Welcome to the Drama Department
“The experience of being part of a theatre audience is not simply passive. It’s not like watching TV; it’s not even like watching a film in the cinema. Everyone in that space is alive, and everyone is focused on one central activity. And everyone contributes. The actors contribute their performance; the audience contributes their attention, their silence, their laughter, their applause, their respect… I can remember evenings in the theatres, which were among the most important things I’ve ever known…Theatre feeds the heart and nourishes the soul and enlarges the spirit.”
Drama for All
Drama is very popular here at Millfield and is right at the heart of the Millfield community. We have a vibrant and healthy number of students involved across all the year groups. At present, all Year 9 students receive approximately eight hours of Drama lessons on a rota basis, which are taught during English lessons by Drama Specialists. There is also a Junior Drama Club run twice a week to help develop and train the younger members of the School. Pupils can choose to study Drama at GCSE Level and Drama & Theatre Studies at AS and A2 Level.
Developing life skills, teamworking skills and confidence
Drama at Millfield is so much more than an academic subject. It is an art form, a practical activity and an intellectual discipline. Drama can unlock the use of the imagination and the intellect. It can unleash strengths and emotions, courage and empathy. All students have a right to engage in dramatic play. Through this they are able to apply their imaginations and draw upon their own personal experiences. As they develop their knowledge and understanding of dramatic conventions, they learn to effectively shape their creativity; express and share their ideas and feelings, and by doing so they take part in one of the greatest forms of human expression.
Drama is a truly collaborative process which asks the students to look inside themselves and examine the world around them through action. To encourage within them character, initiative, empathy, adaptability, perspective, cooperation, optimism and a belief in themselves. Drama is about studying what it is to be human. It explores the many facets of human nature and how they can be defined and expressed creatively. The aim of Drama teaching is to help students to understand the world around them, the world in which they live.They need meaningful experiences to learn and build resilience, self discipline, confidence, responsibility and motivation. These are the skills that are central to success in all aspects of their lives.
Drama should work towards improving the way in which students can work with one another. It should develop the students’ ability to concentrate, listen, focus, take instruction and gain satisfaction for achieving positive results within a team environment. It is, in many ways, the best team game of all. We embrace this enriching subject by focusing on developing an understanding of ‘complicité’ – the theatrical term for togetherness. Ours is a friendly and inclusive environment where freedom of expression thrives.
Exploring theatrical styles, studying texts and rehearsing hard
There is a diverse and imaginative combination of theatrical styles that are explored as part of the subject. Naturalism, Physical Theatre, Story-Telling, Ensemble, Musicals, Classical theatre and many more theatrical styles are all encouraged and embraced here at Millfield.
Studying Drama is not easy! It is a misconception that Drama is only standing around pretending to be a tree. It is not! It is a serious academic study of the theatrical arts, the self and the world that we live in. The subject requires huge amounts of rehearsal time, including on Sundays, in order to prepare for practical exams.
The main emphasis of the subject is a practical exploration of dramatic texts and creative ideas. However, at A Level and GCSE there is a great deal of written work to be done and students are expected to apply themselves and have a love of learning. Drama is a collaborative subject where a student’s success is inherently linked to their ability to communicate and support their peers. Therefore the Department expects students to be enthusiastic, committed and responsible to the group and adhere to deadlines.
"Theatre is a serious business, one that makes or should make man more human, which is to say, less alone".
Arthur Miller, playwright