Dramatic exploration can provide students with an outlet for emotions, thoughts, and dreams that they might not otherwise have means to express. A student can, if only for a few moments,become another, explore a new role, try out and experiment with various personal choices and solutions to very real problems from their own life. This can all happen in a safe environment, where actions and consequences can be examined, discussed, and in a very real sense experienced without the dangers and pitfalls that such experimentation would obviously lead to in the “real” world. This is perhaps one of the most important reasons to take Drama classes in school.
Furthermore, taking risks in class and performing for an audience teaches students to trust their ideas and abilities. The confidence gained in drama applies to school, university, careers, and life in general.
In spite of online teaching and COVID, the students have been adamant that this year should be no exception to the Shakespeare rule: a production of Twelfth Night is being workshopped and the performance (live or online) is scheduled for March 2021.
Why study Drama at King’s?
Drama at King’s College India is a thriving part of the curriculum and extra-curricular programme. All students study drama in Junior and Senior school. Some students can even opt for IGCSE Drama in which students do not just study acting, but learn about the history of the theatre and study some of the great plays and directors.
Who knows what the future entails, we may be teaching the future Leonardo Di Capprio or Angelina Jolie!
To tie in with the British identity Kings College India tries to promote and foster throughout the school, the Drama Department puts on an annual whole school Shakespeare production at the end of each academic year. So far the school has performed two Shakespeare productions: Midsummer Night’s Dream (2018) and The Tempest (2019). In addition to the whole school production, Drama is heavily subscribed as an extracurricular activity in the Senior section of the school. The work of the Drama Club (in the academic year of 2019/20) has been showcased at ‘Theaton’, an Annual Inter School Theatre fest hosted by the Expressions Theatre Club of Delhi Public School (R.K. Puram); the annual invitation of Tagore International School’s Drama Club to Kings College India to encourage, share and showcase performances from both schools in the spirit of collaboration between both Drama Clubs and finally presenting scenes to students/staff at Kings College India that the Drama Club had workshopped as preparation for their upcoming production of ‘The Audition’ by Don Zolidis (Date of performance to be formally announced soon). Lastly, it is important at Kings College India that we find means and ways to provide opportunities for our students to perform outside of the school campus. Last year (2019) our Drama Club was invited to the Norah Richards Centre for the Arts, a mud theatre in a village deep in the Himalayan countryside, built in the memory of the pre-independence Irish actress and playwright Nora Jones, to put on their 2019 production of ‘The Tempest’ production to the local community.
The Art department has a black box drama studio with a dance floor, staging and computer lighting desk and sound system. This is where most rehearsals and practices take place.
When it is performance season in times of both indian and British celebrations such as Christmas or Diwali, most performances are taken outside where we have a stage in the middle of the campus surrounded by steps shaped as an amphitheatre so that everyone can have a view of the amazing scenes our children have so determinedly worked on.