Our philosophy in the Drama Department is summed up by the phrase, "Drama for all". We believe that involvement in live theatre is a life-enhancing experience that equips young people with essential life skills, and should therefore be available to everyone.
Alongside our academic drama programme, we offer a broad and exciting co-curricular provision that includes clubs, workshops and Speech and Drama coaching. We run ambitious shows in the Meyer Theatre; in the autumn term we put on a big production that is open to everyone in the school, giving pupils a rounded experience of putting on a play with full production values, including large sets. The Junior Play in the summer, open to Years 9 and 10, is similarly impressive in its scale.
The big shows are by no means the only opportunities on offer. Our showcase of raw theatrical talent, ‘Short Cuts’, has created quite a buzz, as have the ‘Junior House Plays’ at the end of the summer term. The house plays capture the competitive spirit of the Millfield pupil, and are a display of team work and talent. Written and directed by Drama pupils in the Lower Sixth, the plays involve the participation of the whole of Year 9 and many Year 10, in exuberant performances often involving music and dance.
Our pupils also get to work in a professional theatre, through our annual contribution to the Shakespeare Schools Festival, and we are very lucky to have a fresh Director in Residence working with us every year between January and June. The DIR's job is to create further co-curricular opportunities for our pupils, often in unconventional, site-specific projects.
Pupils can get involved in any aspect of these productions, including acting, backstage work, technical assistance with sound and lighting, and publicity. What they get from it is a shared experience that gives them skills they will always find useful, notably creativity, team work, communication, decision making, risk taking and presentation.