Visual and Performing Arts

On the stage, behind the easel, Thacher students develop the confidence and courage to take chances and find their voices.

They confront mediums and techniques they haven’t already mastered. They receive encouragement and support as they build on existing talents. And they’re welcomed with enthusiasm into all sorts of visual and performing arts programs and activities on campus, no matter their experience level.

Visual Arts

Beyond our academic offerings, curious and passionate students enjoy plentiful access to facilities and materials that support interests in ceramics, film and digital photography, wood design and fabrication, studio arts, sewing projects, and graphic design. Student artists regularly share their work with the community during group or solo exhibits on campus or in the local area. Visiting artists introduce students to new techniques and ideas through weekend workshops and seminars; off-campus visits to studios, galleries, and museums in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles offer new sources of inspiration. And students looking to commit more deeply to a particular talent can develop an Independent Project as part of our Afternoon Program.


The Thacher Masquers take to the stage for two major theatrical productions annually: a fall drama and a winter musical. In the spring, students collaborate to create an ensemble production entirely of their own creation, known as “Spring Sing.” Actors, dancers, sound and lighting technicians, and costume and set designers work hard throughout each term to put together a memorable show and finally enjoy the support of a packed house when the curtain rises on the final production. Students at many experience levels are encouraged to join, offering everyone a chance to grow, push boundaries, and discover their own creative voice.


Thacher’s coed dance program combines ballet, modern, and jazz techniques as it encourages dancers to learn to use their bodies and physical strength as a means for artistic expression. In the fall as part of the Afternoon Program, dance offers students—many of them beginners—the chance to explore this art form without the pressure of performance. Students learn or improve basic techniques and grow to understand dance elements, as well as learn combinations of steps in all three genres. The audition-only student repertory group, Dance Ensemble, is an extracurricular offering during the fall and winter, then part of the Afternoon Program in the spring. Dance Ensemble performs on campus at major community events throughout the year and off campus at special events such as the Pasadena Dance Festival. Students in Thacher’s dance program leave the School prepared to take part in any college dance department.


Turn around at Thacher and you’re likely to catch a classmate in a musical performance. Vocalists and musicians can join the Thacher Chamber Singers, String Ensemble, Jazz Combo, and Jazz Ensemble, instrumental and choral groups that regularly perform at assemblies, formal concerts, and off-campus events and festivals both nationally and internationally. Weekend coffee houses give students a chance to perform what they’ve been hard at work on during their downtime, from covers to original compositions. And one-on-one instrumental instruction is also available for students looking to further hone their craft.

[To check out our academic offerings in the arts, click here.]


I have been most surprised by my ability to sustain an incredibly diverse set of activities at a deep level across the board. I’m still blown away by how easy Thacher makes it. Between school, music, horseback riding, and other sports, I’m able to pursue anything I want with vigor. Sure, free time is scarce, but there always seems to be just enough for one more thing.”

Estes Park, Colorado

Arts Facilities

Notice of nondiscriminatory policy as to students: The Thacher School admits students of any race, color, national, and ethnic origin to all the rights, privileges, programs, and activities generally accorded or made available to students at the School. It does not discriminate on the basis of race, color, national, and ethnic origin in administration of its educational policies, admission policies, scholarship and loan programs, and athletic and other School-administered programs.