An Independent K-12 school on a beautiful wooded campus, 3 miles from Washington, D.C.

Theater

From their first days at Potomac, children learn about themselves and the wider world by performing. Having a sympathetic audience, and being part of one for others, is central to our mission that all voices be heard.

Upper School

U pper School students focus more deeply and selectively on their dramatic interests in a fully curricular Theater program, including classes in Theater, Stagecraft, and Director's Workshop. The Theater program has a two-pronged approach: the classroom experience and extracurricular performance.

In the classroom, students take an introductory course that looks at theater as history, literature, sociology, and performance. Skill-based advanced courses give students the opportunity to focus on different elements of theater: acting, directing, stagecraft. Students may create independent study classes, such as African-American theater, musical theater, and Shakespeare in performance. Classes are taught in our state-of-the-art Black Box Theater or in the fully equipped Langstaff Proscenium Theater and Shop.

Extracurricular performances include three full-scale productions each year, including a musical. The shows are chosen to create opportunities for our students and our audiences to experience a wide range of theatrical forms and styles. In any given year, there might be a Shakespeare play, a classic American musical and an experimental, ensemble-based original play. The actors, directors, and designers are encouraged to stretch their abilities, to develop new skills, and to work with creativity and respect. Performances generally take place in the Langstaff or in the Black Box but have also been staged in outdoor locations around campus.


Productions 2016-17

The Secret in the Wings
Fall 2016, Upper School View More
Midsummer
Spring 2017, Upper School View More

Productions 2015-16

1L6B6552.jpg
1L6B1876.jpg

Waiting for Godot
Fall 2015, Upper School

View More

She Loves Me
Winter 2016, Upper School

View More

All in Care of Thee
Spring 2016, Upper School

View More

Productions 2014-15

1L6B6552.jpg
1L6B1876.jpg

Alice In Wonderland
Fall 2014, Upper School

View More

The Mystery of Edwin Drood
Winter 2015, Upper School

View More

Neverwhere
Spring 2015, Upper School

View More

Productions 2013-14

Twelfth Night
Fall 2013, Upper School

View More

Seussical
Winter 2014, Upper School

View More

The Little Prince
Spring 2014, Upper School

View More

Productions 2012-13

IMG_6677-2204142225-O.jpg
first.jpg
1L6B9315-2503619509-O.jpg

Journey to the West
Fall 2012, Upper School

View More

Once Upon a Mattress
Winter 2013, Upper School

View More

Almost, Maine
Spring 2013, Upper School

View More

Productions 2011-12

xxlg-DSC_0750.jpg
xxlg-DSC_0376.jpg
DSC_0046.jpg

RENT
Winter 2012, Upper School

View More

A Scottish Play
Fall 2011, Upper School

View More

Scapino
Spring 2012, Upper School

View More

Productions 2010-11

xxlg-usfall_play2010_12.jpg
xxlg-B75J0595.jpg
xxlg-daf7.jpg

The House of Blue Leaves
Fall 2010, Upper School

View More

Anything Goes
February 2011, Upper School

View More

The Diary of Anne Frank
May 2011, Upper School

View More

Productions 2008-2009

xxlg-120W3672.jpg
xxlg-120W8919.jpg
xxlg-The_Laramie_Project_128.jpg

On the Verge
Spring 2009, Upper School

View More

Once on this Island
Winter 2009, Upper School

View More

The Laramie Project
Fall 2008, Upper School

View More

Intermediate School

I ntermediate School students may perform in the annual winter musical, in which a large ensemble cast prepares for three months to present an abridged version of a popular show such as Fiddler on the Roof or The Pirates of Penzance. The cast then participates in a culminating activity such as entering the Folger Secondary School Shakespeare Festival, writing an original sketch comedy show or performing plays based on their favorite children's books.

Recent Productions

The Wizard of Oz
Winter 2016, Intermediate School
View More

Thoroughly Modern Millie, Jr.
Winter 2015, Intermediate School
View More
Guys and Dolls
Winter 2014, Intermediate School
View More

Greater Tuna
Fall 2013, Intermediate School
View More
Annie
Winter 2013, Intermediate School
View More

Fiddler on the Roof
Winter 2011, Intermediate School
View More
Oklahoma!
Spring 2010, Intermediate School
View More

Guys and Dolls
Spring 2009, Intermediate School
View More

Middle School

In the Middle School, exploration continues through dramatic experiences. Each homeroom class performs a play, sometimes drawn from a published script, but quite often developed in the classroom by students and teacher from literature, folklore or direct experience. Music, movement, costuming, and simple stage settings amplify the transformation of students into their created characterizations.

In seasonal assemblies and in some of their class plays, Middle School students use the Langstaff Theater, a larger setting for a wider audience, which nevertheless feels intimate with its low stage and highly adaptable proscenium.

Lower School

Lower School students are offered a variety of opportunities to present to and perform for their peers. In small classroom plays, students learn to step beyond their own experience as they develop characterizations and bring literature to life. In weekly assemblies, they combine their original characterizations with storytelling, movement, and music to delight and inform their peers. Not surprisingly, they develop tremendous poise and focus over a period of years at the School.

In all of these formative experiences, a performance is not an end product, but a step forward in developing presence and self-possession. Performance is embodied in the active, confident child; self-expressive and attentive to others.

Department Members

Michael Bergman
US Theater Teacher

Blake Green
IS Theater Teacher

Mark McLaughlin
Theater Manager and Technical Director