“Fun” is the key word for our Academy ‘Mini Dramas’. By using a game-based structure for training and exploration, we teach both theatre skills and the life skills that arise from working as part of a team. Our Mini Drama Courses are 60 minutes per week.
We have a specially designed rolling curriculum across all age groups and course types. Each year, our choice of material, genre and focus changes, allowing students to spend three terms exploring and developing a specific set of new skills and experiences, and realise them through performance. Meanwhile, regardless of the material being explored, we simultaneously return to basic strategies and techniques that are common to all live performance work, thereby building on the work of previous years. Our objective is to offer complete and exciting opportunities for those who may be with us for one or two years, whilst also providing life-long learning based on a rich set of contrasting experiences for our long-term students.
Building the Ensemble
This term is all about creating strong foundations on which to build throughout the year. This begins with the implementation of good studio ethics: exploring how we work together; how we establish basic trust and acceptance of the group; and how we create an atmosphere of mutual respect and support. We continue with skills and ensemble work throughout term 1, developing our ability and confidence to play together and share our imaginations. The term often ends with an open class, where parents are invited into the studio to see the style of teaching, the environment, and the types of activity we have been working on.
Exploring the World
This term builds upon the work of Term 1, and begins to focus towards investigation of the skills, style and details of the world of a particular story, play or musical production. We start to explore stories, images, characters, language, possibilities, using the techniques established in Term 1.
Rehearsing the Play
Mid way through Term 2 we also begin rehearsals for the end of year showcases. Here we gather the skills, ideas, techniques, understanding and energy created during Term 1 and Term 2, and put them into practice. Lines are learned, characters are created, moves are established and we practice our craft in the rehearsal room. In PA classes this will also include learning songs and choreography.
Performing the Play
This term continues to build on the rehearsal experience and our work becomes more focused on developing performance skills. Each class works together as a mini theatre company as we rehearse our play or musical production. The material is carefully selected for each year group and we showcase the year’s work in the theatre in front of an audience.
Ensemble practice serves as a foundation to all our work and we encourage everyone to challenge and stretch themselves as the year comes full circle with the Building the Ensemble foundations present in the showcase performances.