Theater Courses and Groups

Villa Maria offers a variety of opportunities to work both on and off campus, including both a scheduled class and extra-curricular activities.

Courses

Theatrical Production and Design

The Theatrical Production and Design Course allows the young artists of Villa Maria to bring to life a full-scale theatrical production every fall semester.

Past Productions

2016-2017 : A Piece of My Heart by Shirley Lauro

Current Production

Who Will Carry the Word?  by Charlotte Delbo

Extra-Curricular Opportunities

On Campus

Marian Masques

Marian Masques offers opportunities for students to showcase their theatrical talents by performing in dramatic productions throughout the year. The fall semester includes a short Christmas play where students can earn community service hours, and the spring semester includes a one-act play or series of small scenes centered on a particular theme. Marian Masques’ exciting new venture is writing and producing original shows that are uniquely Villa in theme and talent. Students may participate as actors, singers, dancers, stage managers, prop masters, light/sound technicians, set/costume/program designers, script writers, and more. Meetings and rehearsals are held on an as-needed basis, with the majority of rehearsals held in the spring leading up to the final production.

Light and Sound Crew

Members of the Light and Sound Crew are responsible for helping with light and sound in the auditorium for all liturgies, assemblies, and special events. Students learn how to focus lights and design light plots, as well as how to set up a variety of sound equipment. In addition, students have the opportunity to operate VMA’s state­-of-the-art lighting and sound boards. Meetings and rehearsals are held on an as-needed basis.

Faculty

Susan Anders Brizick

Susan Anders Brizick has a passion for helping others to sing at their best potential and has been teaching voice lessons at Villa Maria Academy since 2007. Susan teaches in her Independent Voice Studio in West Chester, PA and is Director of the Children’s and Youth choirs at Calvary Lutheran Church. Susan also runs a Summer Musical Theater Series and coaches Musical Theater Audition Workshops and Glee Workshops throughout the year. As a Board Member of the Greater Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Teachers of Singers (NATS), she is an active member of both the local and international organization. As a member of the Voice Foundation and the Classical Singer Community, she actively enjoys continuing her education as a teacher. Susan has completed her first level of certification in teaching Contemporary Commercial Music. Susan Anders Brizick holds a M.M. in Voice Performance and Voice Pedagogy from Westminster Choir College, Music Education Certification from West Chester University and B.A. in Voice Performance and Psychology from the University of Richmond. She also actively writes about all things related to singing on her blog www.healthyandconfidentsingingvoice.blogspot.com and her website www.susanandersbrizick.com.
Susan’s students have won a variety of local voice competitions, placed first in All Catholic Choir, District Choir, and held multiple leads in area high school, middle school, and local musical theater productions. Susan is excited to be working with Villa Maria Students and their singing both in lessons and in Marian Masques on Musical Theater ventures.

Elizabeth Sandberg

Moderator, Marian Masques and Light/Sound Crew

Theater has always been a passion of mine since I saw Les Misérables for the first time at six years old. I grew up in a family full of actors and musicians, so I have always felt an affinity for the performing arts. When I was a student at Villa Maria Academy, I was a member of Marian Masques and participated in the Malvern Theater Society. As a student at Ursinus College, I took acting and playwriting classes and participated in the theater program. Currently, I love performing with my husband at local open mic nights and singing around the piano at family gatherings. Being the moderator of Marian Masques and Light/Sound Crew affords me the enriching experience of working with students to create productions that are unique, relevant, and inspiring.

Off Campus

Working with Malvern Prep and Devon Prep, Villa Maria girls have the chance to develop their theatrical skills, and enjoy the chance to meet and collaborate with young men from other Devon Prep and Malvern Prep.

The Malvern Theatre Society

The goal of The Malvern Theatre Society, a collaboration between Villa Maria Academy and Malvern Preparatory School, is to improve the acting and technical abilities of each student. Each year the society produces a full-length drama in the Fall and a complete musical in the Spring. VMA students are involved in all aspects of the productions, which are presented on the first two weekends of November and March.

Devon Prep Theater Program

Devon Preparatory School invites Villa Maria Academy students to participate in the Devon Prep Theater Program, which presents a fall drama and spring musical. Auditions are held at Devon Prep about three months prior to the opening of the show. Students interested in acting, singing, or dancing or stage crew in serious drama or musical comedy may use this as an avenue for their talent. The musical production usually allows for a large chorus so that many students have the chance to participate even if they do not have a large role in the production.