Drama and the Performing Arts develops vital skills in communication, builds self- confidence, aids presentation skills (vital in later life), enables pupils to work as a team, have pride in performance and perhaps most importantly has enabled pupils to have tremendous fun and enjoy working together to create something magical.
The WJEC A level in Drama and Theatre is an exciting and inspiring course which prepares learners for further study in Higher Education. This highly practical specification provides learners with the opportunity to work as either performers and/or designers on three different performances. In Unit 1 learners reinterpret a text to create a piece of theatre which is a combination of the selected text and original ideas. In Unit 3 learners engage with a stimulus to create two pieces of theatre different styles; one an interpretation of a text of their own choice and the other a devised piece. Both Units 1 and 3 are designed to encourage learners to make connections between dramatic theory and their own practice. While preparing their practical work, learners will explore the work of two theatre practitioners (individuals or companies) of their own choice and then apply their research to their performances or designs. In Units 2 and 4, learners explore three complete performance texts. Learners are also required to watch at least two live theatre productions and learn about the processes and practices involved in interpreting and performing theatre.
We are tremendously fortunate to have some of the best facilities in the country for Performing Arts and the College is well known for its specialism in the area. The Queen’s Hall, a fully equipped 500-seat theatre complete with state-of-the-art lighting and sound systems, is used for all major productions as well for rehearsals and practices. The Performing Arts Centre (PAC) with wooden floors, mirrored wall and retractable seating for 120, is an ideal performance area especially for Dance, although it also serves as an additional performance area for Music and Drama performances throughout the year. The PAC is a very versatile space in which we run our Performing Arts Academy (click here for more information) and the number of dance classes on offer ranging from Street Dance and Hip Hop to Ballet, Modern, Tap and Contemporary is quite outstanding. There is also a purpose-built, blacked-out drama studio with retractable seating for 75 used for Drama lessons, theatre in the round and more intimate productions.
In addition to our outstanding facilities, the Performing Arts staff are all professionals who have worked in the industry themselves and are talented performers in their own right. Head of Department, Steve Eaton Evans and his wife Jane ran a touring theatre company for many years, taking productions which they both wrote and performed into the community and many of his plays have been published and are still widely performed. There is no doubt that the standard of improvisation and creativity seen in the older students work in particular reflects this professionalism. Head of Dance, Jo Elliott, was trained at Arts Education School in Tring and the Royal Academy of Dance and has extensive experience of teaching all age groups. The Dance Show which takes place in the Spring Term and attracts over 100 performers is tremendous.
We encourage pupils of all ages to become involved in the Performing Arts, either on stage in Drama and Dance productions or behind the scenes in the technical areas or costume and make-up. Our popular Crew Club is vital to ensuring productions work from a technical standpoint and our full time Technical Manager works with pupils to create very exciting stage effects.
Each year we put on three major productions; the Senior School production in the Autumn term, The Dance Show in the Spring and the Middle School production in the Summer term. Recent productions have included Storm Boy and Escape Committee both written by Steve Eaton Evans, Whistle Down The Wind, Our House, Seussical, Macbeth and Coram Boy.
The department also arranges theatre trips to attend lectures and performances throughout the year in London, Bristol and Stratford.
Regularly students obtain Drama and technical places in the highly competitive National Youth Theatre, The National Youth Music Theatre and The Youth Music Theatre. The department arranges trips to attend performances in Bristol, London and Stratford-upon-Avon to venues such as The National Theatre and Bristol Old Vic and organises workshops with professional companies such as Spymonkey and Angel Exit. Students have gone onto train at RADA, Guildhall (acting and lighting), York, Goldsmiths, Oxford School of Acting and New York School of Acting.
PERFORMING ARTS SCHOLARSHIPS
Queen's College offers Performing Arts awards and scholarships to gifted pupils in the Sixth Form. On top of this, students can apply for a means-tested assisted place. For a copy of our bursary form please contact the Admissions office. To find out more about Scholarships, please click here.