Drama and Theatre
Drama is a unique learning medium where pupils are able to demonstrate their ability to move towards independent learning through using their communication skills, co-operative abilities, ambition, motivation and imagination to create high-quality, polished pieces of work.
Inter-personal skills come to the fore during the creative process and the consequent pieces of work are often of an exceptional standard, as proven by examination results achieved and pupils’ commitment to, and enjoyment of, Drama.
Pupils show tremendous enthusiasm in Drama lessons, take responsibility for their own success and develop skills and understanding which will benefit them for life after Pangbourne.
There are two teaching spaces in the Department – one of which is a studio theatre which is regularly used for intimate performances, including A Level and GCSE work. The Department has a part-time Theatre Technician, and scripts for student use are readily available in the Drama building.
The Junior House (Dunbar, Forms 1-2) and College Productions take place in a Proscenium Arch Theatre, Drake Hall, and there are three wardrobe stores and a props store. Each February, the Department puts on its annual College Production which is the Drama highlight of the year and, in recent years, has seen acclaimed performances of ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, ‘A Midsummer’s Night’s Dream’, ‘The 39 Steps’ and ‘Spamalot’.
The College also hosts a 'Divisional Drama' competition where each of the houses are given a whole day to prepare a 15 minute performance. This can be one long play, two shorter plays, or three five minute plays. Whatever the pupils decide on, the play has to include a chosen starter line, end line, material and prop which are pulled out of a hat by the Housemasters and Housemistresses.
Drama examinations are offered at GCSE (following the Eduqas board) and A Level (following the Eduqas board), as well as the Trinity College London Drama exams at Grade levels 1-8.
Pupils are able to attend trips to theatres, such as the National Theatre in London, on a regular basis to fuel their interest in Drama. The Department has also previously been involved with the Shakespeare Schools Festival and the National Theatre’s Connections Festival.