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John Howley performing on stage

“I was totally hooked from the second I visited.”

John Howley

John Howley loves the performing arts, so he knew participating in these activities would be a big part of his Loomis experience. He sang in the choir and audition-based Chamber Singers and A Cappelicans, and performed in Loomis’ Norris Ely Orchard Theater (NEO), with roles that included the title role in Macbeth, Lord Farquaad in Shrek the Musical, and Grandma in the musical The Addams Family.

When asked how he grew as a performer at Loomis, John points to the improvement in his skills and the training he received from the arts faculty. “It almost feels like you are in drama school,” shares John, reflecting on his work with theater director David McCamish. John is also quick to credit his peers. “I learned a lot by just standing next to that person in choir class or having a scene with that partner. I was constantly challenged by the people around me to meet their level, and that just kept me thriving.”  

As John sees it, the Performing Arts Department is a “melting pot” of incredibly talented, multifaceted, and accepting kids. John’s own myriad interests extended beyond the arts to journalism as a writer for the school newspaper, The Log, and as a member of the Shultz Fellowship, a political discussion group named after former U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz ’38. 

Actor, singer, writer, environmental proctor, engaged citizen ― John’s journey at Loomis allowed him to explore myriad interests.

The Addams Family Musical cast on stage

Addams Family Delights NEO Audiences

Gomez, Morticia, and their whole loveable, ghoulish clan wrestled — and sang and danced — with the challenges of change in The Addams Family, a student musical production in the Norris Ely Orchard Theater.

Read Story

Student performing on stage during Cabaret

Theater at Loomis

Not every future actor, playwright, director, stage manager, or theater technician arrives at Loomis Chaffee knowing that they want to be involved in theater, but we have a place for everyone whose interests and curiosity steer them to the John D. and Alexandra C. Nichols Center for Theater and Dance.

Explore our Theater Program


Performing Arts Facilities

At the southern end of campus, situated around Ratté Quadrangle, you will find the Hubbard Music Center and newly opened Nichols Center for Theater and Dance — facilities that provide the spaces, tools, and technologies to support the learning experience and celebrate the arts.



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