Few things are remembered as much – by both performers in later life and by parents – as a school production. Most people can probably recall some of the lines they learnt decades after leaving school. Taking part in a play and working closely with others on the stage is a wonderfully uplifting and energising experience, and we try to offer as many opportunities for taking part as we can.
The Drama department offer a wealth of opportunities to all age groups to contribute to the vibrant co-curricular life of Ipswich School. Our productions are extremely popular with large cast numbers at all levels and they are invaluable in developing confidence onstage and the ability to speak in public. We perform a range of straight plays and musical theatre to cater to all performers’ tastes; pupils can also get involved in sound, lighting, set construction, makeup, costumes and directing. Alongside these shows we run regular clubs and workshops which often result in presentations of ‘work in progress’ to smaller audiences.
Our Lower School productions have included putting our unique spin on the texts of Peter Pan, Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations and Alice in Wonderland.
Recent Middle School productions have been as varied as the period piece She Stoops to Conquer and the eccentric modern farce Amphibious Spangulatos.
We are extremely proud of the Senior School Musicals that are the pinnacle of the Department’s efforts. Recent triumphs have included Into the Woods and Little Shop of Horrors, all of which have received rave reviews in the local press.
Sixth Form Productions: students produce and direct their own shows. These are always of a high standard and many performers have gone on to have successful careers in the industry. Past productions include Be my Baby and The Exam.
Technical Support: There is always opportunity to get involved on the ‘other side of the curtain’. Both the Lower and Middle School shows have assistant directors, many of whom are studying GCSE Drama. Great attention is paid to the set and costumes which are designed and made in the department. Over the years we have amassed quite a collection. We have a newly upgraded lighting and sound system which is operated by a specialist technical team, made up of students and staff.
Trips and Visits: Pupils that select Drama as a GCSE/A Level Option attend a range of trips throughout their course, with A Level pupils thoroughly enjoying our ‘Theatre Day’, attending a matinee and evening show in 24 hours! We also run an international trip every other year, our very first being to New York no less!
Festivals: We have also participated in the Suffolk Festival of Performing Arts, our pupils winning in both solo and group categories. As well as this, we take part in the nationwide projects such as National Theatre Connections and Shakespeare for Schools Festival.
CS Drama: Selected as an option as part of Ipswich School’s Activities programme, CS Drama provides vital outreach to the local community. We have been featured on ITV for our partnership with Ipswich Hospital and have also performed in many local primary schools, performing to up to 400 students in one afternoon!
Follow the Ipswich School Drama Department on twitter@IpswichDrama.