Head of Department: Mrs J Strath

Drama is thriving at Priestlands and there are numerous opportunities to be involved either on stage or behind the scenes. Over the academic year we stage around four productions, ranging from small studio GCSE pieces to full stage shows and musicals. The School has become well known for the high standard of its productions, our involvement in the Shakespeare Schools Festival has been nationally recognised, affording us opportunities to perform at the Middle Temple in London and for the Marchioness of Queensbury at her home in Wiltshire.  We also have an active Youth Theatre, ‘Trapdoor’ running on a Wednesday evening for 7 – 19 year olds in three age classes.

 

Facilities

Our purpose built Performing Arts Centre (PAC) with its sophisticated sound and lighting system can seat up to 120 people in tiered seating during our productions and events. During the normal working day we have two working drama studios for our weekly lessons as well as a recording studio, two music teaching rooms, and four music practice rooms.

Staffing

We have one full-time and one part-time specialist members of the department:

Mrs Jillian Strath

 Head of Drama

Mrs Jo Coats

 Part time

Curriculum

Drama forms part of the curriculum for all Year 7 and 8 pupils and is an option at Year 9 and 10. Drama GCSE is a popular option as the syllabus offers a good balance of challenging practical and text based work. For those not choosing to study drama for public examination, this vibrant area of school life affords numerous opportunities for all students to perform, design and direct in the many productions that take place during the school year. Extra-curricular activities offered by the drama department include; scenery design, theatrical productions, sound, stage management and stage lighting.

 

Trips and Events

New York City

In Year 11 GCSE Drama students have the opportunity to go to the amazing city of New York. This highly popular eight day trip has run every year since 2001 during February half term. Bundled up against the snow and wind we stay at the beautiful Edison Hotel in the heart of Times Square. Visits to major New York sights such as the Statue of Liberty, Ground Zero and the Empire State building as well as ice skating in Central Park and seeing a Broadway Show are just a few of the highlights. We also enjoy Drama workshops and performances with a High School in Brooklyn and ‘Tada’ Youth Theatre in Manhattan - 2019 visit is blogged here.

London

At KS3 students are able to participate in our overnight residential trip to London. Previously we have seen productions of The Wizard of Oz and Wicked, visited the London Dungeons, the Natural History Museum and Buckingham Palace, lunched in Covent Garden and picnicked in a London park.

For a taste of what’s to come, please see this blog link of a previous residential.

Visiting Theatre Companies and Theatre Visits

We relish the opportunity to welcome theatre companies into our school to work with targeted groups of people or year groups.  We have enjoyed visits from the Nuffield Theatre, Forest Forge, Trap Media and specialist practitioners in fight direction, and physical theatre. We have made theatre visits to Bath, London and Southampton.

 

In recent years Priestlands/Trapdoor has performed:

Date

Performance

Performed By

Location

Number involved

2019

Bugsy Malone

 

Priestlands School

 

2017

Oliver!

 

Priestlands School

 

2015

A Midsummer Night's Dream

GCSE

Poole Lighthouse Theatre

35

 

The Wizard of Oz

School Production

PAC

182 Pupils

2014

Macbeth

SSF

Poole Lighthouse Theatre

39 Pupils

 

Musical Mayhem

Trapdoor

PAC

92 Pupils

 

Grease

School Production

PAC

193 Pupils

2013

The Merry Wives of Windsor

SSF

Poole Lighthouse Theatre

38 Pupils

 

Sleigh Days

Trapdoor

PAC

93 Pupils

 

Peter Pan

School Production

PAC

178 Pupils

2012 

Taming of the Shrew

SSF

Poole Lighthouse Theatre

38 Pupils

 

All The World’s  A Stage

Trapdoor

PAC

117 Pupils

2011

Othello

SSF

Theatre Royal Portsmouth

34 Pupils

 

Annie

School Production

PAC

273 Pupils

 

An Evening Of Roald Dahl

Trapdoor

PAC

122 Pupils

 

GCSE Drama Show Case

Year 11 Pupils

PAC

83 Pupils

2010

Chitty Chitty Bang Bang

Trapdoor

PAC

121 Pupils

 

GCSE Drama Show case

Year 11 Pupils

PAC

89 Pupils

 

Night At The Musicals

Trapdoor

Beaulieu Abbey

119 Pupils

 

Macbeth

SSF

Theatre Royal Portsmouth

33 Pupils

 

Bugsy Malone

School Production

PAC

162 Pupils

Drama Blog: