Drama and Dance
Beyond the Classroom
An opportunity for everybody
We provide a wide variety of curricular and extra-curricular drama and dance opportunities for all our students. These range from clubs, in-house productions and workshops, to West End theatre trips, external performances at professional venues and visits to Broadway.
Our extra-curricular programme is designed to support the curriculum and also provide an entertaining and powerful learning experience.
We have a range of performance and rehearsal spaces including the new Peter Hall Performing Arts Centre (main stage and studio), lecture theatre, ‘The Loft’ (versatile performance space) and the dance studio.
Drama activities are led by a number of experienced teachers (including a Theatre Practitioner in Residence, a Director of English and Drama, specialist Drama teachers, and a Graduate Assistant) who bring a variety of backgrounds and experiences – in the academic and professional spheres – to their roles.
Nearly every student will come into contact with drama activities at some point in their school career. Whether this means ‘dipping in’ to the provision on offer, gaining a qualification, taking part in a production, or discovering the foundations of a vocation, Perse drama will have a significant impact on the lives of many students.
Courses, Clubs and Workshops
We run several dance clubs, enabling the study of a range of styles, from contemporary to street jazz, and participate in the annual Bodywork Outreach dance show, with brings together the most talented dancers in the region.
Other clubs available include Senior Film, Stage Combat, Improvisation and Drama Wellbeing. Some activities are run by Sixth Form students for their younger mentees. We offer opportunities for students to stage their own scripts, and students take part in the National Theatre’s mentored ‘New Views’ scheme (playwriting competition) on an annual basis.
Developing technical skills
Our Technical Theatre Company is home to the budding producers, lighting technicians and sound engineers of the future. Students learn about lighting, sound, set, props and stage management, and use high-end technical kit such as our state-of-the-art lighting desk.
Students cover acting and technical aspects of theatre, including lighting, sound and effects. Pupils also receive an introduction to other skills of the theatre such as production, direction, stage management, costume and make-up, and masks.
We also run our Creative Mentors scheme, inspiring and supporting pupils to explore future opportunities in the creative arts industries. From work experience opportunities to discovering and enhancing skill sets, this forum draws on the expertise and advice from our staff body and professional contacts from within the industries of broadcasting, theatre, art and design.
Professional theatre practitioners, speakers, performers and workshop specialists visit the school to provide after-school sessions on a broad range of performance styles. Past workshops led by specialists from Cambridge University and from the West End have included stage combat, gothic horror and commedia dell’arte.
Debating and public speaking
A large number of students take part in Debating and public speaking competitions, developing their spoken diction, persuasive skills and public speaking confidence. There are three in-house debating societies, and students have the opportunity to take part in external events run by – among others – the Cambridge Union, the Oxford Union Society, the English-Speaking Union, Rotary International and Debating Matters. Perse students regularly win local rounds and regional finals in the events (and sometime participate in national finals).
Performances and Trips
Each year the Perse Players put on a production, with opportunities for all ages in every aspect of staging a performance. Classics and brave new dramas have been staged over recent years, including Billy Elliot, Chariots of Fire and The Addams Family.
There are up to eleven drama productions during the course of each academic year, providing opportunities for students of all ages.
There is also an annual whole-school House Drama competition, in which pupils take on the roles of directors, devisors and script-writers.