Yearlong, Arts Courses

Acting 1

If you’ve ever wondered what it would feel like to act on stage, or if you’ve acted before and are looking for a structured exploration of the craft, this course an approachable and methodical introduction to live performance. Students will finish the course comfortable and confident on stage, able to create a character, react to dramatic circumstances, use their voice and body effectively, and work on a creative team. This yearlong class focuses on auditions, fundamentals of voice and movement, interpreting the monologue, beginning scene work and analysis, and ensemble movement, acting, and collaboration. [One credit]

Advanced Acting

For students who have complete Acting I or who have substantial previous acting experience, this class is the challenging next step in contemporary performance technique as well as period styles. Students will deepen their ability to create and portray characters and to analyze scripts from an actor’s perspective, to interact with directors and ensemble members in both scripted and devised processes, and to best understand their voice and body as instruments. [Prerequisite: Acting I or departmental approval, One credit]

Advanced Studio Art

This is a rigorous course, which requires the production of an extensive portfolio. Through direct teacher instruction, individual and group critiques, and independent focused studio activity and research, students will acquire the conceptual, technical, and critical abilities to execute their personal ideas and complete a portfolio which demonstrates mastery in concept, composition, and execution. A major gallery exhibition will be presented in late spring featuring work completed during the year. This course is open to juniors and seniors. Open Cressey hours in addition to class periods are required as part of the expectations of this course. [Prerequisite: Two or more consecutive visual arts courses or departmental approval, One credit]

AP Art History

This course offers a broad, global survey of the world’s various artistic traditions from antiquity to present day. The course familiarizes students with some of history’s most important achievements in the visual arts and architecture, as well as with larger patterns of artistic production and consumption that unfolded over time. Students also learn to recognize the ways in which art-making intersects with other cultural formations, such as religion, economies of exchange, and political ideologies among others, and in turn how these contexts can be Used to construct historically-grounded interpretations of art objects. Assessments consist principally of exams and papers that will reinforce students’ capacity for visual analysis and evidence-based observation and interpretation. Students with no studio art experience are welcome to take the course. [Prerequisite: World History II (including concurrent enrollment), One credit]

AP Music Theory

In AP Music Theory students first learn fundamental rudiments of music reading, writing, and listening. Beginning with basic note identifications and music organization, students will progress through learning elements of harmony, rhythm, and musical structure. Second semester course content includes such topics as advanced harmony, analysis, composition, sight-singing, harmonic and melodic dictation, and form. Ear training skills are emphasized through written and aural topics. While musical study will focus on Classical and Romantic era music, jazz and popular styles will also be discussed. [Prerequisite: Departmental approval, One credit.]

Black & White Photography and Digital Media

This course is an introduction to the overarching concepts and ideas of both film and digital photography and will also incorporate aspects of video, film, and animation. You will be introduced to a wide variety of tools and techniques surrounding photography and digital media including 35mm film and cameras, film scanners, mobile devices and apps, digital SLR cameras, film and paper development, and digital darkroom techniques. Ultimately, you will spend much of the time in the “making” phase. The class will focus on experimentation and understanding of basic concepts within these mediums. The goal is to get to a point where you can utilize the concepts and techniques in order to create more thought-provoking art pieces that express an idea and are visually appealing. [One Credit]


Choir offers students an intense and enjoyable vocal performance opportunity, featuring a wide range of repertoire from popular music to substantial choral works. Topics relating to music theory and history are taught in conjunction with ensemble repertoire. The choir performs four major concerts per year for Parents Weekend, Winter Concert, Oratorio Concert and Spring Pops Concert, and also sings for numerous other smaller events such as all school meetings, admissions events and alumni events. Every other year the Choir travels to New York City or other locations to perform and attend concerts, and other off-campus trips are also taken throughout the year. The choir has established an impressive history of hosting Visiting Artist performances and master classes with Broadway composers and performers such as Jason Robert Brown, Zina Goldrich, Marcy Heisler, Liz Callaway, Lucas Steele and Scott Coulter. Previous choral experience is encouraged but not required for participation in Choir. (One credit)


Working with actors, technicians, musicians, and writers to communicate a vision to an audience is complex, challenging, and deeply satisfying. Directing requires a focused and well-rounded interpretive artist and a skilled leader. This course is an in-depth study of theater directing and the collaborative process involved in producing a play. Focuses include script analysis, thematic research, concept development, and actor coaching. Students will be required to think creatively, act industriously, and communicate effectively. Participants will develop essential skills in collaboration and project management. They will work with peer actors, present directed work to the LFA community, and learn to process critical feedback from their collaborators and audience.[Prerequisite: Advanced Acting or departmental approval, One credit.]


Orchestra is offered to students who have an instrumental performance background and a desire to perform great instrumental works together. Orchestra members must have at least a basic level of independent musical ability on their instruments, as well as experience playing in other large ensembles. Students will prepare music for performances while gaining musical skills from scale playing, basic music theory, and rhythm reading. While there is no set requirement for individual practice, students are expected to maintain a satisfactory level of performance on all assigned music. Orchestra performs at various times throughout the year including Parents Weekend, seasonal concerts, Graduation, and Move-Up Day. Other performance opportunities include Alumni Weekend, the LFA Spring Gala, and school assemblies. Additional performances may include, but are not limited to, off-campus concerts, adjudications, and an Orchestra trip on the even numbered years. [One credit]

Piano 1

This course is an introduction to piano playing and music concepts through a group learning format. Students work together to learn beginning musical skills such as note reading and rhythm, and apply them daily in their musical efforts. Class activities include technique skills such as scales and arpeggios, group pieces, and solo repertoire. Regular assignments and playing assessments are given, and individual practice outside of class time is stressed to help develop playing ability. The highlight of each semester is a class piano recital performed for friends and family. This class is intended for pianists at the beginning level, and more advanced pianists should speak with the instructor about individual lessons. [One credit]

Two Dimensional Studio

In this course, we will work from the basis of both imagined and observational two-dimensional art making in order to develop and express our ideas visually. We will work with a variety of drawing, painting and printmaking materials as we explore the development of artistic compositions. The course will focus on experimentation and understanding of basic concepts as we seek to discover, refine, and enhance our individual artistic styles. Moreover, this course is designed to promote experimental thinking and risk-taking within the two-dimensional medium. Art media might include: graphite, colored pencil, charcoal, pastel, watercolor, gouache, acrylic, and oil paint. We will explore various techniques for rendering the illusion of objects in space including the use of simple shapes, ellipses, construction lines, perspective, negative space, and the manipulation of light and shadow. The emphasis is on the acquisition of skills and the recognition and development of personal style. [One Credit]

Two Dimensional Design

The objective of this course is to introduce students to the elements and concepts of two-dimensional design. Familiarity with the terminology, concepts and basic materials utilized in the studio by visual artists will be explored. An understanding of two dimensional design principles underlies all 2-D art from drawing and painting to photography, illustration, printmaking and graphic design. We will exploit the powerful manipulative power of the computer using the Adobe programs to create many of our two dimensional compositions. Several of the projects for this course will be created using a computer as the main tool. Design is the process of selection of all visual elements used by artists to express themselves. Principles taught in this course have direct application to all art media and provide a foundation and direction for learning skills in other courses. [One Credit]

Yearbook: Publications

This course teaches students the skills required to create and produce a book which reflects journalistic standards. Students will also learn to write copy, captions, and headlines; take digital photography; create desktop publishing, and use appropriate technology tools for media production. In order to accomplish these objectives, the course will devote time to the following: desktop publishing with eDesign, incorporate advanced design principles such as grid design, and understand layered coverage while developing student leadership skills and decision-making. [One credit]

Contact Us

1500 West Kennedy Road
Lake Forest, IL 60045
(847) 615-3210

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