Celebrate Arts! Upper School Musical: "The Prom" debuts Friday, March 8, 2024

Drama and Acting

Throughout Nursery to Grade 4, drama is incorporated into a variety of classroom projects that culminate in performances for family and friends.

In the Middle and Upper Schools, dramatic arts courses focus on creativity, collaboration, communication, and risk-taking. Students exhibit their skills in class with exercises such as original non-verbal group scenes. As they advance, exploring improvisation, scene development, and performance, grade- and school-wide level projects and plays provide a stage for our young actors to shine.  

Upper School play Our Town
Upper School drama Laramie Project
Middle School play Midsummer Night's Dream
Upper school play End Days
Upper School play Fools
Middle School play Clue

Musical Theater

Lower School students often get their first taste of musical theater instruction as an after-school activity or in Poly’s summer performing arts camp.

At the Dyker Heights campus, our stage burns bright each winter and spring with two outstanding musical productions. From auditions straight through to opening night, the directors of the Middle and Upper School musicals work with students to perfect just the right piece of business or meaning to a song.

Audience members feel like they’re seeing a Broadway production, as anyone who has seen a Poly musical from A Chorus Line to Into the Woods can attest. Students from recent productions have been invited to compete in the prestigious Roger Rees Excellence in Musical Theater Awards. Other vocalists have participated in the annual New York State School Music Association (NYSSMA) Solo competitions.

Cast of Upper School musical Grease
Cast on stage during Upper School musical Urinetown
Middle School students perform the musical You're A Good Man Charlie Brown

Set Design and Stagecraft

By the time students who have worked backstage at the Richard Perry Theatre graduate from Poly, they have a variety of unexpected skills. These include knowing how to sew a costume for Les Miserables, build a set to be used in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, or how to give cues to actors for a performance of In the Heights.

Working side by side with a professional set designer, students learn how to be creative, resourceful, and to safely use power tools. With a professional theater lighting designer as a mentor, students learn to light a stage for a musical or dance concert. With a professional costumer’s guidance, students learn to source, create, and alter everything from modern clothing to period costumes. At Poly, the backstage student crew runs the show.

Alexandra Nava-Baltimore works backstage doing hair and makeup for performance.
Middle school students excited to go on stage for play Clue
Students learn how to build theatrical sets
Backstage crew for musical Urinetown
Stark theatrical set for the Laramie Project
Students learn about lighting in the theater