I regard the theatre as the greatest of all art forms, the most immediate way in which a human being can share with another the sense of what it is to be a human being. Thornton Wilder
St Columba’s offers the opportunity to study Drama at GCSE level.
The course is both academic and practical, requiring effective acting skills, as well as challenging students academically. Students are required to write about plays they have seen from a technical perspective and give a fluent account of what they have produced during their performance preparations. Recent plays performed at GCSE include ‘Art,’ ‘The Caretaker’, ‘Neville’s Island’, ‘A Man for All Seasons’.
In addition to performing a play by a recognised playwright, students produce a piece of theatre of their own. This may be an entirely original piece or one which is a combination of published scripts and their own work. Recently, students performed a play based on the First World War, using a mixture of poetry by Wilfred Owen, the diaries of soldiers in the trenches, and material created by themselves.
Drama supplements English admirably and is an enjoyable and effective way of developing communication skills, independent thinking, leadership qualities and the ability to work together in a team.
Acting accounts for 60% of the grade, while 40% is accounted for by a written examination. At present, the College follows the AQA specification. Part of the course requires students to attend a range of live performances; this informs their own acting skills, as well as opening their eyes to the wonderful and unique magic of theatre. All students are eligible to study this subject, as no prior experience is needed.