The PGS Drama Department is motivated by the belief that individual creativity is an essential and vital part of education. To this end, we embrace enthusiasm and excellence, independent thinking and inclusive participation. In addition to the curricular opportunities offered, the many clubs available give students freedom to explore their own Drama interests. Whatever their age or ability, there is always space for the student to explore and extend projects independently. Students and teachers alike find joy and fulfilment in the very process of learning.
The Department produces an eclectic range of performances: whole-school productions, studio work, showcases and experimental theatre. PGS has become justly renowned for ambitious shows across the city providing a uniqueand authentic experience for all. Recent productions include Much Ado About Nothing, Mack & Mabel and Thoroughly Modern Millie - the hugely popular annual musical is performed at The King’s Theatre in Southsea. Further performances take place in our own David Russell Theatre and Gatehouse Studios as well as open-air Elizabethan drama. This year saw the commissioning of a new drama, Whalesong, by Jo Harper that she developed in collaboration with Middle School pupils who also performed the piece.
Across Years 7-8, all students experience timetabled Drama. In Year 9 and at GCSE level, students may opt for Drama. In the Sixth Form years, IB Theatre is available as part of the IB Diploma Programme and Theatre Studies is a subject option for AS/A Level.
Curricular Drama encompasses a wide-ranging study of many aspects of theatre including theorists, world theatre traditions, and practical skills such as set design, directing and scriptwriting. Courses are supplemented by regular theatre visits locally, further afield and even abroad. One of the keys to the success of GCSE, IB and A Level Drama courses lies with their fostering of reflection, research, inspiration, practice and, as is the case in all Art forms at PGS, creativity.
Beyond the curriculum, students may take private Speech and Drama lessons leading towards LAMDA qualifications. Our Middle School Drama Club attracts over 40 pupils and, for those interested in technical theatre, a popular Stage Crew Club is run by the School’s own Theatre Technician. A Drama Club for pupils in Years 9-10 is run by our Director in Residence. After Year 10, many students choose to write or direct their own plays, either independently, as part of the annual House Drama Competition or for showcase performances. Every year students will tour a production to a theatre festival.
All Drama activity gives focus to, indeed celebrates, the actual process of creativity as well as the end product. We aim to develop students’ ability to express their ideas, their personalities, their interpretation of the world and the sense of pride that comes with mastering skills and producing unique work. Our approach aims to challenge stereotypes and preconceptions, to free the imagination and to encourage productive co-operation. The Drama Department firmly believes in the power of Theatre to transform lives and society, to nurture the individual spirit and create a common language for humanity.