Drama and Theatre

In everyday life, "if" is a fiction; in the theatre, "if" is an experiment.
In everyday life, "if" is an evasion; in the theatre, "if" is the truth.
When we are persuaded to believe in this truth, then the theatre and life are one.
This is a high aim. It sounds like hard work.
To play needs much work. But when we experience the work as play, then it is not work anymore.
A play is play.
Peter Brook
It is our intention to reconnect classroom drama to the theatre’s long and diverse history as a cultural form and performance art.  At A level we aim to deepen our student’s knowledge, skills and practice of theatre.
We follow the AQA syllabus which offers a diverse programme of study designed to inspire students and develop their understanding through performance as designers, directors, actors and academics. Study includes practical exploration of the work of theatre practitioners Antonin Artaud, Frantic Assembly, Gecko, and DV8. Our current set texts are Yerma by Lorca, pool no water by Ravenhill, Hedda Gabler by Ibsen and Fear and Misery in the Third Reich by Brecht. Live theatre analysis is another key component of the course and we take great advantage of the spectacular range of theatre and performance art on offer in London.
Assessment is through written and practical examinations which focus on the realisation of set texts, live theatre analysis, scripted and devised performances. 
There is always a wealth of drama taking place at St Paul’s, whether it is in class, the annual school plays or student-led productions. There are multiple opportunities for students of all ages to get involved in shows, whether in the fantastic Celia Johnson Theatre or in the new drama studio.
If you are interested in seeing live theatre or working with professional actors and directors, our Theatre Society organises numerous visits that take advantage of London’s rich theatrical life, as well as inviting practitioners to run workshops in school.
Each year the Colet Play is produced entirely by students in the VII who cast, design, direct, and stage manage the performance using as many of the year group as possible. Colet’s have included Arabian Nights, The Lord of the Flies, Lulu, Dracula and The 39 Steps,
Our annual VIII Play is open only to girls in their final year and is a celebration of theatre at the highest level. Recent plays include The Laramie Project, Brief Encounter and Earthquakes in London.
We regularly prepare girls to study drama and theatre at university or to pursue vocational acting courses at drama schools and conservatoires. Girls also often select drama as a creative addition to their other subjects, enabling further development of critical analysis. Drama students can go on to every imaginable type of degree. Recent alumnae of the drama department have gone on to Oxford, Cambridge, RADA, Central and Guildhall.
Notable Old Paulinas include Dame Celia Johnson, after whom our school theatre is named, the influential stage designer Jocelyn Herbert, theatre director Blanche McIntyre, and more recently, the dynamic and inspiring young theatre producers Emma Hall, Ellen Spence and Lucy Moss.

'Imagining what it is like to be someone other than yourself is at the core of our humanity. It is the essense of compassion, and it is the beginning of morality'
Ian McEwan

Qualification: A level

Board: AQA

Mode of Assessment: 40% examination, 30% coursework and 30% performance