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The Performing Arts

The Performing Arts have always been an essential element to every girl's success at Purnell School. From the 9th grade Survey of Performing Arts course to traditional school songs, or maybe directing her first film, each girl finds an opportunity and her own way to shine in the spotlight.

The Performing Arts Department encourages personal and artistic growth from each student by instilling the value of technical development, supportive ensembles, and pedagogical discipline. Through these principles, a student gains confidence in herself, teachers, and peers, which allows each girl to discover her personal voice, take an artistic risk, discuss audience experiences in class, and embrace every performance opportunity offered to her. Whether she is a stage manager behind the scenes or singing a solo with the choir, each girl discovers in her own way that her peers, teachers, and especially herself are necessary participants in her individual growth, relationships, and lifelong goals.

In Purnell's Performing Arts, the classroom becomes an experimental stage for each girl to create a new idea or develop the language to discuss a meaningful performance. With the guidance of master faculty in their own performance fields, courses in music, dance, theater, and film provide an extensive array of historical and cultural projects, unique performance opportunities, as well as stimulating field trips and workshops around the tri-state area. This educational spectrum gives students a foundation, understanding, and connection to the current world and her place in it. In addition, classroom work is enhanced by creative technology, tangible projects, and semester performances, which promotes students of all learning styles to succeed.

For some students, the study of performing arts goes beyond the classroom. Because we recognize and embrace the passion and pursuit of the performing arts, faculty offer instructional activities in the following performance mediums:  Purnell Women's Choir: Shoots & Strawberries, Dance Synthesis, Adlibber's Acting Troupe, and Technical Theater.

The Performing Arts Department is concentrated around The Carney Center for the Performing Arts. The Carney Center consists of a 220-seat professional theater, classroom spaces, a large ensemble rehearsal room, a music library, a costume room, practice rooms, and a professional make-up room. In addition to our performing arts events, The Carney Center serves the community for student body meetings, movie viewings, and visiting performing artists.



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