Performing Arts

The performing arts are integral to the lives of students at Princeton Day School.

From the first experience with music class in Pre-Kindergarten through exploration of music, theater and dance in Middle School and advanced performing arts courses in Upper School, our curriculum is designed to broaden and deepen student perception and understanding of themselves and others.

Our classroom environments, as well as time on the McAneny Theater stage, encourage students to discover their own potential as performers.

Music, Dance & Theater

Music

The program combines a rich curriculum with excellent instrumental instruction and many performance opportunities.

Lower School students gain competency in basic skills such as singing, rhythm, movement and dance, dramatic expression and instrument playing. Highlights include the Thanksgiving Sharing Assembly, the Lower School Holiday Concert, the Fourth Grade Operetta, and a vibrant Lower School Strings Program.

Middle School students explore improvisation and composition, musical form and design, and develop sight-reading skills. Choirs, String Ensembles and Band are integral. All students in fifth and sixth grades participate in one of the ensembles. Private individual and group instrumental lessons are also available.

Upper School students can learn and participate in performance-based courses, academic music courses and extra-curricular activities for enrichment. Private music lessons in voice and all instruments are also available through the Adjunct Music Faculty for an additional fee.

Dance

Focused on Upper School students, the Princeton Day School dance program offers classes for students of all levels of ability. Beginning dancers explore a wide variety of dance forms and may enjoy guest artists from various cultures and countries including India, Bali, Haiti, Spain and others. More advanced students explore various ways of organizing dance into meaningful and communicative choreography.

Theater

Princeton Day School's theater program is nationally renowned, and was recently named "Outstanding High School Theater Program" in the Northeast Region by Stage Directions Magazine.

Courses strike the perfect balance between creative freedom and self-discipline, encouraging students to develop the skills and techniques needed for a confident performance as actors or technicians.

Unique opportunities include the Fourth Grade Operetta and Eighth Grade Musical, which include every member of the class. In Upper School, students audition for a fall play and a winter musical. The annual Performing Arts Festival is a three-day marathon of student-produced short works. In addition, Upper School students have the opportunity to travel with the Performing Arts Department to the annual Fringe Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland, to perform an original work.

Facilities include the McAneny Theater, equipped with state-of-the-art digital lighting and sound equipment, a scene shop and a costume room. Visiting professionals frequently lend their expertise.

The theater is augmented by a dance studio, a rehearsal room, and a full range of technical facilities, including digital lighting and sound equipment.

Calendar of Events

US Fall Play
McAneny Theater
LS Players' Circle
LS Music Room
US Fall Play
McAneny Theater
US Fall Play
McAneny Theater
Middle School Play
McAneny Theater

Milestones

Outstanding Achievement in Pushing the Envelope in Academic Theatre, NJ Theatre Awards
2017

Outstanding Acting Ensemble, NJ Theatre Awards
2013, 2015, 2016

Outstanding Musical Production, Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards
2014

Educational Impact Award, Paper Mill Playhouse Rising Star Awards
2014

Outstanding High School Theatre Program, Northeast Region
Stage Directions Magazine
2014

American High School Theatre Festival
Edinburgh Festival Fringe
2011, 2014, 2017