In 2020, Theatre throughout the UK contributed over £10.1 Billion to the economy showing that it is a thriving and relevant industry for any person to enter. Increasingly the power of drama is being recognised as one of the most effective way to develop soft skills and emotional intelligence in young people, skills that are often not developed through the current education system. It stimulates imagination, creativity, socialisation and negotiation. It develops a better understanding of human behaviour and in turn develops empathy with situations that might seem distant. It allows the development of critical thinking and being about to make better, more conscious decisions, encouraging us to use our bodies and voices.
Drama and Theatre contributes a great deal to society. For many it is a release, a creative output or an opportunity to escape. Drama allows use to explore, connect and perform the world around us. It is not just acting that we consider but also, dancing, singing and movement-based performances. These are styles that all students and families would have seen whether through their use of Media platforms or accessing live theatre on and off west end.
During the course there are high expectations from the teachers, with regular challenge through having to learn new skills; such as how to approach a stimulus or how to explore and respond to current affairs such as the BLM Movement. A range of theatrical conventions and styles are explored to give greater understanding of how it can be used to influence an audience. Students are expected to engage with and attempt to perform in various styles of theatre a and express their own opinion on how they find it and how they connect with an audience. This includes seeing how drama can have a positive/negative impact on the world around them and how it can be used as an outlet of self-expression when it may feel that words are not enough.
Drama also offers the students the opportunity to work on their core skills and attributes that make a person successful. Most tasks are design to include collaborating with new teams every week and drawing from the strengths of every member of that group. Students develop their ability to communicate confidently and be a productive member of a team. The qualification allows teachers free choice of stimulus to give to students which can lead to them confronting difficult topics which leads to having open and mature conversations about how this could be incorporated in a performance. Students learn to respond critically to a live performance and understand why the different creative choices within a play may have been made. They learn to work together in teams, and also individually, to produce different projects.