Drama lessons enable the boys to develop their creativity, confidence and collaboration within a safe and constructive environment. Building up a vast range of theatre skills, most lessons result in an opportunity to put into practice the techniques learnt and, through these informal sharings, all boys are encouraged to experiment, perform, critique and support each other throughout the process.
Lessons take place in our purpose built Drama Studio, an ideal practical teaching space, often doubling as a smaller scale performance venue. Boys in the Lower First, Upper First and Lower Second Years have one timetabled lesson each week throughout the year, whereas Upper Second and Upper Third Years have drama on half termly rotations with DT and PSHE. In the Lower Third Year, boys have one double lesson, each week, for one academic term.
The syllabus is designed to provide a number of opportunities, challenging the boys in their technical, performance and evaluative skills both in solo and group work.
The Lower First and Upper First Years are taught by the Drama Graduate, drawing particular emphasis to team building, physical expression, exaggeration and focus. These skills are woven together through storytelling and devising technique, in preparation for their end of year performance.
In the Lower Second Year we begin by looking at character, improvisation, plot and staging, which leads into the Second Year Playwriting Competition. The heats and semi-finals are then held in the Spring, with rehearsals for the finals taking place in the Summer Term. The event is held as a competition, bringing together a selection of the best plays before an adjudicator and audience.
The Upper Second Year play is an excellent event in the Spring calendar, with every boy in the year taking part in the production. Rehearsals mainly take place within lessons, but on either side of the production, the boys look at status, staging, imagery and monologue technique, with performances held for the class.
In the Lower Third Year the focus is on physical theatre and storytelling through movement, mime and gesture. Working within an intensive term of double drama lessons, this provides the group with an excellent opportunity to form a strong, creative ensemble built on trust and respect of ideas. Using a number of themes, text and images as stimuli, the boys begin to develop their own devised performance to share at the end of term.
In their final year at St Paul's Juniors, the Upper Third Year boys explore a number of more advanced theatre skills such as mask, puppetry, devising and experimenting with text. These sets of skill specific workshops, result in class evaluated performances.
Drama Staff Members