Asides + Scenes from a Hat

The Grade 9s are continuing their melodrama unit this week by learning about how to incorporate asides into a script. An aside is a short or long speech delivered by an actor directly to the audience; it is used to reveal the inner thoughts of the character, and other characters onstage are not aware of the contents of the speech. Below are some action shots of the aside writing/ rehearsal process:

The Grade 8s are bringing all of the improv skills they learned throughout the unit together in a performance game called “Scenes from a Hat.” In this game, students are given a general topic and must plan an improv scene in only one minute! It is very challenging, but a great way to show understanding of improv skills and 5-step scene structure.


Waiting in the Wings – A StageCats Collaboration

Have you ever wondered what it’s like backstage before the big show?  The CISB StageCats invite you to join them behind the red curtain for a unique theatre experience:

A mysterious group of backstage spirits haunting the auditorium…

A stressful stage-manager making sure everything’s ready to go…

A dreamy director giving instructions no one understands…

And two actors who just can’t get their perfect KISS…

Will they be able to perfect their love story before the curtain opens?

Join us in the wings of the CISB Auditorium to find out on September 20th, 22nd and 23rd!

CISB StageCats are very proud to present…“Waiting in the Wings” – a collaborative piece created and work-shopped by CISB students! Get your tickets from the Front Desk in the lobby starting Monday, September 4th.

See you backstage!

WITW - Poster 1WITW - Sean Poster A3WITW Poster - Bella A3

MYP Theatre Class Update!

Both grade 8 and 9 classes have been delving into their Theatre units this week!

Grade 8s have been inquiring into how to use improv techniques like accepting, advancing and making offers to tell a creative and interesting story to the audience. They have been taking part in collaborative performances like Sound Effects and Freeze. Check out some action shot below!

Grade 9 students have been exploring melodrama this week. They are currently working on using melodrama gestures like grief, fear and evil sneaking in a planned improv. Their goal is to use these gestures to reveal more about the characters’ personalities and emotions, as well as to enhance the story. Below are some photos of their skits:


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.