Discovering Drama was founded in 2002 and has grown from the aforementioned 9 students to 250 approximately. “Teaching drama is a passion; there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a shy student open up and , with full confidence, either participate in class or perform on stage. Also seeing students who have been with me for a while growing in their abilities and confidence levels”. The school is called “Discovering Drama” for a reason. While there is an end of year performance, it is not the main focus of the year. It is about the process, what you learn along the way, not just the finished product. Drama must be conducted in an environment where the student feels comfortable and at ease, so that their confidence and self esteem can grow in a team orientated setting.
The year consists of four terms and we cover an appreciation of theatre and stage craft, the ability to work effectively in groups while also taking responsibility as individuals. They gain the self confidence to speak publicly while having (we hope) a lot of fun in the process. Everything within the first few weeks is in low focus, therefore nobody is ill at ease and they are only asked to participate when they are comfortable. Our intention is that much of the core lessons are learned almost surreptitiously through games and fun exercises. From about half way through term three we begin work on our end of year production.
The students learn a lot about what is involved in putting on a play, the learning of lines, creating characters, use of props and costumes etc. The students love going on stage!! Once a student has attended “Discovering Drama” for one year they have two options; they can partake in drama exams and join the Agency. If the student decides to enter for a drama exam, it can help develop speaking skills. By being a member of the Agency it allows the students to be considered for professional acting jobs.
There are many elements to the “Discovering Drama” year, but the main focus is the student and their enjoyment of class. At all times the teachers will ensure everyone is comfortable and happy in the drama environment.