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. 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 that’s directing, designing costumes, creating sets or props, stage management, acting, singing or dancing.

Rehearsal in the drama studio

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. 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 students to study drama at university and at drama school.

Lower School

From the MIV to the LV (Years 7 – 9), students 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 students 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.

Middle School

For the V and VI (Years 10 and 11), 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 students’ understanding of the vast spectrum of theatrical forms and the potential possibilities of theatre.

Students in drama club

Senior School

In the VII and VIII (Years 12 and 13), students follow the AQA syllabus which offers a diverse and challenging programme of study designed to inspire students and develop their understanding through practice. Their studies include: 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.

To explore drama beyond the classroom, please click here.

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