Secondary Drama & Theatre
"I can take any empty space and call it a bare stage. A man walks across this empty space whilst someone else is watching him, and this is all that is needed for an act of theatre to be engaged."
Peter Brook, The Empty Space
"Nous ne sommes pas libres.
Et le ciel peut encore nous tomber
sur la tête.
Et le théâtre est fait pour nous apprendre d'abord cela."
Drama is taught throughout lower school (years 7-9) for one hour each week. Students are encouraged to build their skills more by getting involved in wider school performances. Each year, many students choose to participate in the annual school show led by the English & Drama department. Students can develop their knowledge, understanding and skills further in years 10 & 11 by following the Cambridge IGCSE Drama (0411). For older students following the IB Diploma, Theatre can be studied at both standard and higher level within Group 6 (The Arts). Have a look at the National Theatre's short film explaining why every child should study Drama
Both IGCSE & IB courses provide lots of opportunity for performing and linking with other Eurocampus partners. Recently, for example, IGCSE Drama students shared their work in an evening arts showcase alongside Art and Music students. In Februrary Y11 students enjoyed a devising weekend and shared their work in an afternoon performance in the new auditorium. At the end of February 2016, 8 students flew to Brussels to participate in an ISTA high school theatre festival. At the moment the department is busy preparing to host a middle school ISTA festival in February 2017. We have previously enjoyed hosting the euroCampus Creative Arts Day with Year 8 students from IST, DST & Collége VH working alongside Arc Theatre from London. After substantial building work it is planned to pick this up again and host another one very soon. See here for a short film showing how this event has looked in the past -
The subject is housed in new, purpose built and spacious accommodation with separate areas for classroom based learning, practical work and storage. It is possible for students to book extra studio time during study sessions and, of course, after school. IGCSE and IB students regularly take advantage of these facilities on Wednesday afternoons and Mondays and Thursdays after school.
Drama has a proud tradition of inviting professionals working in the creative industries into school to give talks, workshops and performances. Recently, we have hosted part of the Toulouse's annual Improvisation Festival organised by La Bulle Carrée and we are formalising this partneship for future years. We regularly have our older students work with Helen Leblique (RSC director) on directing master classes and we are hosting Dr. Jennifer Hartley in June 2016 when she will run a weekend on applied theatre techniques.
As an art form theatre is tremendously rich and has long and established traditions around the world. Students are encouraged to explore important these practices and traditions and understand them in their various historical and cultural contexts. It is also clear that Drama has a vital role in developing and stretching students in ways that can contribute to the education of the 'whole person'. Drama at the IST understands individual students learn in different ways. It is important to involve all types of learner and help ignite in each person a passion for Theatre and learning.
In particular Drama aims to help students:
work effectively as cooperative and respectful team players
find creative and intelligent solutions to obstacles and challenges
communicate with flair and sensitivity
feel empowered to experiment and take risks
develop self esteem and confidence
use research methods appropriately and become life long learners
develop key leadership qualities