Theater

Director of Theater Arts Kent Burnham directs Trinity-Pawling students in rehearsal

In the Theater Department at Trinity-Pawling, there’s a place for everyone! Through an array of theater courses and extracurriculars, the Theater Department ignites passion in our students, in all aspects of the theater arts — whether acting, improvisation, directing, playwriting, producing, or lighting and set design. With his innovative and student-centered approach, Director of Theater Arts Kent Burnham creates a 360-degree view of the theater for his students, fostering creativity and self-discovery at every turn. 

On the Stage

Trinity-Pawling students present A Midsummer Night's Dream by William Shakespeare

On the Stage

Trinity-Pawling’s theater program offers a range of courses in the performing arts, from public speaking and playwriting to devised theater, directing, and stage combat. The only prerequisites are open-mindedness and a willingness to try. The program mounts three main-stage theatrical productions each school year, ranging from one-act plays to full-scale musicals. In both coursework and productions, students are able to hone their performing technique as they engage, collaborate, and enhance their imaginations, characterization skills, and empathy. 

Be Inspired by New York City!

The hub of art and culture — New York City — is our neighbor! Throughout the year, students can catch a train from Pawling to NYC to experience some of the most dynamic theater performances in the world, from highly-acclaimed Broadway shows to smaller, edgier productions. The trips increase our students’ exposure to all types of live theater, and perhaps spark an interest that they may not have discovered otherwise.

Behind the Stage

Behind the Stage

In the world of live theater, a crucial part of any performance happens behind the scenes. In our Theater Department, students on the Tech Crew take part in building the set, designing the lighting, planning the sound cues, creating the special effects, and more. With an emphasis on safety and collaboration, they learn fundamental construction and building methods, lighting and sound system engineering, and stage management skills. During our three main-stage productions each year, the tech crew works together to keep each performance running smoothly and safely, from the moment the curtain rises to the very last cue.

Be Inspired by New York City!

The hub of art and culture — New York City — is our neighbor! Throughout the year, students can catch a train from Pawling to NYC to experience some of the most dynamic theater performances in the world, from highly-acclaimed Broadway shows to smaller, edgier productions. The trips increase our students’ exposure to all types of live theater, and perhaps spark an interest that they may not have discovered otherwise.

The Improv Jam

Students participate in The Improv Space at Trinity-Pawling

The Improv Jam

The Improv Jam introduces students and faculty to the world of improvisation, developing the core principles of listening, accepting and celebrating mistakes, working as an ensemble, and trusting one’s ideas. Better yet — it's a fun time to come together as a community and try something new! The Improv Jam allows students to break out of their comfort zones, build confidence, and learn to express creative ideas clearly and joyfully.

Be Inspired by New York City!

The hub of art and culture — New York City — is our neighbor! Throughout the year, students can catch a train from Pawling to NYC to experience some of the most dynamic theater performances in the world, from highly-acclaimed Broadway shows to smaller, edgier productions. The trips increase our students’ exposure to all types of live theater, and perhaps spark an interest that they may not have discovered otherwise.

Theater in NYC

Questions? Reach Out!

If you have any questions about upcoming theater trips to New York City, please reach out to Kent Burnham, Director of Theater Arts: kburnham@trinitypawling.org

Theater Trips to New York City

The hub of art and culture — New York City — is our neighbor! Throughout the year, students can catch a train from Pawling to NYC to experience some of the most dynamic theater performances in the world, from highly-acclaimed Broadway shows to smaller, edgier productions. 

Upcoming trips to NYC include:

Oklahoma!Thursday, October 24th
Pride and Prejudice - December 2019
Sing Street - December 2019
West Side Story - January 2020

Past Theater Trips include:

To Kill a Mockingbird
Merrily We Roll Along
True West
School of Rock
The Play That Goes Wrong
The Taming of the Shrew, 
Shakespeare & Co. 

For me, teaching theater is all about discovering and building a student’s sense of empathy. My goal is for them to understand another person, culture, or way a person behaves. That’s all acting is, really. It’s a sense of understanding and the ability to recognize ourselves in someone else and create something with it. 
Kent Burnham, Director of Theater Arts


Past Productions at Trinity-Pawling

Characters in The Complete Works of William Shakespeare duel in a scene on stage
The Complete Works of William Shakespeare • Spring 2019
The cast of the 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee during their final performance
The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee • Winter 2019
Cast members of Harvey
Harvey • Fall 2018
Cast members of A Midsummer Night's Dream
A Midsummer Night's Dream • Spring 2018
Cast members of Peter and the Starcatcher
Peter and the Starcatcher • Winter 2018
Cast members of Almost, Maine
Almost, Maine • Fall 2017
Members of the cast for Spring 2017 One Acts
One Acts • Spring 2017
Cast members of The Producers
The Producers • Winter 2017
Cast members of Spamalot
Spamalot • Winter 2016
Cast members of One Man, Two Guvnors
One Man, Two Guvnors • Fall 2016
Cast members of Drop Dead
Drop Dead • Fall 2015

I started my acting career at Trinity-Pawling as Juror #4 in Twelve Angry Men during my senior year. That's where I caught the bug that set the course for my life. I felt comfortable on stage and in front of the camera. I learned that if you find something you're good at, latch on to it.

Andrew Massett ’67