As part of our flourishing Performing Arts department, Drama is one of the major strengths of the school. We are very proud of the fact that every child has a chance to perform to an audience in every year of their school life with us.
We start the Michaelmas term with the Year 3 ‘show in a week’ and finish it with individual Nativities for Early Years and Pre-Prep children. In the Lent term, Year 5 go ‘head to head’ in their House Play competition, Year 4 present their ‘big show’ and Year 7 showcase their abilities in an evening of classic drama, dance and musical theatre excerpts. In the Trinity term Year 6 produce a full scale musical theatre production and we finish the year in June with performances of the Year 8 Senior play.
A mode of learning
We believe that every Amesbury pupil has a full part to play in our department – from the shy child to the experienced performer. We enjoy finding the right role for everyone and our first priority is to ensure that our children enjoy the process of rehearsing and performing. Although all pupils are encouraged to develop their onstage performance skills there are also opportunities to develop backstage skills as technicians, lighting and sound operators, stage and costume designers and directors. As PFA teachers, there is nothing better than seeing every child involved, enthused and excited about their show. All children are expected to take part right from the beginning of their school life so that by the time they leave us they are independent, expressive performers and confident communicators.
We have our own Amesbury Repertory Company (ARC) which is an acting group open to talented Year 7 and 8 actors. This company meets to rehearse twice a week and presents a variety of classic and modern plays throughout the year. Recent productions include Macbeth, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nightime, The Nightmare Before Christmas, Scary Play and Success!
Head of Department
Anya Phillips trained at the Royal Ballet School, performed in the West End from the age of 9 and had a busy career firstly as a dancer and then as a stage, television and film actor for 20 years. She was awarded the ATCL with Distinction from Trinity College London in 2006 as a teacher of Drama and has been teaching at Amesbury for 11 years now – a job she hugely enjoys. She is also Head of Children’s Drama at Laine Theatre Arts, teaching children and young people from age 4 to age 18.