Drama is life. In the drama studio we embrace this. Whether it be how we wear shoes or putting on a mask. We consider the wider effects. Who do not wear shoes? Do we wear a mask every day anyway?
From year 7, each student will tackle the problems of working together, creating an ensemble, giving the spotlight to someone else, trying to act without thinking, being truly in the moment, listening and much more.
Each child may enter the drama room with no previous experience. They may have never given a speech or stood on a stage. It does not matter. They are alive and in many ways have already been showing themselves to the world in day to day interactions.
Drama is not just acting. It may be making a mask. It may be choosing a type of light. It may be being a member of the audience, telling the actor what is strong and weak in what they have just seen.
The drama student at BISP does not say ‘I wanna be the King cause I am tallest!’ He says, ‘Tom. I think you would be best as the King because you show stillness and authority.’
We insist that Drama is as important as Maths, History, Science, Business or any other subject. It is an act of creation. Of opening up the mind. Of making the student say ‘Yes’ instead of a knee-jerk ‘No’.
To help with all these things BISP Drama has been supported by:
- LAMDA Use of Spoken English Exam.
- Visits and workshops with Neil Farrelly and Nose2Nose Theatre Company.
- Drama intern from LAMDA and the Paris Academy of Theatre.
- Theatre Productions from IB [recently ‘The Importance of Being Ernest’ by Oscar Wilde] and IG [‘DNA’ – a British National Theatre/UK Schools collaboration].
- BISP PTA and a purchase of Commedia Masks.
- IB Theatre students visit to Singapore to see Kevin Spacey in Richard III.
The drama department has increasing numbers of students undertaking examination at IGCSE and IBDP level. Parents are increasingly seeing the benefits of research that shows that creative subjects support and improve other academic exam results.
In 1999 the British public were asked, ‘As the millennium ends who do you consider to be the greatest British person over the last 1000 years to have had the most influence on the whole world?’
They did not choose an engineer, explorer, scientist, soldier or politician. They choose a playwright.
‘All the world’s a stage, and all the men and women merely players.’