“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasise about a world we aspire to.”
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 and Trinity 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 students 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 and design. The Parabola Arts Centre staff are all available to give students the opportunity to experience the reality of work in the performing arts.
Most students 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 students and others are cast with students from particular year groups. On alternate years, the main school production is a piece of musical theatre. The technical crew is staffed by students under the guidance of the Theatre Technical Manager, and students can learn how to operate state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment.
There is an annual Open-air Shakespeare festival performed in the College grounds and directed by Sixth Form students. For the youngest students there is a very popular Drama Club, which also stages an annual production.
The students work in lessons to rehearse and perform a main school production in the Parabola Arts Centre. The work focuses on developing key skills in collaboration, movement and voice and provides an opportunity for every students to take part.
The GCSE syllabus is largely practical. It includes acting, devising, directing, lighting, sound, set, costume and puppet design.
The Drama A Level course consists of a devising performance, a text performance and a written paper. We follow the AQA specification.
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 Becky Revell BSc
Mrs Katie Richards BA
Miss Megan Glover BA
Theatre Technical Manager: Mr Tony Williams BA MA
Events and Theatre Technicians: Mr Mark Gillespie BA, Ms Liah McKormack and Miss Carys Thomas BSc MA
Visiting Drama Teachers:
Miss Tracey Black AGSM
Miss Laura Whittard AISTD
Ms Faye Crough BA
Mrs P Deacon-Jones BA (Hons) LRAM LUDDA LUD Teacher's Cert NCSD IPA MSTSD
Mrs Helen Di Tomaso BA (Hons) LSDE MSTSD
Ms Georgia Greeph BA (Hons) DipStudio68 LAM (Gold)
Mr Henry Moss-Blundell RBTC