The GPFAA Theatre department is committed to providing talented students an educational setting that focuses on developing young actors and technicians into skilled artists of their craft. GPFAA’s mission statement is “Extraordinary by Design” and it is something that we do not take lightly. To us, this statement means that everything we do is intentional and has a specific purpose. We strive to be different, push harder, go farther, and increase the level of training our students receive. We are constantly looking for opportunities for our students which they will not find anywhere else and pushing them grow not only as actors but as working professionals. Even though we are an educational institution that does not limit our expectations on performances and experiences. We produce high quality Theatre that far surpasses most traditional high school Theatre productions. In the 3 short years of our school’s existence, we have surpassed our 10 year goals. We were one of 23 schools in the nation chosen as part of a “rolling world premiere” of Broadway’s Round About Theatre’s Prospect High: Brooklyn, and were selected to debut it at the Watertower Theatre’s Out of the Loop Fringe Festival becoming the first ever high school to be accepted into this professional arts festival. Our Musical Big Fish was nominated for 9 Dallas Summer Musical High School Theatre Awards, winning Best Lighting Design over 72 other top programs in the North Texas Region. We were the most nominated school for Lyric Stages’ Schmidt and Jones Awards with 13 nominations, taking home Best Set Design, Best Costume Design and Best Actor awards. Our actors also compete in various acting/speech competitions throughout the year. In the last three years we have had 24 State qualification, over 35 National Qualifications. Recently we very honored to be selected for the American High School Theatre Festival which performs at the oldest and most prestigious arts festival in the world in Edinburgh Scotland in 2018.
As part of our department, students will get the opportunity to learn from industry professionals who hold professional memberships to the Screen Actors Guild and Actors Equity, college level professors, professional acting coaches, awards winning technicians and guest artist and consultants from across the country. Many students are currently working in professional theaters and on film in Hollywood. Our goal is to challenge every actor and technician to exceed their own personal expectations. We all know theatre is fun, but our passion for this art form drives us for excellence. Long hours, intense coaching sessions, and high expectations are the norm and are what allows our students to meet their personal goals. When paired with the incredibly difficult academic curriculum of our campus it is easy to understand why being a Theatre student at GPFAA isn’t easy. It truly takes a team of people working together to make our department so successful.
That brings me to the Theatre Guild. We, the directors, could not provide such an amazing experience for our students if we had to do it alone. We are continually pushing the limits of what is expected of a high school theatre department. There are many hurdles that hold us back, one of the biggest is the financial burdens of producing professional quality productions on a public school fine arts budget. The Theatre Guild helps raise funds to support our department and give our students ability to have opportunities that they would otherwise loose. On top of the obvious finances to purchase sets, costumes, and other necessities for productions, the Guild was able to provide a state of the art computer and software to learn and implement video/projection mapping which is revolutionizing the Theatre world. This is just one example. Also they have supported students who could not afford to attend camps with national awards winning consultants, and also helped our students attend professional Theatre productions, and field trips. The Guild does not only support our department through monetary means, but also provides volunteers to help run the box office, concessions, build sets, and many other needed tasks that keep the department functioning properly. This allows the directors the ability to better focus on the growth and development of the students. Lastly the guild provides support to the students by creating and managing fun events and gathering. Things can get pretty stressful around the Theatre and sometimes we all need to blow off a little steam as a group to get energized and celebrate the departments successes. Without the dedication and support from the parents in the guild, these things could not happen. Together we have created an incredible environment for our students to learn, grow, and excel in our passion we call Theatre!