Drama at King's
Imagine. Explore. Create.
Make mistakes. Don’t use your first idea. Change things. Listen. Share. Imitate. Process rather than product. Edit. Slow down. Speed up. Question. Collaborate. Take risks. Trust your instinct. Getting it wrong is getting it right. Beg, steal and borrow from other practitioners.
Acting is reacting.
Just try it.
Through the practice of drama; King’s pupils develop life-long skills in communication, confidence and collaboration. They harness the power of their imagination and learn the art of self-expression whilst exploring the ideas that shape the world in which we live. At King’s our central aim is to instil in our pupils a life-long appreciation of drama and theatre; both as practitioners and audience.
Drama is a major element in the co-curricular programme of the school. Pupils have the opportunity to work to refine their skills, prepare pieces and, eventually, to face the challenge of performance. Drama is both dynamic and rigorous; expectations are high and much is demanded of those who undertake this testing but fulfilling activity. The school enjoys a strong reputation for the quality of its public performances and our remit for productions is to encompass a range of genres: through musicals to Shakespeare and period plays – all alongside more serious and challenging contemporary drama.
Drama is offered as an academic discipline in the curriculum both at GCSE and at A-Level. GCSE Drama entails both the development of a raft of technical dramatic skills in acting and devising alongside the ability to respond critically to performance as members of the audience. Pupils have many opportunities to visit professional productions both locally and further afield, including London and there are regular visits to the school from theatre industry practitioners.
It is contended that Drama is essential within a balanced curriculum in:
- Developing the full variety of students’ intelligence
- Developing the capacity for creative thought and action
- The education of feeling
- The exploration of value
- Understanding cultural change and difference
- Developing a variety of physical conceptual skills in relationship to the practice of Drama and theatrical art
- Encouraging a disciplined work ethic
A curriculum which values and encourages creative abilities and individual insights will develop inquiring minds and a capacity to respond flexibly to a rapidly changing world.
King's is fortunate to have the facility of a large stage with good technical provision, both in terms of equipment and a skilled Theatre Production Group who support the Department for both teaching and co-curricular activity. The Theatre Production Team is led by Karen Hebden who trained at RADA. Karen also coordinates pupils entering for the LAMDA qualification at King’s Rochester and has directed many highly successful productions herself including most recently; Titanic and Into the Woods.
Co-curricular is at the core of the life of the Drama Department and allows us to support and enhance the dramatic education on offer. The programme encompasses a full variety of activities that encourage and challenge the large numbers of pupils that regularly participate.
We provide a safe environment in which to develop skills not easily learned in the classroom: physical and vocal self-confidence; the social disciplines of working in a group; imaginative spontaneity through improvisation; an extended emotional range; the power of the pupils’ own creativity and a respect for that of others. All this is achieved through learning to play and to perform. Moreover, we believe that learning the techniques of acting and theatre is simultaneously a source of relaxation and stimulation for the self as a whole. It helps connect us to others, fosters creativity, flexibility, generosity and learning in general, skills that are ever more needed in an adolescent world full of isolating technologies.
Head of Drama & Theatre