We endeavour to empower the students in our charge with the knowledge and skills required to become effective members of a modern society. We seek to achieve excellence in all areas of academic and practical work through both our curricular and extensive extra-curricular programme. Maximum participation from boys, teachers and the wider community is actively encouraged.
Bedford School’s long theatrical tradition ensures boys have many opportunities to enjoy acting in plays as well as studying performance. The Drama Department staff have considerable professional stage experience, either as performers or in lighting and sound. The staff are all available to give boys the opportunity to experience the reality of both acting and working on the technical side of theatre.
We offer GCSE, A-Level and IB as options for all students at Bedford School and drama is a very popular subject. Boys who study the subject for formal examinations gain many transferable skills, including collaborative and public speaking components. We have many alumni currently working in theatre, but we encourage students to take an academic route into theatre through university entrance. The department follows academically rigorous specifications and our examination results are consistently strong.
There are at least three major productions each year and small scale student-directed work is actively encouraged and is increasing in popularity. The Drama Department also initiated a new Arts Festival in 2016 along with the Music and Art Departments.
The department created a new Academic Drama Society in September 2016, which has been popular with students and has allowed them to take workshops and lectures on their chosen drama practitioners.
As well as our own outstanding programme of professional events in the theatre, we organise many trips to productions based in other theatres in London and the region. Boys often choose to rehearse their curricular projects ‘out of hours’, and workshops covering specialised areas of the theatre are available for all drama students.
The technical crew is staffed by boys under the guidance of the Theatre Technical Manager, and students can learn how to operate state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment during bespoke technical clubs at lunchtime. We offer design options at GCSE for boys if they wish to develop these new skills further.