The Hill School theatre program offers classroom instruction coupled with co-curricular opportunities in play production to provide a well-rounded theatre experience.
Classes develop skills in acting, oral communications, and public speaking. Students enter the class with diverse levels of experience; therefore, grading must be highly individualized with each student being assessed on his or her individual development in the class.
Productions are open to all Hill School students. Auditions are held at the beginning of each term during the same time as athletics team tryouts. All students are welcome to audition; however, not all students who audition will get cast. Students who have an interest in theatre, but do not wish to perform on stage, may sign up for technical theatre where they will work behind-the-scenes on lighting, set construction, rigging, sound design, costumes, makeup, and special effects. Rehearsals for all productions take place during the afternoon period but may extend to weekends and later evening hours as the production progresses. This is a great opportunity for all students to express their artistic side and try something new!
We perform three shows each school year:
- A fall musical in our new Black Box Theatre Space
- A winter musical on the main stage
- A spring play, done on either the main stage or the Black Box, depending on the play
Productions in the 2020-2021 school year included Showday, An original musical television series (fall), Student Short Play Festival (winter), and an outdoor immersive production of Into The Woods (spring).
In addition to the theatre productions, students may take theatre-specific courses:
- Musical Theatre Course (a full-credited, graded course). This course gives the students an opportunity to write, develop, and present their own full original musical.
- Acting for TV and Film: Students write, create, and film their own TV series
- Theatre Workshop (term course)
- Speech (term course)
Chris McGriff arrived at The Hill in 2018 as the School’s new Director of the Center For The Arts. Prior to coming to The Hill, Chris had been a director been a director, assistant director, or production assistant for more than a dozen acclaimed regional theaters, as well as several Broadway and off-Broadway houses. Chris was the creative show director for Dk Production Design since 2009 and the CEO of CMM Productions since 2008. Dk Production Design works with contemporary musical performance artists to develop concepts for sets, lights, costumes, and thematic plots for concert venues across the world, including Radio City Music Hall. CMM Productions provides artist development services such as private acting coaching. Chris has been a teacher and acting coach at several reputable community theaters, a school for special needs children, and a nationwide talent development company in Atlanta. He has directed fine arts ministries and productions for a number of faith-based organizations, and directed educational, touring performances highlighting African American history for the Smithsonian Institute’s Discovery Theater. Chris holds a B.F.A. in theater arts directing from Howard University.