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Family and Community Guide for High School Drama and Theatre Arts

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Working Together: To support families, communities, and teachers in realizing the goals of the Colorado Academic Standards (CAS), this guide provides an overview of the learning expectations for students studying high school drama and theatre arts. This guide offers some learning experiences students may engage in at school that may also be supported at home.

Why Standards? Created by Coloradans for Colorado students, the Colorado Academic Standards provide a grade-by-grade road map to help ensure students are successful in college, careers, and life. The standards aim to improve what students learn and how they learn in 12 content areas while emphasizing critical thinking, creativity, problem solving, collaboration, and communication as essential skills for life in the 21st century.

See all the Family and Community Guides here.

Where can I learn more?

  • As always, the best place to learn about what your child is learning is from your child's teacher and school. The Colorado Academic Standards describe goals, but how those goals are met is a local decision.
  • The Colorado Academic Standards were written for an audience of professional educators, but parents and community members looking to dig deeper may want to read them for themselves. Visit the Standards and Instructional Support homepage for several options for reviewing the Colorado Academic Standards.
  • If you have further questions, please contact the content specialists in the Office of Standards and Instructional Support.

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Drama and Theatre Arts (adopted 2022)

The drama and theatre arts standards for the three high school pathways focus on advanced theatrical knowledge, skills, and technical elements. Students research and perform many theatrical techniques and styles. They also create and share ideas as playwrights, directors, designers, and technicians, discuss their own personal liking for plays, critique themselves and the performances of others. Students in high school are also asked to make connections to themselves, their communities, and the world through creating, and learning strong leadership skills while working together in plays.

In the Fundamental Pathway, students:

  • Create: Understand basic vocal and movement techniques. Create a character in a scene or play. Demonstrate basic knowledge of lights/sound/set and costume design. 
  • Perform: Perform a scene, play, or solo speech. Be a member of a technical crew and stage management team. Demonstrate ways the technical pieces of a production work with the actors. 
  • Critically Respond:Research the ways that actors use self-reflection and self-critique to get better at their acting skills. Discuss personal choices and reactions to plays. 

In the Advanced Pathway, students:

  • Create:Understand advanced vocal and movement techniques. Show advanced character development skills. Problem-solve ways to overcome obstacles in a play. Research and design lights/sound/set and costume design. 
  • Perform: Portray a believable character. Lead a technical crew. Create a lights/sound/set or costume design. Understand safety procedures when using theatre equipment and tools. 
  • Critically Respond: Make decisions about their own performances and production. Discuss one’s own work. 

In the Professional Pathway, students:

  • Create: Create vocal and movement techniques. Research and design lights/sound/set or costume design. 
  • Perform: Portray believable characters. Lead a technical crew. Create a design lights/sound/set and costume design. Demonstrate safety procedures for the use of theatre equipment and tools. 
  • Critically Respond: Use problem solving and communication skills to improve the quality of a theatrical production or personal performance. Discuss one’s own work.