Adults, Senior School, Junior School
WHAT TO EXPECT FROM THE DRAMA CLASSES
Our drama tutors are working professional actors, writers
and directors, led by Robin Kingsland (see tutors profiles), they all work together as a closely knit team in developing the drama department covering improvisation, script reading, audition and performance skills for all the age groups.
Drama can be used for many things, and at PPAS we try to show that drama can help everyone: with young children, it can be used to teach simple skills of concentration, focus, and teamwork, as well as the discipline of being on stage. With older children, it offers a chance to explore some concepts like friendship or loyalty; or they get a sense of other people’s experience by imaginatively “walking a mile in their shoes”. For Musical Theatre Students, it can be used to explore in more depth the true emotions on a song or even a dance routine. And for Adult Students, exploring drama can be a way to gain self knowledge, self confidence, and skills of presentation – how to carry themselves, how to project a “persona”, how to use their voice to greater effect – that can help them in their social and working lives.
Exploring drama can be a little bit scary, but it can also be great fun – it can even be both at the same time – It’s a very rare drama session that doesn’t involve a good deal of laughter. In short, we believe drama has something to offer everyone who comes through the doors of PPAS.
Junior and Senior School Classes
Under the expert guidance of a skilled and friendly team of tutors, our younger students will learn, through various theatre games, exercises and simple set tasks and improvisations, to cooperate in large and small groups, as well as how to concentrate themselves. They will also begin to learn the rudiments of stage craft – how to stay calm and relax on stage, how to speak clearly and at stage volume without shouting, and how to learn and recite simple pieces of text. Two of the three terms of a year will be themed around a concept, or film, or book, to give a stronger focus to the work, and give the students a sense of continuity of purpose. The third term differs in that all work is aimed towards the End of Year Show in which the entire school participates.
As the students move up through the school, the same pattern will remain, but the challenges will increase. The themes explored might become more challenging “Being a refugee”, “When Loyalties are tested”, that sort of thing. Improvisations may occasionally demand more in terms of emotional truth and well-rounded characters, and pre-written or self-written text may well be introduced.
By the time the students reach the Starlight and Fame Groups, Drama will involve more demanding work, involving text, improvisation and even writing.
The adult drama course is designed with two distinct parts. Part one in weeks one to six of a twelve week term, involves exploring some basic ideas and skills of acting – voice, physicality, characterisation and “digging into” the text of a scene to find what may lie underneath. In the second half of each term, these skills are put to the test as the group enters a period of rehearsal with short scenes or monologues.
Musical Theatre Drama Students, the aim is to use Drama, as mentioned above, to explore the characters in a given Musical Theatre Sceneario, to give them more depth and dimension, to fill out the broad brush strokes these characters are often seen in, or to explore the nuances of character in more sophisticated shows, like Company, Follies or Cabaret. This is done in the belief that in all these shows, character is central, and that the better equipped the Musical Theatre Student is to understand and explore character, the better the performance will be, be it in scene, song, or dance.
I have been really lucky to get professional work as an actor over the past few years and my confidence has grown so much through the drama classes and support at PPAS. Read More
Jordan Coulson – Age 20
Acting credits include: Presenter for Jettix TV, The Wolf Boy in the Universal Film Wolfman with Anthony Hopkins, Worldwide commercial for SodaStream, Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, TV Sitcom Meet the Adenbanjo’s, Bold and Mazumba Mobile commercial.