Why Study Drama?
Drama at King's is a thriving part of the curriculum and is taken as a compulsory subject at Third Form, before pupils can opt for popular GCSE or A level courses. Pupils do not just study acting but learn about the history of the theatre and study some of the great plays and directors.
They also learn about how theatres work and all the different aspects of putting together a production. Drama is primarily a practical subject and the majority of the learning comes through getting up and doing, and is focused on the play in performance.
The courses are structured to allow a great deal of personal emphasis in the way pupils can approach them, and it is possible to concentrate on acting or on design. King's prides itself in being able to offer expert tuition in all aspects of drama – it is possible to study a wide range of aspects, from devising to lighting design, musical theatre to costume.
Drama is necessarily a collaborative art and also requires a great deal of independent learning, fostering transferable skills of teamwork, planning and decision making, yet at the same time forms a clear basis of training for the profession.
By far the highest priority at King's though is that good learning is:
- Pupils are encouraged and supported whatever their ability to do their absolute best.
“Thank you so much for everything you've done for me – recognising my ability and potential, setting up all the dates and timings for my drama audition and Taster Day, and welcoming me to this exciting school. I'm already loving King's College after the first day!”
- New pupil writing to our Registrar
Past pupils have gone on to study the subject at drama school and university, and work in the profession in a number of careers both on stage and behind the scenes.
Ours is a working theatre, at the heart of our community, and pupils are actively encouraged to involve themselves in its day-to-day running, thereby learning new skills. We try to offer a wide variety of performances in which to participate. For example:
- Large-scale musical The Wizard of Oz
- The Scholars’ Murder Mystery,
- Classic drama in the form of Twelfth Night.
In addition, pupils are encouraged to produce their own projects and it is open to all year groups to audition for plays and musicals.
Past productions have included:
Charlotte's Webb; Twelfth Night; Alice in Wonderland; The Wizard of Oz; Guys and Dolls; The Great Gatsby; Much Ado About Nothing; An Inspector Calls; The Ice Palace; The Sound of Music; Metamorphosis; The Importance of Being Earnest.
The school is very fortunate in having a 250 seat dedicated theatre fully equipped with computer lighting desk, a large inventory of lanterns, up-to-date sound systems and flexible staging plus a full time Theatre Manager to which the Drama Department has full access.
The Department itself also has a Black Box Drama Studio with dance floor, staging and computer lighting desk and sound system. In addition it has a dedicated teaching space and extensive costume and prop stores, which enable pupils to access equipment easily in daily drama classes and this is encouraged.
Our latest project, inspired and funded by one of our alumni, has been the construction of our wonderful amphitheatre. This exciting facility gives us an excellent opportunity to perform Greek theatre in its natural setting as well as allowing the students the chance to perform outside and in the round.
Harriet achieved a First Class Honours in Drama and Performance at the University of Northumbria. She has a sound knowledge in theatrical make-up and is a great advocate of ‘physical theatre.'
Alastair studied Drama with a BA from Royal Holloway, London University, followed by a postgraduate from Drama Studio London. His specialisms include technical theatre, site specific theatre/carnival and directing.
Christopher works on a wide variety of site specific events and tours, and has a keen interest in fabrication and technical installation in difficult or non-purpose built performance spaces.
Meriel has been appointed to join us in September 2018 as our Speech and Drama teacher.