Our stage is a platform for creative theatre education
The Theatre Conservatory offers a pre-professional experience in theatre arts. Ensemble members audition at the start of the year for placement and work together to present a full season of plays.
With a focus on classical training, students perform masterpieces of theatre from Ancient Greece, Shakespeare, Molière and Chekhov as well as contemporary classics and musical theatre standards. As an annual showcase of their talents, senior students also create and produce a project and direct their peers in a performance.
Instruction covers the areas of vocal and physical training to improve range and flexibility. Through performance on selected scripts, students will focus on the critical analysis of text and in-depth interpretation of scenes. In-class evaluations and field trips to local theatres will enable students to learn to critique this art form.
This week, we sat down with Denise Leitner for a behind-the-scenes peek at the Spring Dance Concert and an interview as she finishes her final Mayfield production. Read more to learn what you can expect from the show, and hear about how she came to Mayfield, what she has learned from her students, and what she plans to do with her retirement.
Your current and final dance concert for Mayfield is entitled, “The Music Never Stops.” With a name like that, was it meant to be a gentle nod to your retirement? Or do the students help shape the names of the shows?
I'm gonna be honest with you—it's the title of a Grateful Dead song! (Denise laughs) When I knew that this was my last show, I thought I'm gonna pay homage to some music that has inspired me as a dancer, because when you go to those shows and you see those people dance there, it's so free. I could say that this is the name of a song, but also the name inspires me. Even when I leave the school, the music never stops, dance will go on, art will go on. The journey will continue.
Established in 1931, Mayfield Senior School in Pasadena, CA is a Catholic, independent, college preparatory school for young women grades 9-12. Noted for its rigorous academic program, which includes 28 Advanced Placement and Honors courses, Mayfield’s curriculum is underscored by a philosophy of educating the “whole child,” which also encourages commitment to and excellence in the arts, athletics, community service and spiritual growth. The nurturing environment at Mayfield Senior School allows each student to flourish in an atmosphere of personal attention.