Year 9 (Block 3)
As part of the Block 3 carousel with Dance, Drama seeks to establish good practice for group work, encourage a love of theatre as well as lay the foundations for those who wish to continue with Drama as a Bedales Assessed Course.
They study Drama for one term, Dance for one term and then look at physical theatre companies and create group pieces in the final term including elements of both disciplines.
The Drama term is divided into different stages, which open up various aspects of the subject including an introduction to Drama, Commedia D’ell Arte and Devising. Pupils also have the opportunity, outside lesson time, to get involved with the technical aspects of the theatre, through wardrobe and stage crew.
Throughout the year we aim to see self-confidence growing through students' greater understanding of group dynamics, of the expressive nature of not only the voice but the whole body and in a growing awareness of the impact we make on each other as individuals and groups. We also aim to maximise the opportunities presented by the Bedales Events programme by linking work whenever appropriate.
Those who are particularly keen on acting have many opportunities to audition for the main school play which usually takes place in the Autumn Term and the Summer Production (Blocks 3 and 4) taking place at the end of the Summer Term.
Years 10 & 11 (Blocks 4 & 5) - BAC Theatre
The Bedales Assessed Course (BAC) in Theatre Arts offers two dynamic years of Drama, taught to GCSE marking standards but beyond the scope of what the GCSEs offer. It enables students of all abilities to explore a wide range of theatrical styles, offering real variety in terms of performance and design potential and providing many opportunities for individual development and group awareness. A broad introductory course in the first year leads into five wide-ranging and contrasting modules: Unit 1 Naturalism; Unit 2 Greek Theatre; Unit 3 Site-specific Shakespeare; Unit 4 Scripted Theatre; Unit 5 Devised Theatre. Units 4 and 5 have public performance outcomes in the Bedales Olivier Theatre and are viewed by a visiting examiner to ensure standards are precisely maintained.
Sixth Form - Drama and Theatre Studies
We are in the second year of reforms for Drama and Theatre Studies and as such are incredibly excited to be reinvigorating our teaching, following new avenues that suit our students best. For this, after much consultation, we have changed exam boards from Edexcel to Eduqas. This allows more textual extracts to be studied and gives us a great opportunity to choose a range of exciting and relevant texts and there is also devised study earlier in the course. We are really pleased to be studying devising earlier as we believe in the importance of devised work so much that even the 2015-16 whole school production was a devised show: created from scratch with students working in collaboration with their teachers. This need for excellence in both disciplines means that we are proud our current BAC specification is a thorough preparation but those who join us from outside will be given the necessary support from teachers who have a huge depth of subject knowledge in these two strands of dramatic education.
Tom Brennan is a theatre director, playwright and actor. His company, The Wardrobe Ensemble (described by Dominic Maxwell of The Times as "the most exciting young company I have seen for quite a while"), is an associate company of Complicite and Shoreditch Town Hall. Tom's work with the company has been performed at The National Theatre, Almeida Theatre, Soho Theatre, and Bristol Old Vic among many other venues across the UK and USA. He was also a resident director at the Almeida Theatre on Rupert Goold's production of Mike Bartlett's Albion and Richard Jones' production of Anne Washburn's Twilight Zone. Tom is a Creative Associate of the North Wall Theatre.
For The Wardrobe Ensemble, he directed and co-wrote RIOT, 33, The Forever Machine and recently South Western for Tobacco Factory Theatres. He co-directed and co-wrote 1972: The Future of Sex (winner of the Stage Award for Acting Excellence 2015 and Spirit of the Fringe Award), and Eloise and the Curse of the Golden Whisk. He was a co-writer and performer on Education Education Education (winner - Fringe First, Stage Award for Best Ensemble 2017) which is published by Nick Hern. He also directed feminist sci-fi 252AM for Shady Dolls Theatre and the drag musical The Rocky Shock for The Wardrobe Theatre.
Pip Cleaves left full-time teaching three and a half years ago to become a stay-at-home dad. In between nappy changes and during nap times he has established himself as a drama consultant, writer and trainer, working for both Eduqas and Edexcel. After co-writing the GCSE and A Level text books he has launched his own website interviewing theatre makers and leading academics about theatre. If he is awarded funding, he will be starting a PhD about post-16 theatre education at the University of Surrey in September.
Max recently graduated with a Master's in Directing at LAMDA. Before that he studied English Literature and Drama at the University of Bristol and now works as a freelance director for theatre and film, running a theatre company which looks to bring plays from New Zealand to the UK, and working with new writers in theatre and short film in the UK as well.
Georgie brings to the school a combination of experience gained in professional theatre and education. Achieving a 2:1 in History at Durham University, Georgie admits that she spent more time on stage during that time than learning history. Following a stint as a corporate financier (which still surprises her), she then spent a year at Drama Studio London, gaining a Diploma in Acting. Years followed on and around the stage, including the 5* reviewed Breathing Corpses at the Cheltenham Everyman. She combined this work with producing events with her company, Write to Play, through which she worked with playwrights such as Jez Butterworth and Timberlake Wertenbaker at the Lyric, Hammersmith, and the Young Vic.
The challenge of combining family life with work in the theatre proved one step too far, so four years ago, Georgie embraced a career in teaching drama. She directed the sixth form production of Jerusalem at Bedales in 2016 before working as a drama teacher at Dauntsey's and then Head of Drama at St Swithun's. She returns to Bedales as a teacher of drama across the year groups. The lure of Bedales for her was twofold: the prospect of working in an environment where the individual is nurtured as well as working in a school where the arts are recognised as an integral element of that individual's education.
Stephen read English at Exeter College, Oxford, and studied William Blake's poetry for his PhD. On moving to Bristol he became a music journalist and, after interviewing Peter Gabriel in 1980, joined with him as a co-founder of WOMAD, the world music organisation. Seven years in music, dance and community theatre was followed by 28 years of teaching drama. Stephen has also produced eight educational drama films for global distribution.
Phil is deputy head co-curricular at Bedales, having been Director of Drama and Dance here and Head of Drama at Alcester Grammar in the Midlands. Phil has just finished his four-year chair of the National Independent Schools' Drama Association (2014-18). He was awarded a scholarship for the Birmingham University Playwriting Master's degree and after gaining his PGCE at nearby Warwick University (via a circuitous route, involving a spell in management in London and four months in India earning his TEFL certification), he returned occasionally to be a visiting teacher on the PGCE course.
Phil co-founded Rough Fiction with Simon Pittman, now Associate Director (Learn and Train) at Frantic Assembly. They met at university and, after transferring a production from university to the Pleasance Theatre in Islington, they were invited to bring a new show to the Edinburgh Festival. They created Hospitals and Other Buildings That Catch Fire which was met by critical acclaim, nominated for a Fringe First and subsequently selected for the National Student Drama Festival. They produced Killing Alan, also at the Edinburgh Festival. Rough Fiction were an associate company at The Point, Eastleigh from 2010 to 2012. The Last of The Lake toured the UK in 2012 supported by Arts Council England and co-commissioned by Brighton Dome.
- Bedales Dance Performs (March 2019) - photos
- Whole School Show, The Trench (December 2018) - photos
- BAC Devised Performances (November 2018) - photos
- Sixth Form Show (October 2018) - photos
- Parents' Day 2018 (June 2018) - photos
- 6.2 Scripted and Devised performances (April 2018) - photos
- Bedales Dance Performs (March 2018) - photos
- BAC Devised Shows (February 2018) - photos
- Whole School Show, Spring Awakening (December 2017) - photos
- BAC Scripted Performances (November 2017) - photos
- Sixth Form Show, The Three Lives of Lucie Cabrol (October 2017) - photos
- Parents' Day 2017: Dance Display - photos
- Parents' Day 2017: Summer Production - Me - photos
- Bedales 6.1 Performances (May 2017) - photos
- Student Directed Performances (March 2017) - photos
- Bedales Dance Performs (March 2017) - photos
- BAC Devised performances (February/ March 2017) - photos
- A2 Theatre Devised Performances (February 2017) - photos
- Winter Production - Medea (December 2016) - photos
- Sixth Form Production - Jerusalem (October 2016) - photos
- As You Like It - Bedales Summer play (2016) - photos
- AS Theatre Scripted Performances (April 2016) Alba / Mojo / Ubu
- BAC Theatre Performances (February 2016) - photos
- A2 Theatre Devised Performances (February 2016) - photos
- Winter Production - Sound of The Night Feather (December 2015) - photos
- BAC Performances (November 2015) - photos
- How to disappear completely and never be found (November 2015) - photos
- Parents' Day Drama (June 2015) - photos
- Everyone else is a superhero (June 2015) - photos
- BAC Scripted Performances (May 2015) - photos
- AS Theatre Scripted Performances (April 2015) - photos
- BAC Devised Performances (March 2015) - photos
- A2 Theatre Devised Performances (February 2015) - photos
- Winter Production - Caucasian Chalk Circle (December 2014) - photos
- Dubai tour - Physical Theatre (December 2014) - photos
- BAC Scripted Performances (November 2014) - photos
- Sixth Form Production - Fewer Emergencies (October 2014) - review
- Parents' Day - Elegies for Angels, Punks and Raging Queens (June 2014) - photos
- Too Soon Made Glad (May 2014) - review and photos
- AS Theatre Studies Performances (April 2014) - review and photos
- BAC Peformances (March 2014) - review and photos
- Shockheaded Peter (December 2013) - review and photos
- Pornography (October 2013) - review and photos
- The Frogs (June 2013) - programme, review and photos
- 13 (May 2013) - programme, review and photos
- The Relapse (December 2012) - programme and review
- Noises Off (November 2012) - programme and review
- Cabaret (December 2011) - programme and review
- Holes (July 2011) - programme
- Shakespeare's A Midsummer Night's Dream (December 2010) -programme and film
- Our Country's Good (December 2009) - programme
- Lord of the Flies (June 2009) - programme