Drama is a major element in the extra-curricular programme of the school. Pupils have the opportunity to work to refine their skills, prepare pieces and, eventually, to face the challenge of performance. Drama is both dynamic and rigorous; expectations are high and much is demanded of those who undertake this testing but fulfilling activity. The school’s reputation for the quality of its public performances is extremely high, and the nature of whole school productions in recent years has run the full gamut of genres from pantomime through musicals to serious and challenging 21st century drama.
Theatre Studies is offered as an academic discipline in the curriculum at A-Level. The subject demands both the development of a raft of technical dramatic skills and of the ability to respond critically to performances as members of the audience. Pupils have regular opportunities to visit professional productions both within Canterbury and further afield in London; we are fortunate that the major London theatres are within easy travelling distance of the school.
A-level Theatre Studies is a notably challenging but immensely stimulating course that makes high demands on analytical skills in responding to dramatic text and which, in addition, deepens and develops performance and technical skills. Pupils may choose to specialise in technical aspects such as sound or lighting; those offering primarily stagecraft as their skill have the opportunity to gain LAMDA qualifications up to gold standard within the normal course.
Departmental objectives at A-level include:
- Building awareness of the journey theatre takes from the page to the stage
- Challenging pupils with a variety of texts that cover a range of genres and styles
- Developing pupils’ academic appreciation of theatre
- Producing skilled practitioners who are confident in using theatrical techniques or technical and design elements to realise effective drama
The teachers of Drama have a background in the professional theatre. The Director of Drama has worked both as an actor and as a stage director; his understanding of the world of the theatre is distinctive within a school environment. The richness of this experience, coupled with training and teaching experience in the classroom means that pupils are exceptionally well-prepared for eventual success at A-level. In addition, the school is fortunate to have the facility of a large stage with good technical provision, both in terms of equipment and skilled technicians who support the department for both teaching and extra-curricular activity.