Performing Arts

Brentwood School believes that the creative process is an important aspect of a liberal arts education. Students engage in projects that require rethinking, refining, revising, and rehearsing.

The Performing Arts program at Brentwood School offers a supportive atmosphere that promotes questioning, individuality, and diversity. Students participating in this program are guided by faculty members who are engaged in the creative process themselves, each in their individual art forms.

The Upper School Performing Arts Department provides a wide variety of opportunities for students at every level. All class ensembles perform regularly on and off campus, and there are extra-curricular opportunities that range from the fully produced play and musical to small lunchtime performances, performances at games and assemblies, and special presentations in the Student Life Center.

Upper School Play

The Upper School Play is open to all students in Grades 9-12. The timing of the play and musical alternate each year between the fall and spring so that students who participate in sports have a chance to audition for one or the other in their off season. Recent productions include One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest, All My Sons,To Kill a Mockingbird, The Madwoman of Chaillot, Macbeth and The Misanthrope.

Upper School Musical

The Upper School Musical is open all students in grades 9-12. The timing of the musical alternates each year between the Fall and Spring with the play so that students who participate in sports might have a chance to audition for one or the other in their off season. Recent productions include Into the Woods, Gypsy, The Boyfriend, Little Shop of Horrors, West Side Story, and Guys and Dolls.

Arts Events & Performances

Course Offerings


The Upper School Dance Program offers an exciting and comprehensive curriculum with a variety of opportunities for students – whether beginners or advanced – to choreograph and perform. Daily technique classes range in style from classical ballet to modern jazz. From these classes, exceptional students are encouraged to audition for the Brentwood Dance Company (BDC), our repertory company. The BDC performs two concerts each year and at many events, on and off campus. The first concert focuses on dances of World Cultures and features faculty and guest choreography. The final concert represents a compilation of student choreography, lighting, and sound.


Our various Upper School music ensembles travel to festivals and other events to perform and be evaluated by professional adjudicators. Our Orchestra, Concert Singers, and Women’s Choir combined their musical talents to win awards at the Heritage Music Festivals in years past, including the prestigious “Sweepstakes Trophy” in 2006. The Brentwood School Music Department competed against schools from across the country and was honored for the Best Overall Music Program.


The Upper School Orchestra is open, by audition, to students in grades 9-12. Many opportunities exist for significant individual growth. The Orchestra has two formal concerts per year as well as various recitals and lunchtime performances. Honor Jazz Ensemble and Jazz Band are performing ensembles that focus on music theory, jazz improvisation, repertoire, and jazz history. Students learn improvisational methods and interpretation of chord symbols, and they gain knowledge of important musicians and their work. Students registering for jazz band are proficient in basic musicianship skills (sight-reading, tuning, major and minor scales, and basic technique) and have a strong interest in jazz. Open to Upper School students, the bands perform once each semester at Brentwood School and throughout the year at various venues around Los Angeles, including Typhoon restaurant.


Upper School students have the opportunity to participate in several select ensembles:

The Brentwood Concert Singers consists of both male and female singers who focus primarily on a cappella music from medieval to modern styles. Throughout the year, members of the Concert Singers perform at lunch and at recitals called

The Brentwood Women’s Choir focuses on choral music arranged for female voices. Twice a year, soloists from The Women's Choir sing at salons.

In addition to the performance opportunities listed above, the Brentwood Concert Singers and the Brentwood Women's Choir are featured in two formal concerts per year, as well as at various benefits and school events.

The Brentwood Madrigals is a new singing ensemble comprised of approximately 16 multi-talented Seniors. The students will be introduced to the music business by performing on and off campus in a variety of venues and with many different styles of music. They will be given the opportunity to produce their own compositions and record, individually and as a group. The Madrigals experience is meant to provide a glimpse of what it might be like to pursue a career in the world of music and performing arts.

Technical Theater

The technical aspects of theater are studied and practiced in the Stagecraft and Advanced Production courses. In the beginning course, students learn the principles of stagecraft and then set to work designing, building, painting, hanging lights, and running the productions for that year. Advanced students are selected for major responsibilities in stage management, set and lighting design, and assistant technical direction for various productions.Students interested in costume production and design are given the opportunity to work with the faculty or guest costume designer for each production. Advanced students will be considered to design costumes for productions.


Our Upper School theater program seeks to expose students to the powerful and lively experience of theater, both as participants and as audience members. Year-long acting courses offer the basics of actor training and acting technique, culminating in public performances. History of Theater III/IV are acting classes in American plays. Students perform a drama in the fall and a comedy in the spring. Recent plays includeThe Children's Hour and Baby with the Bathwater.

The Brentwood Theater Company (BTC) is a year-long ensemble honors course open by audition to juniors and seniors who complete at least one full year of acting class. BTC is dedicated to creating ensemble and non-traditional theater. Recent examples include: Brecht on Brecht, Uncommon Women and Others, King Lear, Man of La Mancha, The Laramie Project, Assassins, and The Accident.