"I regard the theater as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."
- Oscar Wilde -
O’Dowd’s rich theater program gives students the opportunity to express their passions, develop agency, and learn to artistically interrogate local and global issues. Through intimate classes alongside full-scale productions, students learn voice and movement, acting, improvisation, character and scene development, and playwriting.
Our facilities include a modern professional theater, as well as a state-of-the-art black box theater for more exploratory performances. Students are encouraged to direct and produce original work, as well as perform both classical and cutting-edge plays and musicals.
“In theater, we are humanitarians. We make change by telling stories. That’s our charism for social justice. We help people see the world differently, and we motivate them to action.”
- Trina Oliver, Dramatic Arts Teacher
The Tony award-winning musical Chicago is a universal tale of fame, fortune, and all that jazz, with one show stopping song after another. A dark musical comedy which holds the record for the longest running American musical in Broadway history!
We Were There: A Crises Reflected
An original show featuring student-produced monologues, scenes, songs, dance, and film that responds to both living through a global pandemic, and the heightened social, political, and cultural crisis to address institutionalized racism in our country.
As You Like It!
Shaina Tub’s As You Like It! features a contemporary folk/pop score alongside Shakespeare's prose. It’s a dream-like tale of faithful friends, feuding families, and lovers in disguise - set in the forest of Arden, where all are welcome and love has the last word!
Originally conceived by drama students at Carnegie Mellon University, Godspell is a musical retelling of the Gospel of Matthew, set in modern New York City. Told in parables, Godspell has a bouncy, infectious score that spreads Jesus’ message of love and tolerance.
Ashkon Davaran, Theater Head
Originally from Berkeley, Ashkon has a BA in Theater Arts from UC Santa Cruz and an MA in Applied Theater from The City University of New York, where he also worked as a professional actor. He is inspired by the many ways that theater inspires young people to deeply engage in shaping their own stories.