Queen Anne's GCSE Drama Class Attends Shakespeare Schools’ Workshop

Tuesday 8th October 2013

Tuesday 1 October

By Claire Galmiche

This week, the U5 Drama students went to South Hill Park Arts Centre to experience a workshop with professional actors in preparation for their performance at the Shakespeare Schools’ Festival, which takes place on Tuesday 15 October.  There was a great atmosphere amongst the students and palpable excitement in the theatre.

The workshop involved exercises on ensemble work, imagination, storytelling, energy, non-verbal communication, voice production, physical characterisation and interpreting Shakespeare’s language; they were even given the opportunity to die tragic Shakespearean deaths!  It was a useful and fun day in which the Queen Anne’s girls were willing and delightful participants; they were courteous, engaged and friendly and I was very proud of them.

Here is a student’s response to the day written by Rosie Dart, U5:

Shakespeare Schools’ Workshop at South Hill Arts Centre by Rosie Dart

On 1 October, my GCSE drama class participated in a workshop at South Hill Park Arts Centre which we shared with one other school. The workshop was led by two professional actors as part of the Shakespeare Schools’ Festival, leading up to our performance of Twelfth Night in the festival in just over a week’s time.

The workshop consisted of learning general theatrical techniques that could help us improve our characterisation physically and vocally, explore our relationships with other characters within our play and ways in which we could use the stage. These techniques really helped our cast to make decisions about our characters. My character, Viola, is very complex so this part of the workshop really helped me explore the ways in which I could play her. We also investigated ways in which we can fill the space of a theatre. This really helped our cast to decide when addressing the audience is appropriate and when a more intimate moment is needed during a scene. A very helpful part of the workshop was learning how to interpret our Shakespearian scripts into modern English. This ensured that we really understood what our lines meant and how we could connect with them.

During the last section of the workshop, our cast got the chance to work with one of the actors on an extract from Twelfth Night which we then performed for the other school. This gave us the experience of performing in a professional theatre before our technical run and the show! We also got feedback from the other school on which parts worked well and what could have been improved. We then got to see an extract from the other school’s production, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, after which we were asked to give feedback on their work. Overall, I found the workshop extremely fun and useful, and we are all so excited for our performance in just over a week!

See below for a slideshow of photographs from the workshop:


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