Dr. Cottingham was appointed Interim Upper School Director in July 2021, and her Pingry experience includes three years as Upper School Academic Dean and a semester as Interim English Department Chair.
The Short Hills Drama program aims to develop creative, collaborative, and critical thinking skills through dramatic exercises designed to help students in all facets of their natural development: emotional, intellectual, physical, vocal, and social. The focus is on process rather than production, problem solving rather than performance. From year to year, students build skills that expand on previous knowledge and connect to other curricular areas including language arts, social studies, and technology.
Kindergarten students work to develop physical creativity and focus. In Grade 1, sound and voice are added to the actor’s toolbox. Grade 2 students devise characters and develop new storytelling skills through puppetry. Grade 3 drama explores perspective and imagery in storytelling. Group performance projects and process dramas challenge Grade 4 students to consider how a character’s world affects his or her perspective, feelings, and actions. By Grade 5, students are ready to examine text and subtext like professional actors and, finally, take on the role of playwrights to capture their dramatic ideas on paper and communicate them to the world.