Creative Exploration

The performing arts are alive and well at Poly! Students are offered a breadth of coursework to expose them to the arts with the intention of nurturing creativity, intellectual curiosity, and aesthetic understanding establishing a firm foundation in skills, content, and experience.

The Performing Arts Department is committed to three core principles:

  • Art, while innate in some, can be learned by all. We therefore balance excellence with exploration, discipline with freedom, and consummate preparation with bold artistic risk.
  • Art, while intrinsically valuable unto itself, educates the whole student. We therefore teach not only drama, music, and dance, but through them integrity, exploration, compassion, acceptance, resilience, confidence, humility, diversity, and love.
  • Art, while the purest form of personal expression, transcends the personal and, through collaboration, connects the artist to the ensemble, the ensemble to the community, and the community to the world. We therefore value process over product and encourage students to “love the art in yourself, not yourself in the art.

Performing Arts Spaces at Poly

K-12 Performing Arts Program

List of 3 items.

  • Lower School

    Performing arts classes are integrated into the Lower School curriculum, as well as offered as electives that meet after-school. Three disciplines are taught: 
    • Dance is introduced in the fourth grade and fifth-graders choreograph a special dance for the End of the Year Sing.
    • Drama begins in the third grade. Group cooperation and social growth are key elements. Each grade level presents a production, either a play or a collection of improvisations.
    • Music classes meet at all grade levels with curriculum that promotes the skills of music reading and theory, listening and music appreciation, singing, and performance. Third-graders are given their initial instrumental experience through group lessons on violin or cello. Then in fourth grade, students can continue with a stringed instrument or pursue vocal music. Fifth graders can elect to become members of the Junior Orchestra and continue their study of strings. 
  • Middle School

    From reading and writing music, choreographing a hip hop dance, to being part of the theatre tech crew, Middle School students of all abilities and experiences can explore opportunities in the Performing Arts! 

    Performing Arts course offerings include:
    • Band
    • Cantatori (vocal music ensemble). 
    • Jazz Improvisation   
    • Movement and Oral Interpretation
    • Musical Theatre
    • Percussion 
    • Technical Theatre
    • Theatre 
  • Upper School

    Upper School students take performing arts courses during any one of the four years to explore and develop their interests and talents. 

    Course offerings (partial list): 
    • Dance: Dance, Intermediate and Advanced Jazz Dance, Tap Dance
    • Music: Jazz Band, Music Theory, Orchestra, Vocal Ensemble
    • Theatre: Acting (1-4), Directing, Technical Theatre (1-4), Spring Musical

    Performance Opportunities
    All-school Instrumental Concert • Cabaret Evening • Dance Concert • Fall play • Jazz Concert • Winter Concert • Music Department assembly • Winter play • Upper School spring musical • Various informal performances both on and off-campus

Recent Upper School Theatre Performances

  • Anything Goes
  • The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time
  • Head Over Heels
  • In the Heights
  • Last Days of Judas Iscariot
  • The Little Mermaid
  • Young Frankenstein

Watch Student Performances on Poly YouTube

Performing Arts Faculty

List of 10 members.

  • Photo of Tiffany LaBarbera-Palmer

    Tiffany LaBarbera-Palmer 

    Chair Performing Arts ; Lower and Middle School Performing Arts
    626-396-6637
  • Photo of Thomas Allard

    Tom Allard 

    Middle and Upper School Performing Arts Teacher
    626-396-6632
  • Photo of Cynthia Crass

    Cynthia Crass 

    Upper School 9/10 Grade Dean; 9th Grade Coordinator
    626-396-6615
  • Photo of Megan Foley

    Megan Foley 

    Middle and Upper School Performing Arts
    626-396-6633
  • Photo of Brady Frome

    Brady Frome 

    Lower and Middle School Theatre
    626-396-6530
  • Photo of Danielle Pigneri

    Danielle Pigneri 

    Performing Arts
    626-396-6634
  • Photo of Cheryl Scheidemantle

    Cheryl Scheidemantle 

    Lower and Middle School Performing Arts
    626-396-6426
  • Photo of Richard Sherrell

    Richard Sherrell 

    Middle and Upper School Performing Arts; Middle School Speech
    626-396-6644
  • Photo of Edward Villaverde

    Andrew Villaverde 

    Upper School Performing Arts; Coach
    626-396-6638
  • Photo of Alan Wellman

    Alan Wellman 

    Performing Arts
    626-396-6640