About our Program…

The South Lakes Theatre Arts Department has been providing quality theatre productions for over 25 years and we continue to bring new and innovative productions to the community every year.  In addition to providing amazing and professional theatrics, we also provide an extensive and intensive study of theatre for students.  Our program offers a wide variety of educational and recreational activities, theatrical performances, and professional opportunities for students who desire to improve, expand, enhance, and challenge their artistic endeavors through the constant study of new methods, techniques, concepts, and ideas.  Technical Theatre, play production, play and script analysis, and musical theatre are explored in-depth, as well.  Various methods are taught from Stanislavski, Adler, and Meisner, to current adaptations of masters of the theatre.  All the dedication of the community, seasoned faculty, and boosters of the department, and extremely talented thespians result in incredible, magical, and educational theatre entertainment for all!

About our Theatre Arts Director…

Maria L. Harris was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan, where she attended public schools and received a B.S. degree in education from Wayne State University.  Her areas of expertise are education, theatre, television, and film.  She’s hosted three television shows: This Week in Reston,  International Magazine, and Shopper’s Club of Virginia.  She has appeared in films including Broadcast News and Accidental Tourist.  Stage roles include Addapearle in The Wiz, Bloody Mary in South Pacific, Asaka in Once on This Island, and Myrna Thorn in Ruthless! The Musical.  A member of AFTRA and SAG, Ms. Harris is also Executive Director of Rising Star Productions and South Lakes Theatre Camp.  She has directed over 150 plays and musicals.

As Theatre Arts Director and Performing Arts Chair at South Lakes High School, Ms. Harris has coached five Forensics state winners; eight Governor’s School winners; three Virginia State Thespian scholarship winners; a Catherine Filene Shouse winner; a National Talent winner; and six Folger’s Shakespeare Festival winners.  She is founder of STEP in Fairfax County Public Schools and the proud sponsor of the Black History Society STEP Team.  Her Theatre Arts department was selected to represent the state of Virginia and the United States of America in the American High School Theatre Festival in Edinburgh, Scotland in 2000, and in Beijing, China, in 2004.  Other awards include Best of the West Theatre Arts Teacher, Outstanding Theatre Arts Director in Fairfax County, and the Martin Luther King, Jr. Community Service Award.  She has been listed among the Who’s Who Among America’s Teachers for the past ten years.

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