Why study Drama at Wanganui Collegiate School?
Drama is designed to offer another dimension to the School, to give confidence, self-esteem and a sense of group collaboration. Students are encouraged to be involved in a range of dramatic activities.
The productions are designed to be stimulating and challenging: to explore theatre genres; to work in different performance spaces; to experience performance to an audience. Drama can help develop character and the social skills in working as part of a team towards a performance.
The compulsory course in Year 9 offers the students an insight into the techniques, elements and conventions of drama. Drama is a stand-alone course but asks students to call upon previous experience and use them within the drama they undertake. They will perform within small groups, and pairs; will be called upon to present their work to others within the group and to external audiences.
Drama is an option at Year 10 and then follows the NCEA courses through to Year 13. Although students are able to join at any point, consistency is important and students benefit from having followed the course from Year 10. The course concentrates on the process of drama, working together and the process of drama and the performances. We explore poems, theatre genres, Creation myths, New Zealand biographies, and theatre texts.
The Drama Department offers a number of activities over the year aimed at various groups within the School. Over the course of an academic year there is the House Drama competition, the University of Otago Shakespeare Festival, a senior Drama production, an evening of drama and theatre and a production aimed at various year groups. In addition to this, there are various trips to different performances in Wanganui, Palmerston North and Wellington. The school has close links with Toi Whakaari (the NZ Drama School) and the Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand.
The Department is housed in the Prince Edward Auditorium, a modern purpose-built building alongside the Foundation Music School, and is a modern, 500-seat performance space, which has housed various school productions and played host to significant New Zealand companies, such as the New Zealand Royal Ballet, the New Zealand Symphony Orchestra and the New Zealand Opera School.
Other facilities include storage areas for costumes, a drama classroom and makeup room. Over the years the school has added significantly to its sound and lighting equipment and an 8 metre projector screen and full scale projector for use by the school and outside groups.
The Department also involves outside groups and we try to take advantage of what is on offer in the region. This may include the ‘Ugly Shakespeare Company’ or a Dance Expert. Drama is designed to be fun. To offer the student a different life experience from the other activities offered by the school. It promotes understanding, confidence, creativity and culture. It aims to broaden the student’s understanding of themselves and to challenge them.
Photo Gallery: Drama