Theatre Courses

Theatre I

Credit:  0.5

Prerequisite:  None

Grades offered:  9-12

In this one-semester course, students will explore the creative process of theatre as they draw upon their personal strengths and experiences.  Students will be directly involved in making theatre while working together to solve problems and express ideas.  Students will apply the principles and elements of theatre while creating pieces for performance.  With the confidence and character gained from their experience, students will participate in a public performance open to the school and the larger community.  This course is open to all students and appropriate for students with little or no theatre experience.

Theatre II

Credit:  0.5

Prerequisite:  Theatre I or instructor approval

Grades offered:  9-12

This one-semester course is designed for the student who is interested in further exploration of creating theatre.  Students will continue to develop and refine theatre skills and personal strengths through active experience in the creative process.  Students will vary their roles as they solve problems together to create innovative pieces of theatre.  With the confidence and character gained from their experience, students will participate in a public performance open to the school and the larger community.

Studio Theatre Company

Credit: 0.5

Prerequisite: Theatre I, II, or  participation in extracurricular theatre program

Grades Offered: 9-12

Studio Theatre Company is a course for students with previous theatre experience who are interested in studying advanced concepts in design, acting, and directing. Students in the course will form a theatre company and take on the roles of actors, directors, dramaturgs, designers, and technicians in order to produce short works together. The monologues, scenes, and short plays performed in the class will be selected based on students' interests and relevance to the moment. This is a blended course, students will be able to utilize their experiences in the Green Room and Encore Companies in conjunction with this course. Students may repeat this course for credit.

Theatre Productions


is the theatre arts group of Grayslake Central High School. Encore! is repsonsible for producing a Main Stage Season of a musical, IHSA Competative Drama and Group Interpretation, and student directed One-Acts, as well as a studio season including a staged radio drama, 12 Hour Theater and more. The students of ENCORE! have the opportunity to participate in field trips to see high school, college, and professional theatre. Membership is open to any student who would like to participate in creating a performance. Students take advantage of opportunities to work both on stage and off stage. Students take responsibility for all aspects of each production: building scenery, creating costumes, lighting, designing sound, managing the box office, preparing programs, and publicizing the shows.

Maureen Ritter


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Ms. Maureen Ritter has been teaching at Grayslake Central High School since 2007. She attended Millikin University where she received her Bachelor of Arts in English Education and earned a Master of Teaching & Learning in Educational Technology from the University of St. Francis. Additionally, she has studied theatrical production and design at Southern Oregon University, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, and the University of Wisconsin-Madison. Ms. Ritter has been the director of theatre at GCHS since 2009, directing the fall musical, the IHSA Group Interpretation, and the senior-directed one acts, as well as sponsoring the ENCORE! Theatre Company. She enjoys watching students find a place to belong in ENCORE! while also encouraging them to develop as artists by assisting with All-State auditions, college portfolios, and future artistic goals. 

In addition to her work in the theatre, Ms. Ritter teaches Junior English and is an instructional coach at GCHS. She enjoys hiking, kayaking, traveling, reading, entertaining her dog, and getting all of her life advice from her toddler niece who would like to encourage everyone to "just try your best."

Lauren Tracy

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This year marks Ms. Tracy's fourth year teaching at Grayslake Central High School. She received her Bachelor of Arts and Sciences degree from Illinois State University with a major in Theatre Education and a minor in Theatre Studies. Ms. Tracy has studied theatre for a number of years, and during her time teaching she has assisted GCHS' theatre troupe ENCORE! in various roles throughout the year. She has been the assistant director for GCHS' fall musicals Godspell, The Theory Of Relativity, The Addams Family, and this fall's production of Chicago (Teen edition). In the winter seasons, Ms. Tracy directs ENCORE!'s Contest Play, which is part of the IHSA Competition Team. She has directed These Shining Lives as well as Antigone Now. In the spring, Ms. Tracy co-sponsors the Senior Directed One acts. During the school day, Ms. Tracy teaches Theatre I, Theatre II, Freshman Honors English, and Writer's Workshop.

Sean Evans

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Sean Evans (he/him/his) graduated from Illinois Wesleyan University with a BFA in Theater Arts. He joined the Fine Arts team at District 127 in 2010 after working as a freelance technician and designer at theaters such as The Goodman, Steppenwolf, Timeline Theater, Chicago Shakespeare Theatre, and many more. He also worked as the head Lighting Technician at the American Girl Place theater for several years. When he’s not making things in the theater, he enjoys making things at home with 3D printing, electronics, and found objects as well as over-complicating things like turning on lights in his house. He also enjoys listening to audiobooks and music (and is always looking for recommendations) on his commute from Skokie where he lives with his spouse, child, a lizard, two axolotls, several fish and snails, and an unreasonable number of plants. 

At D127,  Mr. Evans works as the Theater Technician at Central helping students and staff create all of the events in the theater from classes to concerts to meetings to musicals and plays.