Teaching Drama

The Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences

Hat tip to David Warlick for sharing this inspirational story about the Seattle Academy of Arts & Sciences

…the arts and physical education were considered to be equal in all ways to the core academic subjects. All students are required to take art (drama, music, visual arts) and PE every day. I managed to finagle extra time in the arts sections of the building, where I met a drama teacher, who, with a colleague is writing a text book, an art teacher, the film teacher, and I waved to a dance instructor through a huge window.

The Seattle Academy creates what they call a “Culture of Performance”. From their mission statement:

Central to a Seattle Academy education is the culture of performance. Students are asked to demonstrate over and over–often reaching for professional standards–what they are learning. Students discover the thrill of achievement and the lessons of failure, and they come to understand that the greater the risk, the greater the reward.

About the author

Craig Mason


  • Thanks for finding us out there is cyberspace. In fact David Warlick?s words were, no pun intended, music to my ears. I began as Arts Director at Seattle Academy of Arts and Sciences (SAAS) in 1985, and I can guarantee that it has taken 25 years to achieve the success we are currently experiencing. For clarification, Seattle Academy is not a conservatory program like a ?High School for the Arts”, but rather a college preparatory school where Arts are an integral part of the educational process. We were fortunate to be an economically challenged school in the early years. We could not afford sports facilities or expensive facilities. But what we did have was a clear powerful vision, a dynamic faculty and a Peter Brook ?Empty Space”. In the early years we couldn?t cut lumber for sets because it would overpower the vocal class and send sawdust into the visual arts studio. Now we are 600 strong, an even more dynamic faculty, and a beautiful Arts Center, and state of the Arts Dance Studio. But mostly we continue to have a vision where a ?Culture of Performance” provides important and immensely valuable transferable skills to students which allow them to excel both academically and ?in life”. Thanks again for finding us out in the Blogosphere.
    Paul Shapiro
    Arts Director