A co-curricular drama program for high school students

The Studio Program teaches rigorous acting technique, based on the NIDA method of Acting. The workings of Stanislavsky, Meisner, and Meyerhold are introduced and explored alongside Improvisation, Stage Craft, Voice for Theatre, Text Analysis, Laban and Acting for Camera. The texts and styles of Shakespeare, Moliere and Wilde are studied and workshopped.

Studio Foundations

The Studio Foundations course is for students new to the Studio Program. With an emphasis on stage-craft and an approach to text, students are introduced to basic Acting theory, and are able to build their performance, problem solving and communication skills through improvisation, theatre sports, movement education and textual analysis.The Foundations course is ideal for high school students who are looking to become more serious about their performance skills, looking for a creative and stimulating activity to participate in, or even students simply looking to build their confidence when presenting themselves in front of an audience and communicating with peers. The Foundations course in the Studio Program is engaging, dynamic and rigorous, and caters to students at various stages of their creative development.

Studio Advanced

The Studio Advanced course provides an opportunity for students take their skillset to the next level. Students who already have a technical foundation in acting are able to use the Studio Advanced Program to aquire the knowledge and experience to help build towards an industry standard of acting proficiency. Students explore highly sophisticated texts and playwrights (both classic and contemporary) and develop the skills to become more self-reflective and analytical in their work. The Advanced Program exposes its students to the realities of the performing arts industry and what it means to be a professional actor, and this is reflected in the calibre and expectations held by Program tutors and directors. Our Audition Workshops are run by industry professionals and allow students to demystify the ‘audition room’ and build solid audition technique for theatre, film and television. The Studio Advanced course is ideal for students studying HSC Drama, students wishing to audition for full-time tertiary-leve Acting Courses, and students interested in pursuing a career in the performing arts industry.

Paige Gardiner and Briallen Clarke of Sydney Performance Academy commenced work at Sydney Grammar School in February of 2012, conducting two drama workshops a week for boys in Years 7 and 8. Initially, my expectation was that these workshops would provide an enjoyable, non-threatening environment in which junior boys could be introduced to some basic improvisational and stagecraft skills, in preparation for more formal projects down the track.

Paige and Briallen instantly exceeded those expectations, turning ‘Drama Club’, into a much more organised and challenging enterprise as well as meeting the criteria I had set out for them. They quickly developed a rapport with the boys, who benefited hugely from their energy, enthusiasm and professionalism. Paige and Briallen generated resources, programmed thoughtfully and provided opportunities for skills consolidation, culminating in a scenework presentation for staff, friends and parents in which the boys took tremendous pride. After the resounding success of Drama Club, I was very happy to invite Briallen and Paige back to work with boys in an ongoing capacity.

The talent and work ethic of the team at Sydney Performance Academy, as well as the pleasure of their acquaintance, made for a very rewarding collaboration with Sydney Grammar School which I hope to pursue further in the future. It should be clear that they have my highest and warmest recommendation.

Master in Charge of Drama, Sydney Grammar School