“Drama is life with the dull bits cut out.”
Based in the stunning Parabola Arts Centre, the Drama Department not only benefits from a beautiful 325-seat theatre but also a large number of rehearsal rooms. These are used for academic lessons and for LAMDA Speech and Drama classes. In the main College building we also have a black box studio theatre, which is fully equipped with lighting and sound.
College's long theatrical tradition ensures girls have many opportunities to enjoy acting in plays and studying performance. Many of the department staff have considerable professional stage experience either as performers or in stage management. The Parabola Arts Centre staff are all available to give the girls the opportunity to experience the reality of work in the performing arts.
Most girls who choose to study the subject for formal examinations do so not to pursue a career on the stage, but to gain the transferable skills they learn through the subject.
The confidence to speak in front of a large audience and the teamwork involved in creating a production are applicable to a wide range of professions, whilst the literary and critical skills required in performance studies are useful preparation for careers requiring research and analysis.
There are four main productions each year ranging from the classics to modern plays. Some productions are open to all girls and others are cast with girls from particular year groups. On alternate years, the main school production is a piece of musical theatre. The technical crew is staffed by girls under the guidance of the Theatre Technical Manager, and girls can learn how to operate state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment.
There is an annual Open-air Shakespeare production performed and directed by girls in the Lower Sixth. For the youngest girls there is a very popular Drama Club, which also stages an annual production.
The girls work with a visiting director in order to rehearse and perform a main school production. The work focuses on developing key skills in collaboration, movement and voice.
The GCSE syllabus is largely practical. It includes acting, improvisation, lighting, sound, set and costume design.
The Drama A Level course consists of a devising performance, a text performance and a written paper. We follow the Eduqas syllabus.
The IB Theatre course is based on assessments, which are completed during the course and there is no final examination. Higher Level students take four assessments and Standard Level take three. There is a focus on learning about unfamiliar forms of theatre, world theatre, the range of skills required to stage a production, and individual and group performance.
Director of Creative Arts: Mrs Patricia Stead BA MA
Head of Drama: Mrs Katie Richards BA
Mrs Becky Revell BSc
Technical Stage Manager: Mr Tony Williams BA MA
Events and Theatre Technicians: Miss Carys Thomas BA MA and Mr Leon McKormack
Visiting Drama Teachers:
Miss Tracey Black AGSM
Ms Faye Crough BA
Mrs P Deacon-Jones BA (Hons) LRAM LUDDA LUD Teacher's Cert NCSD IPA MSTSD (LAMDA Co-ordinator)
Mrs Helen Di Tomaso LSDE MSTSD
Ms Georgia Greeph BA (Hons) DipStudio68 LAM (Gold)
Ms Sophie Herrmann BSc MA
Ms Rosie Mason BA (Hons) PG Dip Acting
Miss Danella Mercati DipGSA
Mr Henry Moss-Blundell RBTC
Miss Lizzie Sharpe MA BA (Visiting Director)
Miss Laura Whittard AISTD