Yearlong Arts Courses

Acting I

This course is for students who are passionate about acting and wish to expand their knowledge of acting styles, methods and techniques to create engaging and compelling performances. Students will develop their ability to use voice, movement and improvisation through the practice and performance of scenes and monologues, and the development of original work. Students will develop the confidence and the tools to deliver successful auditions and performances as well as have an opportunity to perform in the LFA productions. [One credit.]

Advanced Acting

This course is for students who have already taken Acting I or have previous acting experience. This course is designed to build upon the skills explored in Acting I. Students will deepen their ability to create and portray characters from a variety of periods and styles. The principles of voice, movement, character development, and script analysis will be explored in greater depth. Emphasis in the class will be scene work, technical theater, directing, dramaturgy, and performance of a production. [Prerequisite: Acting I or departmental approval. One credit.]

Advanced Studio

This course 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 student’s 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

This course is intended as a yearlong course which starts with 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. While musical study will focus on Classical and Romantic era music, jazz and popular styles will also be discussed. [Prerequisite: Departmental approval. One credit.]


This course is an in-depth study of theater directing and the collaborative process involved in producing a play, with a specialized focus on script analysis, thematic research, concept development, the principles of directing and collaboration. Students will choose a play and work with students in the Design Track to produce the student-directed One-Act Festival. This course will encourage students to think creatively, develop ingenuity, communicate effectively, and develop the leadership skills necessary to bring their vision to fruition. [Prerequisite: Advanced Acting or departmental approval. One credit.]

Journalism II

This course will give students the opportunity to learn about journalism firsthand by producing a monthly newspaper and a corresponding news website. Every student focuses on producing the print publication for one half of the year and gain skills and experience working on the digital publication for the second half of the year. Students write in a variety of genres, from straight news writing to features and opinion writing. Students will cover beats around the school and will have real input into what goes into print or on to the web each month. Because of the team-and deadline-driven nature of publication, students on the newspaper must be willing to communicate proactively and openly about the status of their ongoing work with their classmates and the teacher and show a real commitment to meeting deadlines consistently. The class will help students develop the following skills: effective and powerful writing for publication, multimedia journalism, time management, making ethical decisions in a real-world setting, working with others to get jobs done, effective reporting, effective interviewing, and giving and receiving feedback. Students will utilize their basic photography, page design, and graphic skills introduced in Journalism I, while enhancing, and building upon, those skills throughout the year. The publication process will afford opportunities to explore some concrete and theoretical topics of journalism, based upon the national trends or stories of the day. [Prerequisite: Journalism I, see English Courses. One credit.]

Advanced Journalism

Advanced Journalism students take leadership roles in either print or digital concentrations as Editor in Chief, Managing Editor, Web Editor, and Social Media Director, to name a few. Students take leadership roles in the management and execution of assignments, both digital and print, but also serve as writers and reporters to present stories in a number of mediums. Leadership, project management and brand development/management are skill sets taught in both courses. Again, students will be required to complete at least seven major projects -- the monthly print publications or web/multimedia content. [Prerequisite: Journalism II. One credit.]

Piano I

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 in their piano efforts. Class activities will range from discussions to group playing to individual learning. Regular assignments and playing assessments will be given, and individual practice outside of class time is stressed to help develop playing ability. This class is intended for pianists at the beginning level. More advanced pianists should speak with the Director of Music about individual lessons. [One credit.]


This course is a yearlong class that is involved with the requirements for the annual yearbook “The Caxy.” The class creates, designs, produces, and distributes the publication. Students have an opportunity to work in art, photography, writing, layout, and design. They also experience the challenges and rewards that come with working on a staff committed to producing a quality yearbook for the entire school community. [One credit.]

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

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