The King’s Hospital Performing Arts Department encompasses Drama, Music, Artistic Performance and Dance. In addition to Drama and Music tuition, students are given access to a variety of co-curricular and extra-curricular activities to enable their talents in the Performing Arts to flourish during their time at The King’s Hospital. These activities are integral to the whole-school experience and provide students with the ability to express their individuality and creativity whilst gaining valuable life skills. Personal ambition is deeply encouraged at The King’s Hospital and our programme supports those who aspire to a career in the Performing Arts to assess their potential and identify access routes for third level study and beyond. Whether for professional advancement or just for fun, involvement in Performing Arts throughout the school journey provides an enriching experience for both the students and the wider school community.
Drama lessons are offered weekly as group or private tuition, the course is taught over 28 weeks from September to May each year, with students put forward for the Royal Irish Academy grade examinations in the summer. Students in Forms 1-5 leave one subject class each week by rotation with an assurance that no more than two of the same academic classes are missed per term. Form 6 students are given individual weekly lessons during their study periods in preparation for the RIAM Senior Recital Examination and/or third level auditions.
Why take Drama lessons?
Drama is a wonderful way for young people to acquire confidence, learn effective communication and develop important life skills. Active participation is what we strive for in our classes. From the moment they arrive in their first class, our students are taught how to imagine, explore, sense and experience through the medium of creative drama.
Classes are a warm, welcoming and safe space to allow our students to express themselves freely, explore their imaginations, and develop their own ideas in fun and creative ways. Drama students work with their peers to help each other grow, learning empathy and compassion while forming lifelong friendships.
Drama lessons are greatly beneficial to students in their academic English classes with a focus on Shakespearean literature, poetry and prose.
Students progress from performing for small audiences to representing the school in national competitions.
What does Drama involve?
Improvisation – developing imagination, communication and problem solving skills. Building confidence, trust and the ability to work effectively in a group.
Voice Work/Public Speaking – working on good pronunciation, effective breathing, posture, projection, clarity and distinct speech in communication.
Reading skills – developing the ability to read at sight, maintain good eye contact with the listener, to express and enliven the text using varied tone and emphasis. These skills are essential to any budding actor as reading at sight is central to the auditioning/rehearsal process.
Character and Acting – The students work on developing characters in many ways from creative play and script analysis, to senior students learning professional acting techniques such as Method Acting. These skills are put into practice by performing monologues, duologues, scenes and plays. Students are also encouraged to write their own plays for competitions and exams.
Performance – All students have several performance opportunities throughout the year ranging from the annual school musical, school play, Chapel dramas, KH Open Day, Transition Year Drama Festival and the All-Ireland Speech and Drama Teachers’ Festival.
Screen & Stage Auditioning – A number of talent agencies liaise with our Performing Arts department and all Drama students are considered and prepared for screen and stage auditions during their time at The King’s Hospital School. A number of past pupils have obtained key roles in theatre, film and television.
Who teaches Drama?
Drama classes are taught by Mrs Kerrie O’Reilly (BA Hons. Drama, MA Hons. Directing for Theatre) and Mr Dessie Hickey (Higher Diploma in Education in Arts, Drama in Education). Their wealth of experience and passion for the Performing Arts will ensure our students reach their full potential throughout their time at The King’s Hospital School.