Drama and Theatre Studies is a very rewarding subject which gives students a great sense of satisfaction and achievement after long hours have been spent rehearsing, discussing, writing, preparing and performing. Drama is a subject which appeals to the student who wants to be active, imaginative and practical, as well as intellectually challenged: the perfect All-rounder! However, the extra-curricular commitment required by this subject is considerable and must not be under-estimated. Drama aims to develop a creative and imaginative mind ensuring the girls:
- Develop an ability to find creative solutions to practical problems.
- Develop and understand skills of communication, both verbal and non-verbal.
- Develop skills of co-operation, negotiation and tolerance.
- Support and develop self-esteem and confidence.
- Present an idea or theme in a dramatic form.
The drama department (or dramaramaland as we affectionately call it), is a very busy, buzzy place indeed. With four full-scale productions a year and nearly a hundred girls involved in LAMDA examinations, the Performing Arts Centre is a hive of activity.
There are, of course, great rewards for the many students who become involved in “things dramatic”: our Head Girl of last year won a place at RADA; we won 7 medals in last year’s Woodley Arts Festival; the Edexcel teacher-training DVD features a group of Queen Anne’s GCSE girls as an example of “outstanding” work; in recent years two QAS girls have been in the top ten in the entire UK for their GCSE marks (out 64,000!); and the department has achieved 100% A*-A at GCSE and A level.
There are a number of drama clubs to choose from, including a “wake up” club early on Saturday morning. Dramaramaland also offers a Saturday morning drama clinic for students to receive advice from one of the four drama staff, all of whom are specialists (including a former actress at the Royal Shakespeare Company).
In addition to the above, the department regularly welcomes visiting professionals and practitioners: recent examples include: a workshop with RSC actor Gerard Logan; a masterclass with actress Kerry Frampton of “Splendid Theatre Company”; and a forthcoming workshop with stage combat choreographer Mark Ruddock.
Queen Anne’s Performing Arts Centre (“the PAC”) is a modern, purpose-built performance space. It has 258 permanent seats but can accommodate many more with temporary seating. The facility has a control room (housing a computerised lighting and sound system), and a sound recording studio. There are also two rehearsal/class rooms, an office, backstage areas and a dressing room.
Queen Anne’s School is an official RADA Shakespeare Awards Centre.
THE DRAMA CURRICULUM
The department boasts three full-scale productions a year. All girls are welcome to audition and/or be involved backstage. Roles are assigned purely on merit not seniority (the lead role in this year’s Junior Production is played by a girl in L4).