Since 1997 Ben Franklin Academy has offered a unique Theatre-Arts Program that pairs the academic study of dramatic literature with a practical training course in stage production. Motivated students may also continue their professional growth through internships at well-known organizations in the Atlanta area. The program is run like a small ensemble theatre company with a three-show season and operating departments in marketing, design, and theatre management. Students initially choose a track in either tech theatre or acting, but all are working members of the ensemble and everyone learns basic skills in all aspects of theatre production. The Theatre Arts program is an elective credit toward graduation and also provides work study credit.
Our theatre company, known as The Franklin Players, have produced plays as diverse as Ionesco’s Rhinoceros, Molière’s The School for Wives, the Jones and Schmidt musical The Fantastics, and Sarah Ruhl’s Eurydice. Program Director Dr. Pamela Turner provides her own expertise as an academic and as a professional playwright-director, along with the contributions of professional guest artists that have included NYC playwright Andrew Ordover, musician Bryan Mercer, set designer John Thigpen, and writer-actor Scott Turner Schofield. In 2005 and 2008, The Franklin Players placed second in the regional Georgia High School One-Act Play Competition, and in 2006, took a first-place.
Students participating in the Theatre Arts training program may be eligible for a professional growth internship at one of several participating professional theatre companies in the Atlanta metro area. In addition there are several opportunities for students to intern for BFA's own theatre company, The Franklin Player. Click here for a list of student positions in the Franklin Players.
Last year we performed the following plays:
The fall play will be People in the Wind by William Inge. The performance dates are November 15 and 16 at 7 pm at the Ben Franklin Academy Carriage House. We will also perform in the Georgia High School One-Act Play Competition on October 29 at St. Francis School. The winter play will be selected by the ensemble members in November. Winter play performance dates are March 20, 21, 21 at 7 pm at the Ben Franklin Academy Carriage House. Our final production will be an original 10-minute rock opera created by the ensemble (we are working on it throughout the year). The current working title is All These Lives Fit to Ruin and it is about human cloning and the nature of individuality. We will do a demonstration presentation in late April.
For a complete history of play production, click here.