“Great theatre is about challenging how we think and encouraging us to fantasize about a world we aspire to”. William Dafoe.

Head of Department: Fiona Jenkins

Drama is a thriving department at Windlesham with all children taking drama lessons weekly and no less than three major productions a year plus additional smaller scale performances all in our fully equipped theatre. Our productions range from rock musicals to Shakespeare and each child who auditions for a part in a play is included. Our major productions are ambitious and we believe they are comparable with any youth performances nationwide. Recent productions have included: “Les Misérables”, “West Side Story” and “High School Musical.” In addition to acting, dancing and singing, there are also opportunities to learn stage management skills, lighting and sound operation, as well as costuming. Every production has an enthusiastic and committed backstage team of pupils.

There are also extra drama activities, coaching sessions for potential scholars, theatre trips, the opportunity to take additional LAMDA classes and also workshops from external specialists. The Young Shakespeare Company recently ran workshops with each individual year group exploring the different aspects of Romeo and Juliet. Children are also encouraged to write, direct and perform their own work and other performance opportunities include assemblies, poetry festivals and Open Day. Academic drama, covering many styles and genres including: Commedia Dell’Arte, Melodrama, Realism, Epic theatre and mask work in our spacious studio, is both challenging and rewarding and covers important texts and key practitioners. Children are encouraged to create original work to demonstrate their understanding of the style in question and are assessed regularly in a fair, consistent and non-pressured way.

Every year, Windlesham children gain drama scholarships to such schools as: Wellington, Harrow, Malvern and Lancing. Preparation for these scholarships includes theatre trips and extra study sessions. Windlesham children have also gained places at the national youth music theatre and in theatrical agencies and have gone on to be professional actors in film, television and as part of the RSC.

A number of dance activities are also available including Ballet, Tap and Street Dance. The children are encouraged to choreograph their own pieces for our annual Dance Competition and also work towards performances of the pieces they have learnt in their classes.