Welcome to a brand new school year CISB students! Now is the perfect time to set goals, get involved and commit to being the best student you can be! We are so excited for all the awesome things we have in store for the theatre department this year.

First trimester, all grade 8 students will be taking the theatre portion of MYP Fine Arts. Our first unit, called Yes, And…, focuses on the theatrical style of improvisation. Students learn improv strategies through improv games, exercises and examples. The final assessment, the Improv Olympics, consists of multiple improv performances or “events.” Our second unit, Movement is Magic, centers on physical theatre and involves an exciting Service as Action project in which students must create plays for a grade 6 audience.

Grade 9s will be taking part in a unit called The Original Drama Queens. In this unit, students learn all about how to perform and structure a melodrama. They explore stock characters, plot, melodrama gestures, asides and acting style. This unit culminates in a final performance of short, original melodrama plays.

In Grade 10, Theatre students will build communication and creative thinking skills through two major units of study. First, the class will learn the elements of Laban Movement Analysis (LMA) to explore ways we can create and understand characters through movement. After that, the majority of the semester will be focused on a unit called “Characters in Context” – during which students will inquire into an Italian theatre style called Commedia dell’Arte. Overall, these two units are connected by a major through-line that emphasizes physicality over personality. What this means is that, throughout the semester, students will learn to build characters from the outside first – starting with the body and exploring how one’s physical character influences their personality.

The CISB StageCats are in full swing with the first small-cast show, Waiting in the Wings, beginning rehearsals this Wednesday. This original show is a collaborative piece between StageCats directors and students, and was workshopped last May and June. The production opens on Wednesday, September 20th at 7pm with additional shows on Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd. Stay tuned for details on how to get tickets to this unique theatrical experience. For those interested in becoming a StageCat, check us out at the ASA Fair or come and see Ms. Knowles in E213 at any time for more info.

Important CISB Theatre Info:

  1. Our hashtags on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook
  • #CISBtheatrearts – academic/ class-related
  • #CISBstagecats – after-school Drama, Glee & pocket performances
  • #StageCatsInTheWings – our current production hashtag, which changes with each production
  1. Teachers
  • Ms. Knowles – Grades 6-9 MYP Theatre, StageCats Drama & Glee
  • Mr. Connolly – Grade 10 MYP Theatre, StageCats Drama
  • Mrs. Mackenzie – StageCats Drama & Glee
  • Ms. Dickinson – StageCats Drama

To find out more about the CISB Theatre teachers and their specific roles in theatre at CISB, please check out the teacher page under “About”.

Again, welcome! Here’s to another amazing year of Theatre! 🙂

Waiting in the Wings Cast/ Crew

First meeting for small-cast show Waiting in the Wings


Pocket Performance June 14

This Wednesday, join the CISB StageCats for their final performance of the year! This 30-minute show will include the short play Status Update: A Symphony by Bradley Hayward, as well as a medley of songs from the musical Rent (including Seasons of Love and La Vie Boheme). Another exciting part of the show is that it features choreography by StageCats superstars Bella, Anna, Carolina and Sophie! The performances will be held in the CISB Auditorium at 1 pm and 4 pm. Admission is free. Hope to see you there!

Pocket Performance June 2017 Poster

Grade 9 Melodrama Performances

After 3 weeks of writing and rehearsing, the grade 9 students performed their original melodrama plays for grade 8 classes. Their challenge was to tell a modern-day story using the melodrama style. In addition to this challenge, they were required to use all melodrama techniques/ elements studied in class, such as melodrama gestures, asides, stock characters and melodrama plot structure. Congratulations to all groups on a job well done!

Check out one of the performances from 9McCallum below:

The Mighty Repairman – Part 1

The Mighty Repairman – Part 2



This week in the drama room…

Here is a snapshot of the exciting things that happened in the drama classroom throughout the week!

MYP Classes

Grade 8: The Improv Olympics champions were announced! Congratulations to the winners on their standout performances! It was a close race, with other competitors not far behind. The Grade 8 classes also began their second unit Movement is Magic, which focuses on physical theatre. Check out the improv champs:

Grade 9: Students have just started working on their original melodrama plays to be performed in the coming weeks. They have been challenged to create a piece that tells a modern-day story using melodrama style and technique. Here are some shots of script writing and rehearsal in action:


Pocket Performance Rehearsal: The StageCats are back at it again! Their final pocket performance of the year is set for June 14th at 1:00 and 4:00. This mini show’s program includes a 20-minute medley from the musical Rent and a short scene by Bradley Hayward, Status Update: A Symphony. Some experienced StageCats will be taking on leadership roles directing and choreographing for this performance, so be sure to check it out. Admission is free!

Glee: StageCats Glee is prepping a super fun 90s pop medley for this year’s Summer Concert. Be ready to hear some old favorites like Hit Me Baby (One More Time), Wannabe and U Can’t Touch This! We have some awesome student choreographers and directors for this medley as well.

September Show Workshopping/ Devising: For StageCats’ September 2017 show, we have decided to try something totally new! This original script will be a collaborative piece between teachers and students created from group discussions, improvisations and workshops.



It is only 15 days until the opening of CISB StageCats’ production of We Will Rock You! Students have been working tirelessly over the past few months to bring this exciting show to life. With 26 show-stopping musical numbers such as We are the Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody,  and Another One Bites the Dust, this show is sure to wow audiences if all ages!

We Will Rock You is certainly the most challenging show the StageCats have ever taken on, but the 50 students involved are ready to rise to the challenge on April 21st at 7pm and April 22nd at 2pm and 7pm. If you love Queen, love seeing epic soloists belt it out onstage, love clapping along to high-energy choral and dance numbers, or just want to see what fun surprises we have up our sleeves, then this show is for you! Tickets are 30 RMB for students and 50 RMB for adults and can be purchased in the CISB lobby. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail angela.knowles@cisbeijing.com or patrick.connolly@cisbeijing.com. The StageCats are ready to rock! Hope to see you in the audience. 🙂

Check out our hashtag: #StageCatsWillRockYou

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Trimester 3 :)

It’s officially the third trimester of the 16-17 school year at CISB! That means 5 new classes are starting Theatre Arts. This week, we’ve been warming up to theatre class by playing lots of high-energy drama games. This is a great way to begin, as it helps build confidence and allows students to feel comfortable and safe in the classroom/ performance space. Next week we will begin our first units The Original Drama Queens (melodrama) and Yes, And… (improvisation). So far students are showing lots of enthusiasm and positivity in class. It will be exciting to see what they bring to the stage in our MYP units!

StageCats Field Trip

The StageCats took a break from rehearsing for their upcoming show We Will Rock You to attend Dulwich College’s production The Red Shoes yesterday eveningThis one-act show, based on a poem by Anna Maria Murphy, dealt with very dark themes and required the actors to work together as an ensemble to create the world and ideas expressed by the author. One of the StageCats’ favorite aspects of the show was the live 5-piece band made up entirely of students! All in all, the night was a fantastic opportunity for students to see a different style of production and to recognize the hard work of other young actors in Beijing. We look forward to welcoming Dulwich College students here on Friday, April 21st for the We Will Rock You dress rehearsal. 🙂