Canterbury’s theatre program provides a comprehensive education in the art of performing, the history of the stage, and technical aspects of theatre. Our thespians showcase their abilities at several events throughout the year, which are highly anticipated by students, faculty and members of the Southwest Florida community.

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  • 2 Award-Winning Thespian Troupes

  • 20+ Performances Each Year

  • 3 Performance Locations

Guerrilla Theater

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  • “Guerrilla Theater was a project designed to push us to our creative limits. It was full of passion and fun, but not without times of stress and deep concentration. It forced us to work with people we had never met and brought us together in ways no class

    - Bianca Dunkle '17

Our Curriculum

List of 12 items.

  • Lower School Performing Arts

    All Lower School students learn performance skills as they prepare to sing and play for audiences. Each student becomes a star while performing grade-level performances on stage for parents and for the entire Lower School student body. Students also learn and understand appropriate audience etiquette through real-life experiences.
  • Theatre 6

    A fun introduction to the world of theatre and performing arts for middle school students! During the semester, 6th graders will learn basic acting and performance technique while working in class toward the production of a short play play that will be presented on stage at the end of the term for a public performance. The class will also feature a 15 healthy dose of improv games and scenes as well as other creative projects such as puppetry and film making. 6th Graders will also have the option of joining the International Thespian Society as Junior Thespians and prepare scenes and musical theatre numbers for performance at national competitions.
  • Theatre 7

    Seventh graders will take their performances to a new level, exploring more in depth characters and multimedia performance opportunities while working on their own production for public performance at the end of the semester. The course will expand the students’ understanding of dramatic structure and theatre vocabulary as they collaborate on their performance projects in class. Seventh-grade students will also have the option of joining the International Thespian Society as Junior Thespians and prepare scenes and musical theatre numbers for performance at national competitions.
  • Theatre 8

    The eighth graders will take their performance to the next level as they collaborate in class on the production of a One Act play or musical that will be performed for the public on stage at the end of each semester. The art of theatre will be explored both on camera and on stage throughout the term through improvisation and multimedia projects such as original short films. Eighth-graders will also have the option of joining the International Thespian Society as Junior Thespians and prepare scenes and musical theatre numbers for performance at national competitions.
  • Film Studies (9-12)

    Film Studies is a survey of classic and modern films in the following genres: comedy, drama, action/adventure, Anime, film noir, musical, science fiction/fantasy, horror/suspense, documentary, and expressionism. In addition, the class will compare and contrast cinematic styles of Western versus Eastern culture. The course study will include analysis and historical relevance of films from 1890's to the present. Students will critique the direction and production of films, as well as analyze the application of music and technology in films.
  • Technical Production (9-12)

    Students taking video production will experience both the creative and technical aspects of video production. Students will learn about the latest in social media (rules & safe industry practices), live streaming technology, radio and film industry. Students will learn the basic skills in the areas of camera operations, video editing, audio recording & mixing, screenplay writing, lighting, directing, producing, still & animated computer graphics, on-camera talent skills and production management. Students will create a digital portfolio of their work, build interviewing skills, visit local on-air talent in radio & television, produce short films, and live productions, such as school news and school events. Additional time beyond regular school hours is required for productions and live-streaming events.
  • Acting Theory (9-12)

    Open to all students who have taken Theatre 1 in the fall semester and wish to continue there study of acting and performance. Students will learn a variety of acting methods and their application to performance. Students will also be involved in the production of an end of year one act play.
  • Acting for the Camera (9-12)

    Perfect your look on camera in this fast-paced course that explores the theories and techniques for screen acting. Students will create and analyze a series of screen tests to apply what they have learned and build an electronic portfolio. The course will culminate with the creation and production of a short film. The semester will also feature guest artists that include actors and agents from the entertainment industry who will provide students a firsthand look at both the business and the craft of screen acting.
  • Theatre 1 (9-12)

    This course is the high school introduction to more advanced acting theory and stagecraft/technical theatre. All the acting theories are discussed including Stanislavsky (Method), Meisner (Reality of Doing), and Mamet (Practical Aesthetics) in the context of performing and presenting a final production at the end of each semester. Students will also be introduced to the Whelan "Mosaic Acting System" and develop work (monologues, scenes, musical theatre numbers, and technical projects) for future acting/Thespian competitions.
  • Theatre 2, 3, & 4 Honors (10-12)

    All three advanced theatre classes (Theatre 2, 3, & 4) at Canterbury are experiential performance courses. The classes start with auditions for the upcoming school year's shows. Once cast, students build a portfolio of work as they create characters and bring them to life on stage in a season of shows that will include at least two plays and a musical. Students start with Sanford Meisner's basic definition for acting: "Acting is living truthfully under imaginary circumstances". From there they build characters from the ground up using their own experiences and emotions to create reality on stage in performance. Canterbury's Theatre Department features Dr. William Eyerly, the only certified instructor in the Southeast United States in Jeremy Whelan’s Mosaic Acting System and the Whelan Recording Technique. These methods are also taught and explored in the classes as well as detailed character and beat analysis techniques from various acting theory perspectives. Each theatre class concludes with a capstone performance project. In addition, students routinely have the opportunity to showcase their individual technical and performance work in a variety of Thespian events scheduled throughout the year, as well as, join the Canterbury Thespian Troupe and compete at district and state events.
  • Musical Theatre Movement and Voice (9-12)

    During the first semester, this course will focus on musical theatre choreography and vocal technique, including small and large group musical theatre dance and vocal performance for the district and state Thespian competitions. During the second semester, this course will be an excellent primer for learning the songs and dances for the spring musical.
  • Creative Expression Through Movement & Yoga (7-8)

    This course is designed to safely introduce movement and yoga as means for self-expression, self-care, and self-understanding. Many visual and performing artists rely on inner self-reflection as a means to deeper creative expression. This course is founded on safe and effective body alignment for stretching and exercise. The basic postures, breathing techniques, and relaxation methods of yoga will be demonstrated and practiced. Additionally, at least three dances from different artistic traditions will be introduced and practiced. Dance experience is not a requirement.

Theatre Faculty

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Catherine Truesdale

    Catherine Truesdale 

    LS Music & Performing Arts Teacher
    (239) 333-3281 x221
  • Photo of Aaron Jackson

    Aaron Jackson 

    US Theatre Teacher
  • Michael Lynch 

    MS Theatre Teacher
    (239) 334-1357