Drama and Theatre

The drama department aims to create enthusiastic and confident performers who have an understanding and appreciation of the possibilities of drama and theatre. It is our intention to connect classroom drama to the theatre’s long and diverse history as a cultural form.

Whether it’s in class, the annual school plays or productions students put on themselves, there’s always a wealth of drama taking place at St Paul’s. In all years drama is part of the curriculum and there are multiple opportunities for students of all ages to get involved in shows, whether in the fantastic Celia Johnson Theatre or in the drama studio. If you’re interested in seeing how the professionals do it, our Theatre Society organises numerous visits that take advantage of London’s rich theatrical life, as well as inviting practitioners to run workshops in school.

Drama fosters creativity and collaboration, but also demands great analytical skill and the ability to approach new ideas critically and with an open mind. Students explore all aspects of the theatre and find out what they enjoy doing best, whether it’s directing, designing costumes, creating sets or props, stage management, acting, singing or dancing.

For those that want to pursue drama academically we are delighted to offer the school directed course in drama and theatre studies at KS4 which provides a wide variety of challenging opportunities to students beyond the remit of any GCSE drama courses currently on offer. This course has been designed specifically for Paulinas to ensure they are creatively and academically challenged. At A level we follow the AQA syllabus and regularly prepare girls to study drama at university and at drama school.

From the MIV to the LV, girls have a double drama lesson once a week as part of their timetable. The KS3 curriculum moves from the origins of theatre to contemporary practice over the three years to give girls an overview of how theatre has developed and changed over the centuries and provide an understanding of the different functions of theatre – beyond just to entertain. Each year group will study one practitioner, one genre and one full play text. Study at KS3 includes: Greek Theatre, devising, The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, The Crucible by Arthur Miller, The Ash Girl by Timberlake Wertenbaker, the practitioners Bertolt Brecht and Augusto Boal, and contemporary theatre companies including Frantic Assembly, DV8 and Gecko.

For the V and VI, we are delighted to offer a school directed course in drama and theatre studies. The course gives pupils the opportunity to explore a broad range of theatrical genres and develop their performance skills through devised drama and the realisation of several play texts. These will include a Shakespeare play, nineteenth-century naturalism, political plays such as Our Country’s Good by Timberlake Wertenbaker and at least one contemporary text by a leading new playwright. Close study of theatrical practitioners such as Stanislavski, Max Stafford Clark and Kneehigh Theatre Company will enhance the girls’ understanding of the vast spectrum of theatrical forms and the potential possibilities of theatre.

In the VII and VIII, girls follow the AQA syllabus which offers a diverse and challenging programme of study designed to inspire students and develop their understanding through practice. Study includes: theatre history, text in performance, live theatre analysis, devising, the work of theatre practitioners Antonin Artaud, Complicité and Gecko. Play study includes Antigone by Euripides, A Servant to Two Masters by Carlo Goldoni, Yerma by Federico Lorca, Found in the Ground by Howard Barker and various other texts.