From our Drama Captains: Sarah H. and Brooke L.
From Sarah H. - Drama Captain for Technical
St Mary’s has undoubtedly affected my life. I’ve been at this school for seven years, which is about 40% of my entire time on Earth, and while I understand that seven years is actually quite a short amount of time in the context of my future, I think that what I have been taught by my friends and teachers here, I will remember for a long time.
About Drama in particular, I have to confess that I am not so confident in the performance aspects of drama – the acting, singing, and dance. I perhaps peaked in my inspired performance as a pantomime horse. Therefore, I’m especially grateful to have Brooke as Drama Captain for Performance, as her acting (and dance!) are fantastic and have been a great help.
In one word, St Mary’s is accommodating and has given me many opportunities to develop my interests in post-production and the technical aspects of drama.
As part of both GCSE and A Level Drama, I specialised in lighting and got to work with Joe, the Department Technician, to create groovy and very serious, symbolic lighting states using specialist equipment!
Initially, I had the idea that at St Mary’s, I would be sorted, like at Hogwarts, into a certain interest. I would be the person who’s good at painting or maths. Instead, St Mary’s has been great at making links between subjects and offering access to events like Robocon, where we entered a robot for a competition, something fun and educational but still extra-curricular.
If there is an idea you have, it’s usually possible to email a teacher and see if it could be arranged – I remember emailing the Physics Department to see if I could try and make some music with their equipment which was arguably weird, but very enjoyable.
As Drama Captain, you can be asked to help out the Department with promotional material, and I was allowed to edit the Musical Monologue Mashup, a 14-minute showcase of excellent performances by St Mary’s students, some of whom are working towards LAMDA qualifications. This was a perfect opportunity for me to experiment with basic visual effects and wacky transitions, as I was pretty much given free rein over the project.
Creatively, the main task given to the Drama Captain is undoubtedly the Sixth Form Revue – an hour-long sketch show written by the Sixth Form featuring kind members of staff and students. Admittedly, working on the Revue was wildly stressful as there was a lot of team management, scriptwriting, filming, editing, and emailing to be done.
I was grateful to Masha, who edited three of the scenes, to Alice, the Head Girl who was instrumental in organising the group, and to Brooke, my Co-Drama Captain, who supported and helped with acting and coordinating students in getting the Revue ready by the agreed deadline.
I’ve learned so much about the process, and I am applying to study Film and Television Post Production at university next year!
From Brooke L. - Drama Captain for Performance
Throughout my seven years at St Mary’s (I know what you're thinking ... I’m getting older now!) I have changed from a small child to a young adult, and I cannot thank St Mary’s enough for allowing me to become who I am today by embracing my creativity and imagination, even if it was crazy at times.
I leave St Mary’s as a Year 13 student who could not be more grateful for the endless support and advice from the amazing Drama Department and the incredible support from Sarah, my Co-Drama Captain.
One thing that I will remember everywhere I go is to be myself and embrace my individual qualities which the Drama Department has always supported me on.
Throughout my Captaincy, I have explored my passion for acting and presenting in various roles in school productions such as, Chicago and Twelfth Night.
The Drama Department works so hard each year to put on a Musical or Play for any age group to join and for parents and students to watch. Not only have I been able to further my skills, but I have also learnt new ones, like lighting and set design. I will confess that this isn’t my strong suit but, I had great help from Sarah whose talents lie in the technical side of Drama, and she has led me in the right direction.
Sarah and I used our teamwork on the annual Sixth Form Revue, in which Sixth Formers create comedic sketches of our teachers. Although this may sound mischievous, it is something that the entire school connects on, especially on our last day of term before the Christmas Holidays. We practised writing, editing and filming, which are crucial elements of the acting world.
To further the development of my skills in acting and teamworking, I took part in the extra-curricular LAMDA Award. This award is another great creative opportunity available here at St Mary’s, where you can perform either as part of a duo or independently.
With the invaluable help of Mrs Weber, the Speech and Drama Teacher, I was able to excel, fuelling my passion for performance. In my opinion, the award is an excellent way to involve students from Year 7 up to Year 13, who might not necessarily take Drama at GCSE or A Level, but who still enjoy Drama. I started from Grade 1 and moved all the way up to the final Gold LAMDA Award and I do not believe that I would have gained so much love and experience for acting without the opportunities that St Mary’s supplied me with.
I know I have said A LOT about Drama and how much I have enjoyed the opportunities at St Mary’s, but I'm happy to say that I have decided to explore Drama further through studying Film and TV at university next year.
As the St Mary’s saying goes, ‘Yes She Can’ and I can say that for both Sarah and I, in being Co- Drama Captains we can and have embraced our passion for Drama.
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