Shawnee Mission North Theatre

Thespian Troupe #413


Drama, a full-year class taught by Mr. Bartlett and Ms. Baumgart.  It teaches the basics of dramatic arts and is open to all grades.  Some of the units covered in this full year class are improvisation, plot structure, theatre genres, technical elements of production, duet scenes, monologues, pantomime and playwriting. 

Actor's Studio, a single-semester acting class taught by Ms. Baumgart. This class focuses on acting skills and includes improvisation, theatre games, duet acting, audition techniques.  Drama is a pre-requisite for this course. 

Technical Theatre, a single-semester, hands on stagecraft class taught by Mr. Bartlett.  This class focuses on all the technical elements that happen backstage before and during a production: construction, lighting, sound, costumes, painting and more.  Drama is a pre-requisite for this course. 

Repertory Theatre, a full-year course open to juniors and seniors taught by Mr. Palmer.  Rep. focuses on writing, performance and production.  This class travels to North area elementary schools as part of the theatre outreach program.  Students will produce their own show each year.  Drama, Actor's Studio and Technical Theatre are the pre-requisites for this course. 

Advanced Repertory Theatre (A.R.T), a full-year course taught by Mr. Bartlett.  A.R.T. is open to seniors by audition only.  This select troupe focuses on writing and performing sketch comedy and improvisation.  A.R.T. produces two sketch comedy shows and two improvisation shows and travels to the middle schools as part of the theatre outreach program.  Drama, Actor's Studio, Tech. Theatre are the pre-requisites for this course. 



Approx. Seats 900


Little Theatre

Approx. Seats 150

Black Box

Approx. Seats 75 


Each school year the Shawnee Mission North theatre department is split into three seasons (fall, winter, and spring).  Each season centers around a single play/musical.  That play/musical is referred to as that seasons "mainstage" production.  The mainstage is the largest production of the season.  Often the show chosen is well known.  There is very strong competition for those roles.  Mainstage plays rehearse for seven to nine weeks with a strict rehearsal schedule and require a major commitment from all involved.

Lab Plays

The purpose of lab plays is to provide additional acting opportunities for our large department.  These plays have a minimal technical work.  Lab plays are perfect for students who work or are busy with other activities since the rehearsal process takes only three to four weeks.  Lab plays are often experimental scripts which the director has chosen to exercise different creative strategies used in the play production process.  In he past, North lab plays have been original scripts by area playwrights, small cast musicals, one acts, readers theatre, as well as student written plays.

Original One Acts

Original One Acts will be presented in the Fall, in the Little Theatre. These short plays began as a requirement for all students enrolled in drama classes the previous school year.  All plays were given a staged reading in class. Repertory Theatre classes read and selected the plays for this fall's Original One Acts. Student playwrights will be required to continue rewriting and are encouraged to submit their scripts to playwriting contests around the country.

How to Audition

1. Come to room 164 and pick up an information sheet and audition form.  You can do this before or after school during the week prior to the audition date.

2. Read the information sheet and fill out the audition form carefully.  The sheet gives important information about the play which can help you in your audition.  For even more help, you can check out a script and study it before auditioning.

3. Come to the audition on time!  You will simply be asked to read from the script.  If it is a musical, you will be asked to sing.  Just relax and perform to the best of your ability.

4. Callbacks will be posted the day following auditions.  Those names posted are the people who are being considered for a role by the director.  Those making callbacks are asked to attend a final audition after school that day.

5. Usually on the third day, the final cast is posted.  If you have been cast, follow the directions on the list.  If you were not cast, realize that it isn't the end of the world and consider signing up to work on a tech. crew.

Technical Crews

Technical theatre is a vital part of the theatre process.  Creative technical students bring the plays to life.  These “techies” learn life-long skills in leadership, responsibility, and creative problem solving.


Since there are so many opportunities in a variety of technical areas the majority of students who “do drama” at North are “doing” tech theatre.  Everyone is accepted and no one is cut from crews.


Crewhead, are experienced junior and senior students, who run the crews.  The crewheads teach all crew members technical skills under the guidance of the director, technical director, and area professionals.  If you would like to be a crewhead, and you are a junior or a senior with expertise in the desired crew area, apply to the director or tech director in the weeks prior to auditions.


The time commitment for crews vary widely.  Some crews require a lot of time (i.e. construction, props, etc.) and others require very little (i.e. box office, ushering, etc.).  if you are placed on a running crew (those working backstage on the performance dates), prepare yourself to put in almost as many hours as the actors involved.  Please sign up accordingly.


Remember that technical theatre is an integral part of drama.  Without it, the actors would not be seen, heard, or dressed.  Tech theatre is for everyone.  Sign up.

How to Join a Technical Crew

1. Sign-up sheets are posted in room 164 on the costume closet doors the week before auditions and callbacks.  You may sign up for all the crews that interest you, but three I the recommended maximum.  No experience is needed for any crew, for you will learn while working.


2. If you are unsure about which crews to choose, ask the teachers in the classroom, or experienced students for help describing the duties of the crews.


3. Check the drama hallway the week the shows are cast.  Crew lists will be posted.  Check for dates and times of your first crew meetings.  If anything is unclear, ask a drama teacher.


4. Continue to check the bulletin boards in the little theatre lobby and drama hallway for information regarding your crew.


5. Sometimes crews are slow getting started, be persistent.  Some crews don’t have any work to do for several weeks 9for example: box office, painting, ushering, makeup).

Keep checking the call wall and communicate with the crewheads by leaving notes in the crewheads mailboxes located in room 164.


6. Good luck and have fun becoming a “techie.”

















Strike is the theatre term that basically means taking down the set.  After the final performance of every show, the cast and crew hold “strike.”  All cast, crewheads, and technical crews are involved in cleaning up designated areas.  At North, strike is followed by thank-yous to those involved.  Often, a part of the “thank you process is food provided by T.A.P.s, the parent organization.  Do keep in mind that you only eat if you work!  After the musical, strike is concluded with an off-campus party, sponsored by T.A.P.s.  The after-strike party often includes activities such as skating, laser tag, and other recreational games.  All students involved with the production are expected to support strikes with their attendance and hard work.  Not only does strike get much accomplished, it provides needed closure to the theatre production experience.


Thespian Banquet

Every spring before the end of school Thespians hold a banquet.  After the dinner, the new Thespians are announced and initiated along with next year's officers.  Last year's awards can be found by following the Thespians link (top left).  Invitations will be mailed to the home of all students who acquired any thespian points during the school year. Look for them sometime during the last week of March, RSVP is a must.  It is an extravaganza that is not to be missed.