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conservatory theatre ensemble


our partnership with cte

Conservatory Theater Ensemble is an award-winning theater education program at Tam that spans a four-year sequence of training in all aspects of theater.


Since 2021, Tam High Foundation has coordinated fundraising efforts on behalf of CTE. Your donation to Tam High Foundation pays for guest artists, sets, costumes, theater upgrades, and operating costs.

This page contains limited information about Tam High's drama program. See CTE's official website for more details and information.

about the program

With roughly 250 students in 10 different drama classes, CTE is Marin County’s most extensive performing arts program for teens. It’s also one of the busiest in the nation, with eight mainstage productions over 45 evenings. 


CTE strives to provide students with a complete education in all aspects of theater. This includes acting, directing, designing, producing, and running productions. We also foster new works by performing student-written plays. 

It takes an ensemble to make plays come alive onstage. CTE is a student-run company that emphasizes teamwork. Students fill the roles of actors, directors, designers, technicians, backstage crew, and playwrights.

CTE could not be the program it is without its guests artists. From carpentry and painting to directing and Shakespeare, these spectacular instructors teach our students not only how to grow as artists, but as people, too.

In the spring, Advanced Drama students have the opportunity to participate in a global studies trip to London. This annual CTE tradition allows students to see multiple plays, engage in acting and design workshops, and enjoy London.

how to support CTE

Our drama students need your support. Here's how you can participate.

Class Curriculum

While students might take a drama class to fulfill graduation requirements, many continue with four full years of education. Classes emphasize collaboration and leadership.

Drama 1-2

Designed for first-year students, this class introduces all forms of theater, including the structure of drama, history, pantomime, voice and diction, scene reading, improvisation, acting techniques, exercises in projection and movement, memorized scenes, and analysis of dramatic literature from the standpoint of production.

Students perform in One Act Festivals twice a year to showcase their work. These plays are directed by Honors Directing students and are a cornerstone of the collaborative aspect of the program.

Drama 5-6

In this advanced course, students learn technical stagecraft techniques and the basics of theater management. They are exposed to all five design disciplines: lights, sounds, set, costumes and props. 

In Stagecraft, students will create a production from conception to performance. Students perform in one of six mainstage shows and fulfill a production position on a second show. This after-school class meets in the evenings. Concurrent enrollment in Drama 5-6 or 7-8 is required.

Drama 3-4

This course stresses voice, stage, movement, dance, technical theater, improvisation, stage terminology, and further preparation for advanced work. Students work with guest artists in specific areas of theater. 

Drama 3-4 students have an opportunity to partake in The Lovejoy Project, a collaboration with Mr. Lovejoy’s special day class. This play is based off of personal experiences and is written, designed, and acted by students during the spring One Act Festival. We encourage you to come and watch this heartwarming piece.

drama 7-8
Honors directing

Students lead projects with peers and younger students, participate in guest artist workshops, and produce two One-Act Festival plays over the year.

Students run rehearsals and public performances, direct peers, analyze scripts, and do a good amount of writing.

This course builds on skills learned in Drama 1-6. Students maintain journal portfolios to track their projects and growth as artists.

Theater Directors

Guest Artists

Not pictured (but highly appreciated):

Hannah Jane Dakin, Jon Demigillo, and Charlotte Wheeler

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