The Theater Department fosters creativity and confidence by acquainting students with theater history and terminology; teaching and improving performance, analytical, and cooperative skills; and helping students develop empathy.
In the Middle School, all students enroll in theater classes that include improvisation techniques, research, scriptwriting and creation, and text analysis of pre-scripted works. Grade 6 focuses on improvisation skills, Grade 7 focuses on historical traditions of theater, and Grade 8 creates their own play.
In the Upper School, we offer basic and advanced acting classes. In Acting class, students research, explore, and perform both contemporary and classical works as well as improvisation. This course provides students with an opportunity to gain confidence while performing in a supportive atmosphere.
The Acting Ensemble Honors class studies defined acting methods including Stanislavski, Meisner, Rasaboxes and Moment Work. Each student writes and produces their own original one-act play in the annual Acting Ensemble Showcase, which is held at the end of April. They also develop a one-act group play for the Arts Department Mini-Tour which performs at area schools and senior living facilities
MacDuffie Plays & Musicals
The Theater Program produces three productions a year: the Fall Play, the Winter Musical, and the Spring Play. Auditions are open to all students, and rehearsals are scheduled after-school and on weekends. MacDuffie’s theatrical productions, which are often sold-out, provide students with an excellent extracurricular activity that looks attractive on college applications. Students also gain a sense of comradery and build self-confidence while working on these memorable productions.
Online Gallery of Past Productions
Click this link to view our photo galleries that offer a peek into the visual splendor of our theater productions.
Our alumni have gone on to study playwriting, acting, theater arts, design, and operatic vocal performance at Syracuse University, Fordham University, Emerson College, Hofstra University, Pratt Institute, University of Texas-Austin, and Ithaca College, among others.
MacDuffie theater alumni have appeared in movies, television reality shows, USO tours, and Broadway musicals. Others have worked as models, vocal recording artists, and television news reporters.
Becky Beth Benedict
Arts Department Chair; Theater Teacher
BA, University of North Dakota
MA, University of North Dakota
Becky Beth Benedict grew up as a farmer’s daughter but always knew that her tribe was in the theater. She studied theater at the Unversity of North Dakota, where she graduated magna cum laude. Known to her students and colleagues as “Ms.…
Assistant Dean of Boarding; Theater Teacher; Campus Point Person
BA, University of Southern California
Lucy Tew is a drama geek at heart and has been since she was the same age as her youngest students are now. Originally from Los Angeles, she has now lived and worked at MacDuffie for going on four years. In that time she has served as a Residential Assistant, Middle School Theater Teacher, English tutor, creative writing instructor, and the Assistant Dean of Boarding Life, and has been a part of the production team on seven MacDuffie Theater productions (including devising and directing two spring plays).…