Student Productions


The CrucibleWhether they go on to become performers themselves or patrons of the arts, Shady Side Academy students gain an appreciation for the beauty, freedom of expression and diversity that the creative and performing arts celebrate.

The Hillman Center serves as the primary performing arts classroom for SSA Senior School students in grades 9-12, and as a performance venue for Middle and Senior School students in grades 6-12. Country Day and Junior School students in grades PK-5 also come to the Hillman to enjoy school-age performances by community groups.


Senior School Fall Play

A timeless Greek tragedy by Sophocles, Oedipus Rex is the story of Oedipus, a man who becomes king of Thebes while unwittingly fulfilling a prophecy that he would kill his father, Laius, and marry his mother, Jocasta. This centuries-old play includes relevant themes including the inability to see the truth, the limits of free will, and the destructive nature of hubris. In this fast-paced production with no intermission, the audience will be brought back to the original Athenian Greek Theater and experience a unique combination of poetic and verse language in this combined translation by W. B. Yeats and Paul Woodruff.


Thursday, Nov. 1 • 6:30 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 2 • 7:30 p.m. SOLD OUT
Saturday, Nov. 3 • 2 p.m. and 7:30 p.m.
Sunday, Nov. 4 • 2 p.m.


Senior School Performances

The following Senior School performances occur annually at the Hillman Center:

  • Autumn Music Concert - October
  • Fall Play - November
  • Winter Musical - February
  • Winter Music Concert - February
  • Original Theatre Works Festival - May
  • Senior Honors Choral & Strings Concert - May
  • Senior Honors Band Concert - May

Middle School Performances

The following Middle School performances occur annually at the Hillman Center:

  • Holiday Music Concert - December
  • Spring Music Concert - April

Notable SSA Alumni in the Performing Arts

Shady Side Academy and its alumni have long been involved in the local, national and international performing arts community. Many SSA alumni have established successful careers as screenwriters, musicians, actors and filmmakers, including:

  • Peter Ackerman '88, Hollywood screenwriter best known for the animated film Ice Age
  • Tunde Adebimpe '93, Grammy-nominated musician, actor, director and artist, best known as lead singer of the band TV on the Radio
  • Jon Beckerman '87, Producer, writer and creator of the television series Ed and The Knights of Prosperity
  • Christian Borle '91, Two-time Tony Award-winning Broadway actor with starring roles in Legally Blonde, Mary Poppins, Peter and the Starcatcher and Something Rotten! as well as the NBC TV drama Smash
  • Gary Chang '71, Hollywood film composer and musician
  • Chris Frantz '70, Drummer for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame band Talking Heads
  • John Harrison '66, Hollywood writer, director, producer and composer; wrote and directed the Emmy Award-winning miniseries Dune
  • Courtney Hershey Bress '92, Grammy-nominated musician and Colorado Symphony Orchestra principal harpist
  • Henry Hillman '37, Arts patron and philanthropist, for whom the Hillman Center is named
  • Carl Kurlander 78, Hollywood screenwriter of the film St. Elmo's Fire and TV show Saved By The Bell; president and CEO of the Steeltown Entertainment Project
  • Richard E. Rauh '58, Actor, arts educator and patron, for whom the Rauh Theater is named
  • Mark Rosenthal '69, Former president and CEO of MTV Networks
  • Owen Young '82, Boston Symphony Orchestra cellist