In a typical year, The Close Theatre Company (STA upper school and NCS) performs a classic play in the fall, a musical in the winter and shorter contemporary plays in the spring. All upper school students are welcome to audition for roles in these productions and/or to be involved in the back stage technical production team. Drama faculty directs the main stage for the most part, and Dance Department faculty, Maurice Johnson and JR Russ (STA ’99), choreograph dance sequences in these productions. Members of the STA/NCS student orchestra, along with faculty members Scott Wood and Ben Hutto, often provide instrumental accompaniment to the school musical.
Rehearsals for the fall play and winter musical begin six to eight weeks before the performance, with student actors called to rehearse only as required by their parts. During final production week, all actors, dancers, musicians and tech workers are required to attend rehearsal every night. Parent volunteers feed the cast and crew each night of rehearsal.
Typically, in the spring, the Drama Department has sponsored a festival of one-act plays offering students the opportunity to perform in and direct short contemporary pieces. Leadership roles in technical production (lighting, scenic, sound design, and crew coordination) are also offered to qualified students. The rehearsal period is approximately four weeks, but with only two or three nights per week per one act.