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.
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.
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 & Events
Click on the links to the right for further information.
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.
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.
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.