Drama and Theatre Studies

Introduction:

The Drama Department aims to develop a passion for drama, theatre and performance in our students. We encourage students to look at theatre in the context of history, culture and society, always through the lens of an open, inquiring mind. Through Drama, students develop as performers, technicians, directors and critics but also as speakers, listeners, empathisers and team players.

Facilities/resources:

The Drama department consists of the Drama Studio and the department office, which also operates as a Sixth Form seminar room with whiteboards, seating and a desktop computer. Our spacious studio is decorated in large black box style, with an equipped lighting rig, data projector and raked, retractable seating. School performances, including the House Drama competition, take place in either the main school hall or the Drama Studio. The department is home to a large in-house store of props and costumes and an extensive library of play texts.

What we do:

The Drama Department offers the Edexcel Drama and Theatre Studies specification at A Level. This challenging, rigorous course encourages a high level of independence both practically and theoretically. Students explore a wide range of plays from different historical periods and cultures, as well as appreciating live theatre. This prepares them to follow a performance or technical route, honing their practical skills in a directed piece in Year Twelve and developing their own pieces of theatre in Year Thirteen. Drama is also available as an Extended Studies option for Year Twelve students, who explore the development of theatre ‘from page to stage’ in a seven-week block.

At KS3 and KS4, students study Drama as part of the English programme. This is a lively, exciting and busy department with a focus on creativity, building confidence, independent learning and teamwork. The connection between academic Drama and extra-curricular Drama is designed to be seamless

 A Level students are encouraged to extend their leadership skills to the extra-curricular life of the school, a task that they approach with vigour and passion. They learn about the extra-curricular plays through assistant direction, half term workshops, technical support and marketing roles, usually in addition to performing themselves! They also assist with the leadership of Junior Drama Club, as do several of our other senior school students.

Most importantly, our Department is not about ‘stars’: in the words of one of our Year Eleven students, it is about a ‘big Drama family’, an ensemble of creativity, ideas and hard work. Many of our ex-students return to help out with performances and see their younger friends on stage. The extra-curricular programme includes a December main house production, a Junior production in the Summer term, the House Drama competition and Junior Drama Club. Recent productions include ‘The Wizard of Oz’, ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Alice in Wonderland’, ‘Arabian Nights’ and ‘Gatsby’.

Please read more about extra-curricular Drama under ‘School Life’.

Staff:

Head of Drama:  Miss G M Spring

 

Trips

Our A Level live theatre programme is varied, challenging and designed each year to suit the demands of the course. The students provide feedback about the live theatre that they would like to see and their particular skill sets and interests are always taken into account. The ideal position of the school opposite Coventry train station enables trips to Birmingham and London, in addition to the excellent local programme at the Coventry Belgrade. Students have recently enjoyed ‘Richard III’ starring Martin Freeman; ‘War Horse’; ‘To Kill A Mockingbird’ and the award-winning Frantic Assembly’s interpretation of ‘Othello’. Younger students take part in a range of theatre trips as part of the English programme. In addition to live theatre, A Level students attend a yearly programme at the Shakespeare Birthplace Trust, learning from renowned academics about original performance conditions through seminar teaching and workshops. 

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