Drama is based in the Antony Barnard Theatre, a 230 seat theatre with a green room, workshop and prop and costume store. Drama works on many levels: the emphasis is on the aesthetic but the social aspects of the discipline are not ignored and it is through this that the atmosphere from which great creativity can flourish is fostered.
Drama gives the chance to explore, in a dynamic way, complex social, personal and artistic issues as well as the emotions and ideas of the individual. It provides time and space to step into the other man’s shoes and see things from his point of view.
Students will create, understand and appreciate a variety of theatrical genres as well as developing social and communication skills. Alongside immersing themselves in a stimulating syllabus that encourages performance, understanding and gain experience working solo as well as in pairs and larger groups.
Sixth Form students will explore a variety of influential theatre practitioner as well as five plays. Whilst working on dramatic projects they will learn to work together imaginatively and cordially. This will enhance their negotiation skills and those associated with presenting an argument or an idea to their peers. Showing these performances to the rest of the class will improve their self-presentation and increase their confidence in this most necessary aspect of personal development. Working like this, boys and girls will also develop their voices for everyday and theatrical use, and learn to make the most of their capacities for physical expression.
In addition to the course, the department aims to provide at least two opportunities per year for students to perform in a major production. Hundreds do and many more become involved in set-building, prop-making, lighting and sound as members of the Stage Crew.
The Drama Department teaches the Eduqas A Level specification.
AS Level (Lower Sixth)
In practical and theory lessons students will study a range of different practitioners of theatre that coincides with theatre visits during the term. In the exploration of different play texts students will study the approaches of key past and influential present directors, practitioners and theatre companies in taking a text from page to stage.
At the start of this term students will begin to explore the three set texts for their written exam from the perspective of a designer, director and actor using a range of written and practical tasks. They will also begin preparation for their Component 1 re-interpretation of text using the work of a theatre practitioner.
Students will complete their Component 1 re-interpretation of text performance and creative log coursework.
A2 Level (Upper Sixth)
Students will begin working on their Component 2 exam which requires them to work on a piece of devised theatre and text in response to a stimulus set by the exam board.
Students will perform their Component 2 to an external examiner and revise their three set texts for the written Component 3 paper.
Trips, activities and clubs
With the diverse range of theatre on the doorstep in London, students are able to see a wide range of theatrical genres to practice their review writing skills for examinations and to inspire their practical work. A level classes will write at least three controlled assessment theatre reviews each term.
Workshops with professional theatre companies (such as Frantic Assembly, Splendid and Complicite) are arranged to develop students understanding of their working practices or theatrical genres.
Co-curricular work in Drama is seen as essential to the success of the department providing opportunities for all students to take part in performances if they wish to. Every lunch time and each night after school there is a rehearsal of some kind taking place in the Antony Barnard Theatre and frequently the dance studio too.
Each year there will be a range of opportunities for students to be involved in. Events include:
- A Senior School musical
- A Sixth Form play
- The House Drama competition
- Mrs K Robinson BA MA (Director of Drama)
- Mrs S Mann BA
- Mr C Devellerez BA MA
- Mr J Jenkins BA (Hons) (Technical Manager)
- Miss Rachael Newson BA (Hons) (Theatre Technician)