StageCats Update

Things are really ramping up in the StageCats world! With only just over a month to go before opening night, actors are working extra hard to memorize lines, notes and dance moves, and the backstage crew is busy preparing set pieces and designing costumes. We are more excited than ever to present audiences with two very different shows: Elf the Musical Jr. and Almost, Maine. The shows will be running in rep from November 19th – 23rd, beginning with Elf. Tickets for both shows go on sale November 4th and will be available in the CISB lobby, through YooPay or by e-mailing

Another update we are thrilled about is the new display outside (and inside) the CISB Auditorium.  All 13 of CISB StageCats’ past productions – from the early days of Frosty to our latest production of Godspell – are showcased at the entrance and just inside the auditorium. Check it out when you have the opportunity.

If you want to hear more about StageCats, don’t forget to follow us on Instagram and Twitter @cisbstagecats and follow our hashtags #CISBStageCats and #StageCatsRemix.


What’s up in Grade 8 & 9?

Grade 8 students have been continuing to explore the theatrical style of improv through a variety of improv games and performances, and have become very familiar with using the 5-step scene structure to frame their improv scenes. Currently, we are shifting our focus to improv and its connection to everyday life by addressing questions such as: How can we use improv performances to demonstrate real-life situations? How can improv skills help us in our everyday lives? Soon, we will learn how to teach life skills through improv. This exploration is leading to the final summative assessment, which will follow the service learning framework. Using content from Grade 6 interviews, Grade 8 students will create improvised, real-life situations on stage, as well as teach mini lessons related to improv and life skills. More details to come!

In grade 9, students have answered the question “what is a genre?” by learning about the melodrama genre in depth. They’ve covered melodrama elements such as asides, stock characters, 3P plot structure and melodrama gestures. Students are now addressing the question “how do the techniques of a genre transfer through time?” by applying melodrama elements and techniques to a modern movie or TV show and presenting their findings to the class. This presentation is an excellent use of transfer skills. The unit will culminate in a “Modern Melodrama” performance – for this summative assessment, students will write an original melodrama script set in present day and create a live performance or short film.

Another exciting thing happening in both grade 8 and 9 theatre classes is the integration of VR! For more information on our VR lessons, as well as future plans for VR and theatre at CISB, click here: VR and Theatre

VR and Theatre

CISB’s Virtual Reality (VR) lab is an amazing new addition to our school community. There are countless software programs that can be used to create learning experiences at all grade and subject levels. You may be asking yourself: how can VR be incorporated into theatre classes and performances in an authentic way? The answer to that is complex. Theatre is an art form that is rooted in a live, in-the-moment relationship between audience and performer, so it is difficult to imagine where virtual reality has a place. However, many progressive theatre companies have been making use of this tool to enhance and augment the theatre-goers experience. Right now, VR is being used largely in the realm of immersive theatre, a form of theatre that removes the stage and fully immerses audience members in the action of the play. In this style of theatre, audience members can interact with their environment and with the actors themselves. This lends itself very well to virtual reality.

There are also ways VR can be a welcome addition to the theatre classroom, and be used as an educational tool. Grade 8 and 9 students are being introduced to the software Mindshow this week, a program that allows you to pick environments, characters and props and create your own scenes. Grade 8 students will be using this software to complete an improv task, while grade 9 students will be creating short melodrama skits. The scenes they create can then be exported and shared with the class. Grade 9 students will also have the option to complete their summative melodrama task using Mindshow. This is a fantastic addition to the unit, as it allows students to explore theatre in a new context and use a different skill set to express their creativity!

Long term goals for VR and theatre at CISB include integrating VR into an immersive StageCats performance (immersive theatre has been in our sights for a while!), and hopefully designing masks for our Grade 7 interdisciplinary unit Behind the Mask using Tilt Brush. The possibilities are endless. When it comes to uniting VR and theatre at CISB, we are committed to making it a reality!