‘... the theatre is a machine for climbing and descending the scales of meaning … a negotiation between our ordinary level and the hidden level of myth ...’ Peter Brook
At St Mary’s, our highly successful Drama Department is housed in the magnificent Delscey Burns Theatre, where all lessons, workshops and productions, great and small, take place. Having three Drama teachers, supported by five peripatetic staff, means that we can offer an impressive and full range of curricular and extra-curricular work and activities.
Director of Drama - Miss Lilian Leadbetter BA PGCE (also Director of Development and Wider Senior Leadership Team)
Head of Curriculum Drama - Mrs Rhiannon Davies
Teacher of Drama - Miss Sophie Dunkin BA
RADA and LAMDA Teachers
Mrs Rebecca Cochran-Patrick
Mrs Annabel Chater
Mrs Patricia Read
Mrs Emma Gregson
Mrs Rosalind Patterson
The Department boasts a unique relationship with RADA (Royal Academy of Dramatic Art). Our innovative curriculum is complemented by a wealth of extra-curricular activities. This means that every girl has the opportunity to create her own 'dramatic pathway' throughout her time at St Mary's. Our mission statement as a creative department, entails that the talents of each individual should be fully realised. By providing a professional experience of Theatre and Drama training, our pupils are expected to develop skills which are life-enhancing.
Part of our approach to Drama as an academic examination subject includes fast-tracking A Level. Pupils have the chance to by-pass GCSE and take AS Level Drama and Theatre Studies early in UV Form, followed by A2 Level in LVI Form. Our RADA course, the only one of its kind in the UK, is available to all girls in UVI Form, whatever their subject choices at A Level. Click here for more information about Speak Out! St Mary's Calne in association with RADA - Advanced Communication Skills Course.
Class Drama is taught throughout the school from Year 7, with individual or small group LAMDA examination tuition offered up to Gold Medal. All teaching takes place in the purpose-built Delscey Burns Theatre. Our renowned School Productions take place throughout the academic year, including large scale school plays every autumn, a Junior Drama Society play every summer, AS and A Level plays (which often transfer to the Edinburgh Fringe) and a whole variety of Drama festivals and competitions. We also regularly participate in the BBC Shakespeare Schools Festival and the National Theatre Connections Programme, and have performed in professional venues ranging from Bristol's Tobacco Factory to The Jerwood Vanbrugh Theatre (RADA) London.
Current specifications include:-
AQA: Drama and Theatre Studies (5421, 6421)
‘A map of the world which does not include utopia is not even worth glancing at.’ Oscar Wilde
‘In the theatre ... the search for utopia is a familiar, even necessary part of the process ...’ Richard Eyre
‘... theatre has a lot to do with putting the audience in contact with the gods... Plays are written in a vertical manner, about human aspirations ...’ Robert Lepage
‘The power of Drama is when the aesthetic is brought into play.’
‘Drama can contribute to students becoming responsible members of the school. The subject enhances their spiritual, moral, social and cultural development and makes a significant contribution to students as speakers and listeners.’
‘The Arts develop creativity. Society needs people who are creative. Without creativity society does not go forward.’
Miss Lilian Leadbetter (Director of Drama)