"I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being."
- Oscar Wilde
The Drama department is a vibrant, exciting well-resourced area of the School. We believe in ‘embodiment’, ‘imagination’ and ‘interaction’. Our philosophy is to develop pupils’ voice, public speaking skills, confidence and self-esteem through Drama skills. We aim for our Harrow performers to be strong and effective communicators of thought, emotion and intention, and open up their imagination through Devised Theatre or the study of a wide range of playwright’s text from classics such as Greek Theatre, Shakespeare and Oscar Wilde to new playwrights Laura Wade, Simon Stevens and Dennis Kelly to name a few.
We encourage all our students to enter a LAMDA examination twice a year with a visiting examiner from the UK. We are the biggest private centre in Asia and since 2015 640 pupils from Years 2-13 have successfully followed a LAMDA course.
We believe that succeeding in LAMDA examinations demonstrates that not only have our students met a rigorous assessment criteria, and are able in public speaking, but also that they have grown as individuals through participating in a worthwhile activity that is respected as a global standard. The skills learnt in Drama and LAMDA work in partnership to develop the whole child.
Students from Years 1-5 have one weekly Drama lesson. Children are introduced to Drama through play and storytelling. Children enjoy learning how to use basic costumes and props to re-tell well known stories such as ‘Little Red Riding Hood’ and ‘The Jolly Postman’ whilst developing core skills such as ‘Freeze Frames’ and ‘Hot Seating’. Children focus on how to improve their voice, annunciation and diction in weekly Drama lessons. We finish the School year with a large-scale production that every child from Year 1 is involved in. Previous productions have been ‘Wind in the Willows’, ‘Oh What a Knight’ and ‘Alice in Wonderland’
Children have one weekly lesson in a fully equipped Black Box Studio and they develop script skills as we explore how to direct, stage and perform plays. Pupils will develop their devising skills in Term 3 as they write our own scenes and lines. There is a key emphasise on the stage craft elements required to plan and execute a public performance. Students are expected to use the language of Drama in their feedback and discussion work. Throughout the Prep Phase we consider the importance of voice projection and the correct breathing and pronunciation needed for clear diction. We focus on pace, pitch and dramatic pause. Prep students are encouraged to take part in the Prep production, which is an annual event. Previous productions have been ‘The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe’ ‘Ella’ and the 2017 production will be ‘Peter Pan’
Senior School lessons take place in a fully equipped Mini Theatre Studio. Students at GCSE follow the Edexcel syllabus and from KS3 students start to use the language of Drama.All students in the Upper School study Shakespeare and have the opportunity to perform their pieces during ‘An Evening with Shakespeare’ once a year.
Pupils learn how to direct a play whilst studying a key practitioner. Students perform a chosen play script and devise their own piece of theatre for an invited audience. Students in the Sixth Form play an active role in the department, running their own Enrichment Activities and supporting the Productions. Pupils follow the Edexcel course.
We offer a diverse and wide-ranging Enrichment Programme, during extra-curricular time and lunchtimes. We have close links with local Community Schools and have had the opportunity to perform for them and work on joint projects. We regularly run local theatre trips, exposing our pupils to live theatre. We also provide:
- Prose and Poetry LAMDA
- Public Speaking LAMDA
- Acting LAMDA
- Devised Theatre LAMDA
- Musical Theatre LAMDA
- Staff LAMDA
- Pre-Prep Production
- Prep Production
- Upper School Studio Plays
- Prop making
- Costume Design and making
- Theatre Marketing
- Shakespeare Performance