Shipley’s theater program involves coursework as well as extracurricular rehearsals and performances.

The Lower School and Middle School theater programs focus on improvisation, script writing, and creativity. Opportunities abound for both informal and formal performances.
All Sixth Grade students take a theater course and put on a production that showcases the skills learned. Seventh and Eighth Graders have the option of choosing Theater as their Performing Arts course. In addition, they may audition for the Middle School Musical each spring.
Upper School classes perform theater exercises based on dramatic texts taken primarily from American contemporary theater. The level of sophistication increases by grade level as students learn general theater history and work with plays ranging from Greek tragedy to existential theater.

Theater at Shipley

Performance opportunities in Upper School include:
  • one-act plays
  • an auditioned spring musical
  • informal performances at assemblies
  • Shakespeare or other classical productions
  • Newly renovated Riely Theatre includes state of the art lighting, sound, and scenic materials. Students also have the opportunity to learn technical theater and production skills
  • A new “grey box” (flexible “black box”) space in the Shipley Commons
  • Theater classrooms, dressing rooms, and offices beneath Riely Theatre

List of 9 news stories.

  • PUBLIC/PRIVATE: The Photography of Chris Peters

    PUBLIC/PRIVATE: The Photography of Chris Peters is on display in Shipley's Speer Gallery from March 1 - April 12, 2022.
    Read More
  • Peter Makela '04 Named Fulbright Scholar

    In April 2022, artist Peter Makela ’04 will travel to Nepal as a Fulbright Scholar. He’ll spend 10 months in the Kathmandu Valley pursuing his project, “The Radiant Emptiness of Space: Madhyamaka and Contemplative Perception,” while studying Madhyamaka philosophy at Rangjung Yeshe University, the world’s preeminent English-speaking Buddhist university. Learn more about Makela and his work.
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  • Fostering Creative Problem-Solving in Upper School Art

    “I’m not teaching drawing, painting, or printmaking. I’m teaching creative problem-solving,” says Upper School art teacher Meredith Turner. “My students may never draw, paint, or make a print again, but they’ll have to represent themselves both visually and verbally in the workplace. They’ll have to be willing to take risks, try new things, and make mistakes along the way in order to solve problems.”
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  • Senior Abigail Kanes Named Main Line Student of the Week

    Shipley Senior Abigail Kanes has been named Main Line Student of the Week for the week of January 24.
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  • Emma Lo '21 Recognized as a 2021 National YoungArts Foundation Winner

    Shipley senior Emma Lo has been recognized as a 2021 National YoungArts Foundation Winner in Classical Music (Piano). Through a rigorous audition process, she joins over 600 of the most accomplished young visual, literary, and performing artists from across the country. 
    Read More
  • Alexandra Bell

    West Collection: Recent Acquisitions of Diverse Voices

    West Collection: Recent Acquisitions of Diverse Voices 
    This exhibition focuses on nine visual artists who through their work are commenting on world issues ranging from the climate crisis, immigration and migration, and exposing human rights violations.
    Read More
  • Poster by Libby Ronon '21

    Blending Art and Activism in "Beautiful Trouble"

    The Shipley School Performing Arts Department will present Beautiful Trouble to audiences everywhere on Friday, November 20 at 7:30 pm via the School's YouTube channel. The production replaces the traditional Fall Play and is a performance protest piece comprised of scenes, monologues, poetry, short films, and more. Beautiful Trouble hopes to raise awareness for issues that matter to students.
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  • Upper School Celebrates Closing Awards Ceremony

    On Thursday, May 28 the Upper School virtually held their annual Closing Awards Ceremony. The Closing Awards celebrates student achievement in leadership, academics, and athletics. See the list of award recipients and descriptions of each award.
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  • Emma Strawbridge '21 Named Main Line Student of the Week

    Emma Strawbridge '21 has been named the Main Line Student of the Week for the week of April 26. 
    Read More

Meet the Team

List of 3 members.

  • Photo of Phillip Brown

    Phillip Brown 

    Upper School Theater Director
    Phone/Extension: 4267
  • Photo of Emma Gibson

    Emma Gibson 

    Upper School Theater Teacher
    Phone/Extension: N/A
  • Photo of Arvelle Jones

    Arvelle Jones 

    Middle School Theater Director, Middle School Drama Teacher
    Phone/Extension: 4112
The Shipley School is a private, coeducational day school for pre-kindergarten through 12th grade students, located in Bryn Mawr, PA. Through our commitment to educational excellence, we develop within each student a love of learning and a desire for compassionate participation in the world.