Creative Thinking and Practice

In Action

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Each year Andover hosts six main-stage performances ranging from large- scale musicals to classical ballets to contemporary pieces in theatre and dance.

In Elson Art Center and Benner House, students have access to everything from charcoal to ceramics to digital art.

At Andover, students are able to explore the stage from behind-the-scenes. We offer classes and opportunities in directing, lighting and set design, playwriting, costume design, and more.

With its diverse course offerings, private lessons, and performance opportunities Andover helps students hone their talents and broaden their musical interests.

Performance opportunities abound, including three faculty-directed plays and 30 student-directed one-act plays.

The opportunities for musical expression are endless. Musicians at Andover are encouraged to explore all forms of musical expression.

Dance technique is offered through the athletic program, while choreography and performance opportunities are both curricular and cocurricular.

Visiting musicians like Yo-Yo Ma, the Silk Road Ensemble, Pentatonix, and Wynton Marsalis, frequently engage in master classes with students.

Andover's theatre program has twice won the New England Theatre Conference Moss Hart Memorial Award.

The Visual Arts Department offers a yearlong advanced studio course for uppers and seniors. This includes visits to museums and a student-designed capstone project and exhibition.

Students in Andover's Visual Arts Program find inspiration in infinite and often unlikely places.

Some students arrive at Andover with significant playing and performance experience; others are just beginning their musical journey.

Arts at Andover

Hit Your Mark

The dance department’s dual goal is to offer preprofessional training that prepares students to enter college dance programs or conservatories and to engage students who see dance as a form of recreational and lifelong fitness. Ballet and modern dance, the core of Andover’s program, are the foundations of dance technique. Instructors purposefully expose students to diverse dance forms as well as choreography and composition as they explore dance as a language.

Dance technique is offered through the athletic program, while choreography and performance opportunities are both curricular and cocurricular.

The Academy’s primary performance ensemble, the Andover Dance Group, comprises the most dedicated and experienced dancers, while student-run groups focus on jazz, hip-hop, and tap.

Learn From The Best

Guest artists broaden students’ exposure to the world of dance. Recent visitors include Mark Morris, Donlin Foreman, and Rennie Harris.

Step Up

There are many student-run dance clubs on campus including Hypnotic, Blue Strut, and Footnote.

Pitch Perfect

For all students at Phillips Academy, music will be a part of their studies at some point in their career. The ensemble programs—both instrumental and choral—offer numerous performance opportunities to all students whatever their level of expertise. Some students arrive at Andover with significant playing and performing experience and find themselves among a group of peers with similar musical backgrounds. Equally, other students arrive at Andover ready to discover new musical skills and develop new musical experiences. The depth and breadth of the music program at Andover supports students who share a passion for music at all points of entry into the program.

With 10 resident faculty and over 40 adjunct faculty in Andover's music department, there is exceptionally strong professional support for every kind of musical endeavor ranging from classes in advanced music theory and composition, a capella singing groups, working in the electronic music studio, to taking lessons on one of the multitude of instruments taught on campus. The performance program, enriched by classroom study for all students, offers between 60 and 70 concerts each year; all open to the public.


Graves Hall has three classrooms, a music library, electronic music studio, 19 practice rooms, two rehearsal spaces, and a recital hall.

Take the Stage

Most major performances by students and guest artists—such as Yo-Yo Ma, Silk Road Ensemble & Wynton Marsalis—take place in Cochran Chapel.

Musical Adventures

Each spring, Andover musicians embark on an international music tour. In 2017, they traveled to majestic Iceland!

Curtain Call

The Department of Theatre and Dance offers students diverse opportunities to develop skills in all aspects of performance and production. Although the department houses two distinct disciplines, theatre and dance, they share a mutual goal: to guide students toward an understanding of performance as a form of communication and expression. Each year students perform in six major faculty-directed productions as well as more than 30 student-created dance and theatrical shows. 

Along with excellent costume, paint, and scene shops, Andover’s Tang Theatre and Steinbach Theatre boast the latest in technological support systems. Performance opportunities abound, including three faculty-directed plays and 30 student-directed one-act plays produced by Drama Labs, a vibrant cocurricular program. Students also engage with a variety of guest artists ranging from local specialists to the likes of Peter Sellars ’75, Dana Delany ’74, and Craig Lucas.

Express Yourself

Elective courses include acting, directing, set and light design, public speaking, Shakespeare, playwriting, and play production.

The world's stage

Auditions are held for international touring experiences to venues such as Edinburgh Festival Fringe & Grahamstown National Arts Festival.

Explore Your Medium

The visual arts program emphasizes artistic thinking and the development of creative ideas, capacities to develop for all, not just the “talented” few. Exhibitions by faculty and visiting artists, as well as the resources of the Addison Gallery and the Peabody Museum, provide venues in which students can view original art and artifacts in close proximity to the art studios and classrooms.

Students in Andover’s visual arts program find inspiration in infinite and often unlikely places. Courses include art history, drawing, painting, printmaking, mixed media, sculpture, weaving, architecture, film photography, digital photography, ceramics, and video. The department also offers a yearlong advanced studio course for uppers and seniors, which includes visits to museums and a student-designed capstone project and exhibition.

Creative Opportunities

There are 14 visual arts media offered in the art elective curriculum including, weaving, ceramics, and photography.

Campus Galleries

The Addison Gallery showcases one of the most comprehensive collections of American art in the world.

Get inspired

The Andover community is full of creatives doing exciting work. What will be your muse?

William, Senior

"Music at Andover is a candy store with endless opportunities. I have written compositions, jammed in a band, and played around the world."

Kevin “KO” Olusola ’06

Beatboxer for the Grammy-winning a capella group Pentatonix and an accomplished cellist.

Camilla, Senior

“I took a yearlong studio art course, and that class became a family. It is invigorating to collaborate with an intellectual community.”

Frank Stella ’54

Minimalism pioneer. A major figure in the art world internationally hailed as one of America’s most significant artists.

Christina Landolt ’02

Music Department Chair. "Before coming back to Andover as a teacher, I spent time working in a pit crew for a race car."

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Justice, Upper

“The most influential part of my Andover experience has been my involvement with theatre. My self-confidence has skyrocketed!"

Therese Zemlin

Art Department Chair. "In addition to the time I spend teaching, I find that it is crucial for me to spend time making art."

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Graham Johns ’14

“The dance program doesn’t cater to 1 discipline. My ballet teacher explained movements and made them applicable to other types of dance.”

Olivia Wilde ’02

Best known for her role as Dr. Remy "Thirteen" Hadley on the award winning medical-drama House.

Emily Trespas

"In teaching, I strive to instill my students with curiosity and confidence in their creative promise."

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"This is a place where creativity is valued—in a chemistry class, in an art studio, everywhere. You don't have to be an “artist.” You just have to be open to seeing things in a new way."

Nico Senior, Andover, MA

Every other year, the Andover Department of Theatre and Dance produces a unique version of the Nutcracker. The event is truly a community production and involves faculty and their families, students, and staff.


In theatre and dance: Tang Theatre in George Washington Hall, a 350-seat flexible courtyard theatre with a computerized light board and a digital sound system; the black box Steinbach Theatre; a scenery shop, a costume shop, two makeup and dressing rooms; and two dance studios. 

In visual arts: The Elson Art Center is home to teaching studios, exhibition spaces, and the Polk-Lillard Center for Video and Electronic Imaging, which features dozens of Macs, printers, scanners, and nonlinear professional editing systems. We also offer eight video editing suites and more than 100 digital and video cameras for student use. Benner House features two gas kilns, seven electric kilns, welding machines, and a printing press. 

In music: Graves Hall is home to 19 music practice rooms, an electronic music studio, two large rehearsal spaces, and the Clift Music Library (10,000 recordings, composition software, MIDI keyboards). Cochran Chapel includes a full rehearsal space, a generous performance stage, and a 30-stop, double-manual, tracker-action organ.

Box Office

The Theatre and Dance Box Office is located across the hall from Tang Theatre in George Washington Hall. Get directions to the theatre. 

Phone: 978-749-4433
Hours: 11:30 a.m. - 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday 8 a.m. - 11 a.m., and 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. Thursday 

The Box Office also opens one half hour prior to each show. Tickets go on sale for a performance approximately two weeks before the show is scheduled to run.

The Box Office accepts cash, checks and Blue Card only. No credit cards.

Sell Outs

When a show becomes sold out we will announce it through the Box Office voice mail and events calendar.

When a show is sold out we will start a waiting list one hour prior to the performance. You must come in person to the Box Office and enter your name onto the list. We begin pulling names off the waiting list approximately 10 minutes before a show begins.

All seats are general admission and seating is on a first-come, first-served basis. Doors generally open 15 minutes prior to show.

If anyone in your party has a disability our Box Office staff would be happy to accommodate pre-admission seating. Please see a member of the Box Office staff when you arrive at the theatre.


large performance ensembles including 2 concert bands, 1 jazz band, 4 orchestras and 2 choruses


objects in the Addison Gallery of American Art


private music lesson instructors teaching 350 students just about any instrument


 Student art exhibitions each year


 one-act student-directed Drama Lab productions each year


Drama Labs are weekly student-run productions of short plays. Dance Labs are the same idea, except at slightly longer intervals, and with dance. On Family Weekend students produce an ambitious, multimedia talent show, which is called Grasshopper Night.