Join Riordan's award-winning Theatre Department.

Since the school’s founding in 1949, thousands of students have performed on the Lindland Theatre stage and thousands of audience members have traveled from across the Bay Area to see the latest production.

There are many ways to get involved in Riordan’s award-winning Theatre Department. You can take an acting class as part of Riordan’s regular academic curriculum, or you can participate in the fall play or spring musical which are co-ed opportunities.

Riordan Drama is pleased to announce this fall’s production, Perfect Storm II: Student-Directed One-Act Festival, running November 15, 16, 22 and 23 at 7:00 pm and November 24 at 2:00 pm.

Tickets are limited. Please email to reserve yours. 

More Information:

Valerie O'Riordan

Ways to Participate


Sign up for a theatre arts class to fulfill your Fine Arts Class requirement with (UC approved) Introduction to Acting—a fun, on-your-feet “how to” class where students work to gain confidence expressing themselves as creative artists.

Students study terms and techniques, get up on their feet and “do,” and participate in character development vis-a-vis scene study, audition/resume, public speaking, and other useful creative techniques.  


The Theatre Department produces two shows annually, a fall play and spring musical. Auditioning for one of these performances gives students the opportunity to explore the transformative experience of performing on stage and making lifetime memories. This is also a co-ed opportunity, as female students from local schools are cast in the shows.

Learn more about other co-ed opportunities.


Mentored by theatre professionals and a hands-on technical director, the stage crew builds sets and run shows. Students learn all of the technical aspects of stage and theatre productions which are skills that will last for a lifetime.


The Drama Club meets at lunch for Open Mic Mondays, and every Thursday at lunch for business meetings and Improv Workouts. Students (both male and female) can join the International Thespian Society’s Troupe #5596. The I.T.S. offers “Star” points for activities in and around the theatre such as cast, crew, workdays, outings, and field trips. With the current challenges of higher education college admission officers like to see that students are busy with extracurricular activities in their high school years. Inductions into the Troupe happen each spring at the Drama Awards Banquet. Membership is optional (and not required for participation in the Drama Club), and for a fee you receive a personalized membership card and a 1-year subscription to Dramatics Magazine.    

Students have the option to attend Broadway shows in San Francisco’s downtown theatres with Drama Club, with as many backstage tours as we can arrange! Current trade magazines are also available for students to read in theatre lobby, including American Theatre MagazineTheatre Bay AreaStage DirectionsDramatics, and Drama Biz.


Students have the option to attend a variety of drama competitions. Past competitions include the Lenaea Festival, Oregon Shakespeare Festival, Shakespeare Competition with the English Speaking Union, Ohlone College High School Theatre Festival, and the Beach Blanket Babylon Scholarship Audition.

Riordan Drama also received six awards from the National Youth Arts Awards for 2016-17 performances of Circus OlympusThe Frogs and Godspell.


An ongoing group of dedicated parents whose children either attend Riordan or appear on or back stage (or in the pit orchestra for the spring musical), the Boosters are vital to the success of each production for their tireless dedication to helping students succeed.

Each production holds several Drama Booster workdays on Saturdays from 10:00 am – 4:30 pm. Riordan parents receive parent volunteer hours for their assistance in a relaxed, fun and creative atmosphere.

Please contact Drama Director Valerie O’Riordan,, for more ways to get involved.


Through a Facebook page and annual Alumni Night at the Musical, the Theatre Department keeps in good touch with many theatre alums. In the fall of 2013, under the vision of Drama Director Valerie O’Riordan, the school hosted the first-ever alumni review, Lucky ’13: A Labor of Love, bringing together performers from six decades. Notable Riordan drama alumni include:

  • Joe Spano ’63, an acclaimed television and stage actor who appeared on Hill Street Blues and currently stars as Agent Tobias Fornell on NCIS.
  • Dominic Nolfi ’96, a Broadway notable who has recently performed in A Bronx TaleMotown the Musical, and Jersey Boys.
  • Jimmie Fails ’12, recently starred in the widely-acclaimed film, The Last Black Man in San Francisco.


In the Marianist spirit, students look outside of themselves to the needs of those less fortunate and realize that the arts can be powerful tools for stewarship. Since January 2005, Riordan Drama students have collected more than $27,000 in donations for these worthy non-profits: Brothers Against Guns, Broadway Cares/Equity Fights A.I.D.S., Ribbon of Promise, Trick Or Treat So Kids Can Eat, Soldiers Angels, Make-A-Wish Foundation, Circu Center SF, Feel The Music NY, Friends of the Oakland Animal Shelter, American Leprosy Missions, Blood Centers of the Pacific, the Bully Project, and the Greek Historical Society of the San Francisco Bay Area.    

Since 2004 we have participated in Act Smart, an intensive theatre-based program offered by the American Conservatory Theatre in collaboration with 20 high schools throughout the Bay Area. Artists lead free in-house workshops to introductory acting classes, the teacher receives curriculum materials, and students-who otherwise would have little exposure to the arts-attend A.C.T. student matinee performances at no charge.


View photos from recent shows, “How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying)” and “Urinetown.”

  Mr. James Lindland, Drama Director
1950 Career Angel
1951 Passion Play and Who Ride on White Horses
1952 Behold the Man (A Passion Play) and Arsenic and Old Lace
1953 The San Francisco Story
1954 The America Story
1955 The International Story and Pygmalion and One Act Festival with: Aye Aye Sir, Once to Every Boy, Retribution, If Men Play Cards as Women Do, The Monkey’s Paw
1956 You Can’t Take it With You and The Passion Play
1957 The Man Who Came To Dinner
  Mr. Ken Barbieri, Drama Director
1958 Twelve Angry Men
  Mr. Robert Fahrner, Drama Director
1959 Tea House of the August Moon
1960 In The Zone, The Monkey’s Paw, Pyramus & Thisby and Triumph of the Cross
  Mr. Ken Barbieri, Drama Director
1961 The King and I and Richard III
1962 No Time For Sergeants and Caesar & Cleopatra
1963 Tea House of the August Moon and Pygmalion
1964 Bye Bye Birdie (Brother Gary Morris played Mr. MacAfee!)
1965 A Bell for Adono
1966 Elizabeth The Queen and Oliver
1967 The Miser and South Pacific
1968 The King and I and Teahouse of the August Moon
1969 Who knows what play was done in ’69?
1970 Androcles and The Lion
1971 The Would Be Gentleman
1972 Hello Dolly! and An Italian Straw Hat
1973 The Mad Woman of Chaillot
1974 Quack (and The San Francisco Story?)
1975 Tea House of the August Moon and Oklahoma
1976 Man of LaMancha
1977 Carousel
  Brother Gary Morris, Drama Director
1978 Indians and Fiddler on the Roof
1979 The Night Thoreau Spent in Jail and Funny Girl (and Oliver?)
1980 Up the Down Staircase and The King and I (and Scapino?)
1981 Count Dracula, The Good Doctor and The Music Man
1982 Twain by the Tale
1983 To Kill A Mockingbird and Shenandoah
1984 Hello Dolly! and Taming of the Shrew
1985 Pippin and Sweeney Todd
1986 Pirates of Penzance and The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn
1987 Arsenic and Old Lace and Godspell (RIP Scott Killion 1971-1988, Arsenic & Old Lace)
1988 Frankenstein and Man of La Mancha
1989 Tender Lies and A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum
1990 A Thousand Clowns and Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
1991 Phantom of the Opera and Jesus Christ Superstar
  Mr. Matt Almeida, Drama Director
1992 Noises Off and Into The Woods
  Brother Gary Morris, Drama Director
1993 Bleacher Bums and Grease
1994 Charley and My Fair Lady
1995 Hound of the Baskervilles and Rags
  Mr. John Fennell, Drama Director
1996 Guys and Dolls and The Royal Family (with Mercy HS)
1997 Rehearsal For Murder and West Side Story
1998 Twelve Angry Men and A Few Good Men and Once Upon a Mattress
1999 The Impossible Years and How To Succeed in Business
2000 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Mame
  Ms. Valerie O’Riordan, Drama Director
2001 Our Town and Bye Bye Birdie
2002 You Can’t Take It With You and Godspell
2003 Bleacher Bums and Little Shop of Horrors
2004 Up The Down Staircase and Hello, Dolly!
2005 A Cry of Players and Bang Bang You’re Dead (student production) and Damn Yankees
2006 One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest and Applause
2007 Fortinbras, Big, 365 Days/365 Plays Festival
2008 Our Town and Carnival
2009 West Wing Follies and Back to the 80’s
2010 Romeo and Juliet, West Side Story and The Breakfast Club (reading)
2011 You Can’t Take It With You and Jesus Christ Superstar
2012 Dracula, 12 Angry Men (reading) and Anything Goes
2013 A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Romeo and Harriet
2014 Lucky ’13, Perfect Storm (Student Directed One Acts) and You’re A Good Man Charlie Brown
2015 Dead Man Walking and Godspell
2016 Circus Olympus and The Frogs
2019 Spring Musical Bow