Senior Preparatory School
The cultural life of WHPS is an extremely important part of the School curriculum and all boys are expected to participate fully in all areas. Drama is a vital component of this aspect of School life and is a subject in which all boys from Grade 000 – 7 have lessons on a weekly basis.
Through all 8 years of Drama the boys work on the importance of correct breathing, expression and emotions, of use of the body and voice as well as the ability to imagine themselves as something or someone else. Special effects make-up and film classes are also covered. Most of the boys are drawn to the drama exercises and have much to offer. For those who show a particular aptitude there is opportunity to start channelling and developing that skill. For others who are less confident, there is the chance to start finding artistic freedom within themselves.
Children who show learning difficulties, ADD, etc, often find this creative time an opportunity to focus in a non academic and less formally structured environment. In this, as in so many ways, Drama and academics are complementary disciplines. Every year all boys are involved in a production. The Grade 0’s put on a Nativity Play and then move through the Junior Prep learning concrete performance skills.
Cultural evenings give the boys the opportunity to experience the inter- dependence of all that they do at School and that drama is not just a recreational activity but a reflection of life. In the Senior Primary the boys start moving into more abstract areas of drama. They develop characterisation and interpretation skills and their ability to interact in character becomes more evident.
The Senior Primary School play (Grade 6 and 7) is the showcase of the year. Although it is not uncommon for boys to develop inhibitions at this age, the training that they have received and the inspiration of their peers, brings out a performance in every child. The boys demonstrate that they have learnt, not only acting skills, but also the true theatrical requirements of commitment, communication and respect for their fellow performers. They also show that they have learnt how to engage an audience and hold their rapt attention.
Drama is not just stage performance. It is a life skill, which ultimately carries young men to a business meeting or a boardroom. Boys learn to present themselves and their subject in a calm, confident, clear, convincing and competent manner.
Ms Nkoto Modiba – Drama Teacher