Performing Arts


The Holy Heart Drama Performing Arts Certificate is a curricular-based program designed for students who love the performing arts. It is also designed to expand the skills and experience of students who intend to pursue the performing arts as a career (see Pre-Pro levels) or for those looking for a rich high school experience (Academic). Students have access to workshops and activities available only at Holy Heart. Students work with theatre professionals including actors, choreographers, directors, make-up artists, costume artists, sound and lighting technicians, and many more! Registration is free. SIGN UP HERE.

Upon graduation, students will receive their certificate recognizing their successful participation in the program. During their graduating year, students in the *Pre-Pro program and LEADERSHIP program (New) become automatically eligible for year-end scholarships exclusive to the program.

To complete the Performing Arts Certificate, students need to fulfill the following criteria at either the Academic or *Pre-Pro level in one of five specializations.

As of January 2020 Pre-Pro students must be enrolled in at least one course (Drama, Dance, Theatre Arts, or Musical Theatre) each year.

1. Technician: Academic
2. Acting Academic/*Pre-Pro
3. Dance: Academic/*Pre-Pro
4. Musical Theatre Academic/ Triple Threat *Pre-Pro. (This level requires an audition).
5. Leadership Advanced Only *NEW* (This level requires application letter). As of January 2020 students in the Leadership Program must also be enrolled in performing arts courses (Drama, Dance, Theatre Arts, Musical Theatre) in the academic year they are in the leadership program.

Students can change their level and specialization at any time. Duration for all levels is typically two to three years. *Criteria subject to change at any time.

Students will:
1. Volunteer. Complete 10 hours of volunteering with an amateur, community, or professional theatre company. *20 or more for Advanced. These can also be used for graduation requirements. We will help you get these hours.

2. Intro level course. Complete at least one 2000 level performing arts related course: Drama and/or Dance. (Dancers can participate in the Dance program only, but must also complete Theatre 3220 with a dance focus.)

3. Senior level course*. Complete Theatre 3220 OR Musical Theatre 3221 (If available). *Both for the Pre-Pro. (If Musical Theatre is not available, advanced students will take Dance or repeat Theatre 3220 in their senior year. Keep in mind, as a semesterized school this is possible).

4. Workshops. Complete at least 3 workshops conducted by visiting artist professionals (ex: accent workshop, method workshop, stage management, contemporary dance, etc). *5 or more for Pre-Pro. All must attend mandatory Casting workshop.

5. Public Performances. Participate in any two extra-curricular (non-credit) public performances on stage or backstage (Christmas show, Cabaret, etc) produced by the program. Behind the scenes on at least one show. *At least one or more per year for Pre-Pro. As of January 2020, in some cases, course-based productions can be used to fulfill this criteria.

6. Live Theatre. Must attend at least one Holy Heart live theatre or dance production and one community, amateur, or professional production performance each year (with the certificate). *Two professional productions are required for Pre-Pro.

7. Regularly attend the Tuesday bi-weekly meetings (frequency subject to change), all rehearsals, and workshops relevant to their stream.

The certificate program is responsible for coordinating workshops, productions, and assisting with volunteer hours. It is up to the student to enroll in courses appropriate to their specialization in consultation with the leadership team, Mr. Rao and/or Mrs. Smith. *Students will also need to complete the NLESD media consent form.


Technician: Academic/Pre-Pro
Students with an interest in stage management, costumes, make-up, lighting, sound, props, set design and construction, would enjoy this route. All students in the certificate must complete the core performance skills. Once complete, students may then focus on skills and theory in their particular discipline. Workshops for students in this area would be broad and may not be specific to their discipline every year. They will not be required to perform on stage as their role is behind the scenes.

Acting: Academic/Pre-Pro
You see actors diving deep into character and wonder how they do it. You see exciting action on stage and in film and join in. You want to learn to change how you look and explore the lives of characters, brandish a sword, or create illusions on stage. All students in this specialization will take Drama and Theatre Arts. Those who take the advanced route, will either take Dance, repeat Theatre Arts, or take Musical Theatre (if offered). Acting workshops focus on proven methods used by experienced actors and directors with a focus on the methods of Uta Hagen and Constantine Stanisvlaski. Play the villain, play the hero, play both all while rescuing the love of your life. Improvise, explore, and play!

Dance: Academic/Pre-Pro
Dance, dance, dance. You love it, so spend all your certificate doing it! You will participate in the aerial arts program and learn to fly. This is not an introduction to dance. You have been moving for more than a few years and want to move, but it’s always after school. Why not take that passion and dance at school. Students in this specialization will take Dance, Drama, and Theatre arts with a focus on the art of Dance. They will explore core elements of theatre, production, and presentation, as they relate to dance. Your universe is dance. It is also a unique opportunity to explore movement with a focus on choreography. Students will focus on a healthy lifestyle for dancers, create original dance pieces with a narrative focus, and develop their own original productions. In addition, students will take workshops in at least two different dance styles by local professionals. Students who specialize in Dance in the Performing Arts Certificate have prior dance training. If you have been studying dance and want to keep moving while at school, this is the program for you.

Musical Theatre Academic/Pre-Profesional only
This level requires an audition. You love playing characters, you love singing. You a have habit of breaking into song when something profound happens in your life – or want to. You might just love Musical Theatre. Students enrolled in this specialization will focus on developing their performance skills as a musical theatre performer. All students in this specialization will take Drama and Theatre Arts or Musical Theatre (if offered). Those who take the advanced route, will either take Dance, repeat Theatre Arts, or take Musical Theatre (if offered). To be clear, this is not a music program, but has workshops and performance opportunities designed for the musical theatre performer. If a student has dance experience or training, they may wish to consider the Triple Threat Program (see below). You will see and participate in live musical theatre.

*We do not offer a voice (singing) only specialization. We have an amazing music program at Holy Heart for students whose focus is Vocal (singing) Performance only please see Mr. Colbourne for more information.

Triple-Threat Program: *Pre-Profesional only. This level requires an audition.

If you sing, act, dance, and love musicals, this is the specialization for you. You will take Dance, Drama, Theatre Arts and/or Musical Theatre (if offered). All of your studies will be based on developing character. Your focus will be text/song interpretation through movement and voice. Uta Hagen will be your guiding light while also exploring the techniques of Meisner and Stansilavski. You will develop your own warm-ups and paths to character for solos, scene studies, and productions of musical theatre. This is for the showstoppers, those who want to defy gravity, and are the singular sensations (and also understood all those references). You need to audition to get in, but once you do, you get one on one opportunities for workshops and performances. This is where you build the foundation for your career on stage. The extra workshops and live performances won’t be enough for you, but we’ll try to satisfy your appetite by also letting you help select the shows we produce, workshops we offer, and professionals you work alongside.

*Leadership: Pre-Profesional only *NEW

Students interested in joining our leadership team must apply in writing. Students of any grade can apply. The roles in leadership are:

1. Assistant director (can still perform, but must be an Assistant Director in at least one show)
2. Social media, communications (1 or 2 students)
3. Assistant Choreographer (1 or 2 students)
4. Vocal Assistant
5. Technical Assistant (1 or 2 students)
6. Program Assistant to Mr. Rao and Mrs. Smith (1 or 2 students)
7. Assistant producer
Leadership meets twice bi-weekly on a Tuesday at lunch to organize, discuss, and plan workshops, productions, and events related to the program with Mr. Rao and Mrs. Smith.  In addition to the criteria listed above for all students, leadership students will also take at least 3 course Drama, Dance, Theatre arts and/or Musical Theatre (if offered) throughout their time in the program. New leadership members are selected every year and returning to leadership is not guaranteed. Depending on their role, students MAY be required to participate in various workshops and productions during and/or after school hours.

Any other questions? Email Rao at