Drama at Warwick Academy is taught at GCSE examination level following the Cambridge Examination. As a subject, throughout all years at Secondary basis, Drama is included within the School curriculum not only to develop student's skills in performance on an artistic basis but, arguably more importantly, to develop social and communication skills, imagination, an understanding of culture and preparation in relation to life skills.
IGCSE Drama is a highly academic subject and demands a high level of commitment and time from students, both in relation to the development of scripted and devised productions, the study of text and playwrights and the alternative skills of noted practitioners such as Stanislavski and Brecht. Students need to be able to express themselves fluently, with imagination and be able to develop ideas appropriately both on an oral and written basis. The Department also offers Film Studies at the International Baccalaureate level.
Students at Warwick Academy have opportunities to perform from an early age - starting with shared assembly presentations through to a Winter Concert in December and then in Upper Primary a Drama and Dance Club which works towards a production in Term 2. In previous years the primary department have performed 'The Key Master' and 'Scheherazade'. In 2013 the production was Treasure Island.
On an extra-curricular basis, Drama in Secondary at Warwick Academy has gained a steadily increasing reputation for excellence in recent years with productions staged including 'Blood Brothers', 'Little Shop of Horrors' , 'Hairspray', 'The Crucible', 'Cabaret' and 'Lord of the Flies'. In November 2014, the School will be presenting an original musical written by the Head of Drama, 'Frisco 77'.
In recent years, Warwick Academy has gained a reputation for risk-taking in terms of imaginatively alternative choices of staging with productions, thereby moving away from the stereotyped pedestrian expectations of commercial theatre. Whilst the original concept and ideas will be initiated by the director of each production, the cast are actively encouraged to suggest their own thoughts in rehearsal and, indeed, often contribute the best ideas. As an example, 'The Crucible' was set at an indefinite time.
Outside of the annual School Productions, Drama at Warwick Academy has been involved in the Bermuda Shakespeare Festival since its introduction on the island. Past performances include 'Romeo and Juliet', 'The Merchant of Venice', 'Hamlet' and 'The Comedy of Errors'. As with the Productions, the School has gained an increasing reputation for excellence and originality in the staging of Shakespeare's work with, as an example, 'The Comedy of Errors' set in a tourist clogged 1970's Costa del Sol.
Drama has established itself as an integral part of school life at Warwick Academy. We are especially proud and honoured to have so many students, staff, parents and affiliates who enthusiastically contribute to the productions and support the Department as it moves from strength to strength.
To produce students who can rise to the challenge of the vagrancies of life is constantly our goal. One of the ways we do this is to expose students to an array of opportunities such as taking part in our drama productions. This week we have seen a huge cast of all ages return to Frisco ' 77, San Francisco in the 1970s, and experience the politics, social issues and problems of life at that time.