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The combined theater department of Visitation and Saint Thomas Academy offers numerous areas of involvement to create theatrical productions throughout the school year. There are three main stage productions a year as well as a comedy improv show and a Middle School production in the winter.
Opportunities include performing, acting, singing, dancing, scenic and technical crews, costuming, script writing, stage management, box office and choreography. Auditions for each production are posted throughout the school and on each school's websites. Production dates are in the school calendar.
Following are some of the opportunities for students:
- Running Crew Runs all technical aspects of a particular production in cooperation with STA. Meets at all tech rehearsals and performances. Must be accepting of others and follow production protocol. Chosen from Scenic and Tech Crews (prioritized by contribution and seniority). Must commit to ALL rehearsals, performances and strikes.
- Scenic Crew and Tech Crew Develops and supplies technical support to theater and various other productions in cooperation with STA. Meeting times are after school and weekends. Must be accepting of others and willing to try new things.
- Theatre Council Provides student input and leadership from all areas of theater (producing, costumes, crew, Improv, etc.) in cooperation with STA. Meets every Wednesday after school and three or four special weekend meetings. Responsibilities include providing leadership throughout the school year and planning events. Chosen through an election process.
The Visitation Choirs offer many performing opportunities throughout the school year, including all-school Masses, formal concerts, holiday caroling in the community and nationwide travel. Our diverse repertoire spans sacred, classical and world music as well as pop, jazz and theater styles.
- Bel Canto is an ensemble open to all students in grades 9-12. There is no audition to join, and no prior singing experience is required. Bel Canto performs with Chamber Choir at most concerts during the year.
- Chamber Choir is an advanced ensemble open to select students in grades 10-12. There is an audition to join, and prior singing experience is required. Chamber Choir is also an honors-level credit course.
- VISTA Choir combines Bel Canto, Chamber Choir and the Saint Thomas Men’s Choir. This ensemble performs at most of the concerts throughout the school year and has toured around the United States.
VISTA is a performing arts collaboration with Saint Thomas Academy. Besides performing locally, VISTA music ensembles have traveled in the United States and Europe.
- Concert/Marching Band, open to any student with prior band experience, presents three formal concerts annually and also performs at military ceremonies and athletic and community events.
- String Orchestra offers string players of varying levels and experiences the opportunity to perform music from many different genres. The Upper School VISTA Orchestra performs in formal concerts, school Masses, the annual gala, and at other community and all-conference opportunities. A well-rounded musical experience is fostered through collaboration with the VISTA orchestra and choral programs.
- Jazz Ensemble plays music from a wide variety of genres and historical periods using saxophones, trumpets, trombones, bass, guitar, piano and drums. VISTA Jazz performs at three formal concerts and other school and community events each year.
Visitation offers a daily after-school program of professional and avocational training in classical ballet. Opportunities for co-curricular classes and classes for credit (Upper School) are available for students 8 year of age or older.
The courses are free to Visitation students; however, a $560 accompanist fee will be assessed for each student participating in one or more of the after-school ballet courses (billed $280 per semester).
Ballet Master Marius Andaházy, who trained under his parents at the Andaházy School of Classical Ballet, continued his studies in Manhattan on scholarships at both the School of American Ballet and the American Ballet Theatre School. He has performed in Europe and Scandinavia professionally with the Royal Swedish Ballet. The Bolshoi and Kirov (presently called the Mariinsky) Ballets of Russia invited him to train daily with them during eight different North American tours. He has trained Visitation students since 1984. Simultaneously he has instructed for 18 years at the University of Wisconsin, River Falls.