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Posted: 10.06.20

Performing Arts – It is not just acting!

From Shakespeare’s classic tales to modern musical theatre, pupils at Christ College Brecon regularly relish the opportunity to tread the boards and put on a spectacular showcase.

At every stage of their senior school experience – Junior House, Middle School and Senior Years – pupils experience working with their peers, as well as teachers, staff and parents, to showcase their creativity through annual productions – undoubtedly a highlight of the school year!

Our Performing Arts department, located at the heart of the school, explores all aspects of the theatrical world – not just acting – and offers pupils insightful experiences of both on and off-stage crafts. This multi-disciplinary approach allows our pupils to understand the valuable contributions each role plays in producing exciting drama and empowers them to find a role where they can best utilise their personal skills and preferred learning style.

Behind the scenes, pupils have a multitude of choices. Costume design, theatrical makeup and set design offer hands on, practical tasks which encourage pupils to visualise how colour and texture are perceived by an audience. Opportunities to learn about sound design, lighting design and backstage crew jobs are perfect for our problem-solving pupils who enjoy navigating through logistical challenges via teamwork.

Strong leadership skills can be developed through stage management, choreography and directorial roles. In these specific backstage roles, in which pupils must collaborate with both creatives and cast, valuable intrapersonal skills can be developed as our pupils learn the importance of clear communication and delivering feedback sensitively. Gaining experience throughout their school life in drama and performing arts lessons, pupils can progress their studies further in Sixth Form with our new BTEC Performing Arts qualification.

From their scheduled lessons to extra-curricular activities, we encourage pupils to engage with the wide range of Performing Arts programmes we offer. Our experienced and talented team are keen to support pupil development through constructive feedback, allowing students to understand and identify areas they can improve, and highlighting the importance of dedicated practice to hone their talents.

To help inspire our pupils further, we are fortunate to work with renowned theatre companies, creative professionals and organisations including the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, Wales Millennium Centre, National Theatre, Frantic Assembly, Splendid Productions and Complicite, who regularly run workshops at the school’s drama studio and modern 300 seat theatre. The immersive and interactive experiences provide our pupils with an insight into how the theatre crafts they are learning about now translate into professional practice and glimpses of what to expect if they choose to pursue a career in this field.

For those choosing to take to the stage, our focus is nurturing the three key performance disciplines of acting, singing and dancing. Speech and drama lessons are offered to both Junior and Senior pupils and, under the tutelage of our experienced department, students are prepared for LAMDA examinations. There are also opportunities to audition for companies such as British Youth Music Theatre and National Youth Theatre.

Whether pupils opt for roles backstage or in the spotlight, the Performing Arts department is a safe space for them to express themselves creatively. Performing Arts is subjective, giving pupils the freedom to create, imagine and be themselves without the pressure or fear of ‘getting it wrong’. As our Breconians progress through their formative years, this exploratory environment provides them with an opportunity to examine their emotional responses to social issues and make sense of the wider world. No matter what career they decide to pursue, the skills and confidence our pupils develop during their Performing Arts experiences, on and off stage, help in the small interactions of daily conversations to large life events such as job interviews, and ultimately become well-rounded, empathetic individuals.

 

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