PVPA's arts classes offer students numerous options within the disciplines of dance, theatre, film, vocal and instrumental music, technical theatre, and visual arts. As a result, PVPA's formal and informal performance calendar offers an extensive and diverse array of student performances and presentations in dance, theatre, music, film, visual arts, and costuming.

AUDITION BASED COURSES (7th - 12th grade) exist within our four arts departments and are integrated into the regular school day. Below is a list of audition based courses, and extracurricular audition based programs.


Catalyst Dance Company, Felice Santorelli, Artistic Director, HS yearlong course

WOFA (West African Dance & Drumming), Bisko Kaba, Artistic Director, HS yearlong course

Funkadelic Hip Hop Company, Shakia Johnson, Artistic Director, MS/HS yearlong course

Senior Thesis Dance Show, Felice Santorelli, Director (afterschool and/or during Paideia)

Dance Education Laboratory (DEL), Ann Biddle, Director, Shakia Johnson, Faculty (interview required), Paideia and Spring semester. MS/HS.

AUDITIONS:  Spring for following school year; supplemental auditions in early September. Paideia and Spring semester interviews for DEL during early December.

REHEARSAL REQUIREMENTS: Catalyst, WOFA and Funkadelic rehearse after school on average 4 hours per week. The # of rehearsal weeks varies depending on the timing of the dance shows within the production calendar.  Dancers may also be required to attend lunch rehearsals, occasional weekend rehearsals, and perform in numerous community performances.  PVPA Dance companies take annual field trips to the Regional & National High School Dance Festival (Catalyst) and/or NYC/Boston (Funkadelic/WOFA/DEL). High School members of the dance companies have the opportunity to become member of National Honors Society for Dance Arts (Felice Santorelli, Faculty Advisor).

For more information about the Dance department, please contact Felice Santorelli, Leader of Dance Department, fsantorelli@pvpa.org


Jazz Ensemble, Musical Director, Frank Newton

PVPA Orchestra, Musical Director, Frank Newton

Spectrum- A Cappella Ensemble, Musical Director, Mara Levi

Rock Ensemble, Musical Director, Matthew King

Pop R&B, Musical Director, Rahul Roy

7 / 8 Rock N Soul Review, Musical Director, Rahul Roy

AUDITIONS: Spring for following year plus occasional supplemental auditions when needed.

REHEARSALS:  The PVPA music ensembles do not rehearse after school, though music students may be required to attend regular lunch rehearsals, as well as specific rehearsals set prior to performance date/s. Performances include the Fall School tour and Winter and Spring music department showcases.  In addition, music ensembles participate in numerous outside performances and attend local and regional music festivals and competitions.

For more information about the Music department, please contact Frank Newton, Leader of Music Department, fnewton@pvpa.org



High School Mainstage Production, Director, Jorge Rodriguez, Fall course

PVPA Musical, Director, Mike Arquilla, Fall course and Paideia

Middle School Play, Director, Jorge Rodriguez, Spring course

High School Mainstage Production, Mike Arquilla, Spring course

PVPA Film Festival, Director Melissa McClung, yearlong.  (Selection process)

Headgear, Faculty Advisor varies (after school program)

Mock Trial, Director, Gary Huggett, Paideia and Spring course

Senior Theatre Thesis, after school program (Director varies)

Spotlight High School Theatre Festival, Spring course, Jorge Rodriguez

AUDITIONS:  Auditions for the Fall productions and PVPA Musical occur in the Spring for following school year;  supplemental auditions may occur early September.  Paideia courses, Spring productions and Mock Trial hold auditions in late November and/or early December.

REHEARSALS:  All theatre productions hold after school rehearsals which typically run approximately 4 - 6 hours per week. The # of rehearsal weeks varies according to the timing of the theatre shows within the production calendar. Theatre students may also be required to attend lunch rehearsals or occasional weekend rehearsals. The theatre department organizes many theatre field trips for students and participates in annual theatre festivals and competitions  including the annual Sherwin Collins Play Competition (MA statewide) under the direction of theatre department faculty.

For more information about the Theatre department, please contact Mike Arquilla, Leader of Theatre Department, marquilla@pvpa.org


VATT (Visual Art and Technical Theatre)


Beyond performance opportunities, there are numerous other ways that students can get involved in PVPA productions.There are numerous technical support positions (e.g., light board operator, stage hand, assistant stage manager, wardrobe etc) that students can sign up for.  Tech students receive ample opportunities to support the numerous PVPA performances throughout the year and gain the experience of running all aspects of the technical management of shows.  Under the direction of Technical Director, Matt Cowan, Sound Director, Frank Newton and VATT Director, Martin Bridge, PVPA tech students are trained in lighting design, set design and building, sound management, videography and projection in our new state-of-the art theatre.  Opportunities for Stage Management and Assistant Stage Management as well as Videography and Photography are also important roles for students to take on at PVPA. Advanced level costuming students under the Direction of Leigh Ellen Figueroa-Starr have the opportunity to learn how to costume a wide range of PVPA’s diverse shows. Additionally, students in visual arts classes construct and paint sets, design masks or build props for shows, under the guidance of Carl Bridge. Students from the ASL classes also contribute to PVPA performances in a range of ways under the direction of Ava Franklin.

For more information about the VATT department, please contact Martin Bridge,

VATT Department Leader, mbridge@pvpa.org.



Open Mic (Ongoing)

Friday Open Mic occurs during our extended Friday lunch and rotates between designated 7 / 8 Open Mikes, High School Open Mikes and All School Open Mikes.  Some open mics are mandatory and some are optional.  This is a great opportunity for all students to share their love of the arts in front of their peers and teachers.

December Arts Festival  

Now in its 7th year, the PVPA December Arts Festival is an arts packed day open to all students and families to attend.  Dance, music, theatre and film performances are spread out throughout the school building in a day long celebration of the arts.  Visual arts classes display their work including costuming, mask making, sculpture, painting, drawing and digital design in PVPA gallery spaces.  Student work from academic classes, often focusing on arts integration, is displayed throughout the school.  Non-audition based classes frequently present excerpts from the work they are doing in the classroom.  Typically scheduled on a Saturday from 12pm - 6pm, the December Arts Festival is an event not to be missed!

Unite Fest (February)

New this year and intended as a way to celebrate all of our cultural diversity at PVPA.  The Unite Fest is a day long family friendly event which focuses on bringing awareness to issues of diversity.  Student identity groups such as the Black Student Union, Latino/a/x student union, Asian Student union, Gender & Sexuality Diversity group and Just People/peaceJam collaborate with students, faculty and staff and PVPA families to create a day of cultural celebration and education.  

Informal Class Presentations and Performances

The arts are infused into the school wide curriculum throughout PVPA.  Many academic teachers teach integrated arts units which culminate in informal in-class performances and events.  Some examples are:  erin feldman’s annual Shakespearean play and Spoken Word performance; Gary Huggett’s Dance of the Government's unit, The Biology Department's Dance of the Cells, Matthew King’s Afro-Caribbean dance/music and history unit, French and Spanish theatre projects, to name a few.



Master PVPA Calendar

Please check the PVPA master calendar on the PVPA website for specific dates related to rehearsals, tech and dress rehearsals and performances dates and times. Directors will also email families with specific details regarding rehearsals and performances. Please make sure your email is current or let PVPA know you do not have internet access at home and request a hard copy of information.

Participation in afterschool activities and performances

Please note that students who are absent for more than half of the school day may not participate in any after school activity or performance unless they have received permission from a PVPA administrator.

Tech week and Dress Rehearsal

Tech week and dress rehearsal night are typically scheduled the Monday - Thursday prior to a Friday night performance and typically run from 4pm until 8 - 9pm.  Please make sure you provide adequate food for your child on those nights (see below). Occasionally tech rehearsal will be held on a weekend, but families will be given ample warning ahead of time.

Pick up from Rehearsals and Performances

Please be on time to pick up your child from after school rehearsals and performances.  Ask your Director for a contact list to set up carpool arrangements.  Teachers should not be expected to drive students home.

Food for students during tech week and late rehearsals

Some groups organize volunteers to donate food for tech rehearsal week and performance nights, however, families should not assume that PVPA will provide food for their child.  Please make an effort to send in snacks, water and food for your child IF no food is being provided.  

Volunteering at shows or chaperoning field trips

We are always in need of volunteers to usher shows, help backstage, provide food and snacks and/or chaperone field trips.  All volunteers need to complete a CORI once a year in order to volunteer.  Please contact Marcy Conner in the Business Office, mconner@pvpa.org. 552-1580 x124 to set up a time to get CORI’ed.


For more information about the arts at PVPA, please contact Ann Biddle, Director of Arts Programs at abiddle@pvpa.org, 552-1580 x219.