinary shapes using repetition, opposition, closeness or distance, level or negative shape to create dynamic images that tell a story.

The Princess Bride

On October 20th and 21st our middle school students put on an amazing version of The Princees Bride in the Community Garden by Gate 2.

Based on William Goldman‘s novel of the same name, The Princess Bride is staged as a book read by grandfather and grandmother to their grandchildren. The grandparents assure the romance-weary kids that the book has much more to deliver than a simpering love story, including but not limited to fencing, fighting, torture, death, true love, giants, and pirates.

[slideshow_deploy id=’2113’]

There is also a link to the video!


“Cinderella, Cinderella, Everyday it’s Cinderella…”

On April 9th and 10th, magic descended on the AES Theatre as the Middle School presented Rodger’s and Hammerstein’s Cinderella. The timeless enchantment of a fairy tale with great warmth and a touch of hilarity, Cinderella filled the hearts of children and adults alike and smiles were soaring when the slipper fit.

The Emperor’s New Clothes

Middle School Drama Presents…The Emperor’s New Clothes!  Take a trip to Kostroma where you will meet a powerful Emperor, his wife, the Empress and a very clever tailor, Petra! In this “Theatre in the Round” production, join in the frivolity of the Kazoo Orchestra as they play enchanting music that will please your ears (maybe!)  telling the story of Petra and her magic.  Be a part of the show as Petra enlists your help as an audience member to “pull the wool over the Emperor’s eyes!” Are you ready for some magic?

What a lovely performance by our middle school students. Enjoy the photos in the slideshow below. Thank you to Ms. Burrows and Ms. Miller for an amazing production!