“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 and girls also have the opportunity to join Cameo, our musical theatre group. 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 regular Edinburgh Fringe Festival production open to all girls in SFC1, when the cast spend a week in Cheltenham rehearsing with a professional director before performing to the public in Scotland.
Girls develop their use of voice and movement in short performances. In LC3 Drama becomes an optional subject and the course mirrors the GCSE syllabus, with a focus on devising and script based work. Shakespeare and modern drama are included in the range of scripts and themes.
The GCSE syllabus is largely practical. It includes acting, improvisation, lighting, sound, set and costume design.
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 Drama: Mr Mark Smith BA MA
Mrs Becky Revell BSc
Mrs Katie Richards BA
Mr Tony Williams BA MA (Technical Stage Manager)
Miss Carys Thomas BA MA (Events and Theatre Technician)
Visiting Drama Teachers:
Miss Tracey Black AGSM
Mrs Emma Cleasby BA
Ms Faye Crough BA
Mrs Pat Deacon-Jones LRAM NCSD LUDDA IPA MSTSD
Miss Georgia Greeph DipStudio68 LAM (Gold)
Miss Danella Mercati DipGSA
Mr Henry Moss-Blundell RBTC
Ms Amy Szypusz
Mrs Sarah Wiegand