Expectations and Coursework

A student's day at RCA

Students attend RCA Monday through Thursday from 1:30-4:45 p.m.
RCA students report to their district high school each morning to attend core classes. They're bused to RCA at 23 Oakview Drive in Trumbull to earn the equivalent of two (2) elective courses per year.

What do we expect our students to know and be able to do as a result of attending RCA?

At RCA, our faculty of experienced performers and technical arts specialists teach specific skills that will help students pursue their passion in the performing arts. Classwork combines academic learning, physical learning and practicum.

Performances

Performances are an important part of the RCA experience. Some performances serve as a showcase for all students in a class, while others are by audition. Auditions are open regardless of experience level and no student is guaranteed a role in any production. We encourage interested students to audition for a performance because the act of auditioning makes a better performer.

Development of Professional Attitudes and Skills

Whether or not our students choose to pursue post-secondary education in the performing arts, we endeavor to teach them important attitudes and skills that will be of value to them in the future. These attitudes and skills include the ability to set a meaningful goal, develop the patience and persistence necessary to pursue that goal, and the willingness to give and accept constructive criticism to improve performance. We give students the opportunity to learn how to accept positive developments or setbacks with grace. We also work with students to develop, confidence, self esteem, creativity, and the ability to interact with others and work as a team.

Creative Video

The overall emphasis is for students to develop the basic skills in story conception writing, storyboarding, directing, scene development, prop and scene set up, filming, sound, effects, transitions, and editing. As a result RCA students will learn how video/film can be used as a creative vehicle to tell their story. Through video/film they will learn how to establish and affect the viewers' emotions. They will also acquire their own unique style of creative expression. These skills include:

  • Storyboarding
  • Story Conception
  • Sound
  • Special Effects (audio/video)
  • Lighting
  • Directing
  • Scene Development
  • Prop and Scene Set Up
  • Camera Operation
  • Camera Filming
  • Editing
  • Post-Production

The nature of video production requires students to work together as a team, so in addition to the technical skills outlined above, students will acquire time management skills, creative expression, and experience managing and working as a team.

Dance

The core of the program is modern dance. While students do study ballet, tap, and other forms, modern dance provides the basis for the techniques students will use in other styles.

A majority of the work students do in class is focused on acquiring skills with some time dedicated to performance preparation which enhances their skill acquisition. As students advance through the program, skill acquisition continues through the lens of preparing for specific productions via the audition process.

The overall goal of this curriculum is for students is to gain the skills necessary within the four-year period to further their dance training in college if they choose to do so. The ultimate focal point of our program is on the process, not the product.

At RCA, students will work on dance technique that will include the following:

  • Emphasis on a whole body, anatomical approach to dance that includes flexibility, strength, coordination and body and spatial awareness to enable unrestricted, dramatic freedom of expression
  • Focus on learned behaviors such as their “line" and shapes, memorization and performance
  • Appropriate posture and alignment including flat backs, laterals, leg swings, coccyx balance, descent and ascent, lunges, développé
  • Basic movements such as plié, relevé, tendu in both turned out and parallel positions
  • Appropriate footwork
  • Combining skills into combinations and larger pieces of choreography
  • The basics techniques of ballet, modern and jazz dance
  • Dance improvisation
  • Choreography

Music

The music program at RCA is focused on allowing students to acquire the skills necessary to be a successful working musician. In addition to the technical skills outlined below, students also learn about the business of music and the importance of presenting themselves as a professional to their audience.

An RCA student is expected to gain the following musical skills:

  • An understanding of music theory including intervals, key signatures, and time signatures
  • A working knowledge of scales, modes, and chords including extensions and alterations
  • The ability to play various styles including rock, swing, blues, bossa, samba, and mambo
  • The ability to read music and realize charts
  • The ability to improvise confidently
  • The basic ability to play piano
  • The experience of performing in various venues

Musical Theater

The overall emphasis in the musical theater program is to help students acquire the basic skills to become a successful musical theater performer, including instruction in acting, singing and dance. An RCA student is expected to gain skills which include the following:

  • Dance terminology and techniques
  • Basic musical theater dance combinations
  • Choreography
  • Music sight reading
  • Song analysis/solo work
  • Vocal technique
  • Audition technique
  • Script analysis
  • Character development
  • Theater history
  • Stage craft

All students will prepare for and perform in scenes as part of their class. As students advance through the program, skill acquisition continues through the lens of preparing for specific productions via the audition process.

Theatre

The overall emphasis of our work in the theatre department is to help students acquire the basic skills necessary to be a successful actor. An RCA student is expected to gain knowledge and skills which include the following:

  • Voice and speech including projection and diction
  • Script analysis
  • Character development
  • Physical acting
  • Solo and collaborative improvisation
  • Theatre history
  • Stage directing
  • Audition techniques

All students will prepare for and perform a variety of materials as part of their classwork, including monologues and scenes. The overall goal of this curriculum is for students to gain the skills necessary within the four-year period to further their acting skills in college if they choose to do so. The ultimate focal point of our program is on the process, not the product.

Cooperative Educational Services
40 Lindeman Drive
Trumbull, CT 06611
203-365-8800

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