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Drama/Speech & Debate

Drama, Speech, and Debate at Saint Mary's Hall

The ability to connect with others through the spoken word, facial expressions, and body language is developed in drama, speech, and debate.

The end-goal is to gain poise and confidence by participating in top-notch stage productions, speaking opportunities and competitions, and a multitude of performance opportunities at every Form level.

Reaching New Emotional Depths

Lower School students are introduced to the dramatic arts through creative play, story drama, mime, and improvisation. Students put their newfound skills to the test with a culminating drama production in Form 5.

Middle School students become acclimated to acting and characterization, through performances, speech tournaments, and productions. Students spend much of their Middle School career building confidence, collaborating effectively, thinking critically, and finding self-expression.

Upper School students examine multiple genres of literature, engage in critical discourse, and explore new emotional depths in elaborate main stage productions like The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee. Students also put their talent on display in senior-directed shows like The Taming of the Shrew.

Learning Self-Expression

Process-oriented concepts like the study of literature and the elements of composition are introduced in Middle and Upper School speech. Students work to develop …

  • life skills through the medium of performance.
  • a sense of self-awareness and the ability to self-assess and critique work.
  • ownership of their creative choices, emboldening them to try new things both in and outside the classroom.
  • a knowledge of literature, script analysis, character development, and the utilization of imagination to create physical and emotional depth.

Our students also have the opportunity to take their work on the road as a team, traveling to competitive speech and debate tournaments around the country. In fact, the Middle and Upper Schools have been named National Speech Schools of Excellence, and the Upper School was honored as a School of Outstanding Distinction (one of the top ten speech and debate schools in the nation) by the National Speech & Debate Association.

Finding a Voice, Taking a Stand

Students on our nationally ranked Upper School debate team are deeply connected to current social, political, and economic climates. Upper School debate teaches students ...

  • they have a voice worth listening to and a forum to use it.
  • to question everything, deconstruct evidence, and build an argument from the ground up.
  • to develop a solid foundation in research and rhetoric.

More Than Just Theory

At Saint Mary’s Hall, we offer distinctive learning opportunities. By incorporating thought-provoking field trips and inviting impressive guest artists to campus, students learn how being an artist can transcend their lives as students beyond “the Hall.”

Renowned Faculty

Our faculty is able to lead students on an artistic journey because they are artists and professionals themselves, having worked as:

  • Actors
  • Experienced Speech Competitors and Winners
  • Professional Set and Lighting Designers
  • Technical Directors

2016-2017 Key Awards

  • 2016 Speech School of Excellence (NSDA) (Top 20)
  • 2016 Act III Finalist (NIETOC) (Top 4)
  • 2016 Perfect Performance Award (NIETOC)
  • 2016 2nd Place Sweepstakes (ETOC)
  • 2016 Student of the Year (NSDA)
  • 1 National Runner Up - Domestic Extemporaneous Speaking (NSDA)
  • 10 National Tournament Qualifiers
  • 11 National Individual Events Tournament of Champions Qualifiers
  • 5 Extemporaneous Speaking Tournament of Champions Qualifiers
  • 22 Texas Forensic Association State Tournament Qualifiers
  • Top 3 at the Texas Forensic Association State Tournament for the past 3 years.

Major Competitions