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DRAMA AWARDS AND SCHOLARSHIPS Information Booklet


SCHOLARSHIPS AND AWARDS Drama is important in the lives of the girls at Downe House. There is enormous enthusiasm for the subject and excellent standards are achieved at all levels. Types of Award We offer two types of Award. A Drama Scholarship recognises exceptional ability in both practical and written work and offers the Award Holder the opportunity to foster and nurture her skills through our Drama Scholars’ programme. A Drama Exhibition recognises excellent potential in both practical and written work and offers the Award Holder the opportunity to develop her skills through the Drama Scholars’ Programme. Value of Drama Awards The position of Drama Award Holder is an honour and a privilege, allowing the recipient to play a prominent role in the life of the Department and to take on leadership opportunities. Award Holders benefit from regular mentoring and have access to our enriched Scholars’ Programme. This offers super-curricular opportunities such as theatre visits, workshops and masterclasses to stretch and challenge the Scholars, and helps them to develop performance skills and wider awareness of the performing arts. Eligibility and Procedures Drama Scholarships are awarded to external candidates at 13+ and 16+ and to internal candidates at 12+ and 14+. Awards are made on the results of an audition, an interview with the Acting Director of Performing Arts and the Headmistress, plus a written paper. For 12+ and 13+ this takes place in May of the year prior to entry. For 14+ and 16+ election is made during September of the year of entry. Candidates will need to prepare a historical and contemporary monologue to perform at the audition. They will be redirected in their performance in order to study their response to creative direction. The written paper lasts 40 minutes and is based on the candidate’s experience of live theatre. There is no examination fee, but girls who are not already entered for the School will be required to register before sitting for an Award and it is likely they will already be holding a conditional or unconditional place.

Duties of an Drama Award Holder A Drama Scholar is required to: • • • • • •

Be a model drama student in lessons and when participating in related events Be involved in extra-curricular drama productions and events Be prepared to perform, make presentations or speeches at the discretion of the Acting Director of Performing Arts Write articles for the School magazine and Drama Department publications Exhibit a genuine interest in drama and theatre outside Downe House Be a role model to others through her commitment to the Drama Department.

In addition, Drama Award Holders will be required to take Drama and Theatre Studies at GCSE. In the Sixth Form, Drama Award Holders would usually study Drama and Theatre Studies at A level, as well as making a significant contribution to the extra-curricular Drama programme. FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS What are the eligibility and experience criteria? Candidates applying for a Drama Award will have excellent performing ability and will show a great deal of promise in their acting. It is likely that they will have performing experience, either in school productions, Trinity Guildhall/LAMDA examinations or within Drama lessons. Many candidates will have experience in a combination of these areas, however, what we are really looking for is exceptional talent and an aptitude for drama that can be nurtured and developed through our Scholars’ Programme. In addition to this, candidates will have an avid interest in drama and theatre both as a subject and through following their own independent interests. What is to be expected during the selection process? The selection process comprises a solo audition performance, a written examination, an interview with a member of the Drama Department, an interview with the Headmistress and, for girls up to 14+, a practical group workshop. An individual schedule for the day is drawn up for each candidate and they will be able to spend some time speaking with the other girls in the


group in between tasks. We endeavour to make the day relaxed yet challenging for the candidates. The day is designed to give the girls a broad range of opportunities to shine and to demonstrate their skill through a variety of different tasks. It is important that girls are able to show their own individual ability, but also that they demonstrate their ability to collaborate and work creatively with others. What kind of monologue is suitable for the audition? When selecting monologues, candidates should consider the performance opportunities that they offer. It is important to select contrasting monologues in order to show diversity and skill as a performer. Candidates should choose a character that they feel connected with and that they feel able to portray convincingly. A monologue should offer opportunities for focused and interesting use of staging, suited to the character and the content of the piece. It should also offer some emotional development or emotional journey for the character. This might be only a small development, but it is important to show some variety – a monologue which stays the same from beginning to end is unlikely to showcase the girl’s ability. Candidates should also consider what effect their interpretation of the piece will have on their audience and have a clear understanding of the emotional development and context of the monologue. What is to be expected in the written examination? The written examination offers candidates an opportunity to demonstrate their ability to write about drama and theatre. They will be asked to write about a live theatre performance that they have seen and should be prepared to discuss specific moments from their chosen piece and write about them in detail. We are not looking for a ‘perfect ‘answer at this stage, but rather for the ability to analyse and evaluate the impact and effect of theatre as well as to describe it in detail. Candidates should have a clear understanding of why they have chosen to write about this piece of theatre and why it was effective. They should include information about the staging choices, the actors’ use of vocal and physical skills, lighting, set, use of props or costume, what effect these created and why. Candidates should prepare for this paper by revising key drama terminology and practising putting it into writing.

What does the interview entail? The Drama Scholarship interview offers girls an opportunity to talk about their wider understanding of drama and their interest in theatre. Questions are designed to cover a range of topics and focus on a candidate’s critical appreciation of drama. It is helpful to practise discussing the deeper aspects of theatremaking in order to prepare for this interview and the targeted use of key theatre terminology would also be beneficial. Candidates should ideally be able to explain why they love drama and be able to give specific examples of why they find particular plays, styles of theatre or actors inspiring. What standard is expected? Candidates should be as prepared as possible for the Scholarship selection process. A key part of this is ensuring that lines are learnt thoroughly for the monologues so that they are able to perform confidently and take creative direction on their pieces. The better candidates know their lines, the better they will be able to focus on the acting and creative interpretation. We do not expect flawless performances, but we are looking for a high level of commitment to performing work and exceptional potential as a dynamic performer. From 14+ onwards, we are hoping to see candidates taking a sense of ownership over their work and creating pieces that are artistically interesting and challenging. What support and opportunities are offered to Drama Scholars? We offer a specialised programme of events and mentorship to support each of our Drama Scholars in developing her own unique skills and talents. Each Scholar is assigned a Drama Mentor from the Drama teaching team and will meet individually with her Mentor to discuss goals, aims and aspirations. We have a number of specialist staff members who are able to nurture girls’ talents and interests in diverse areas of the dramatic arts and the Mentor is able to guide the Scholar in that journey and help to make links between their experience of drama at Downe and in the world beyond. In addition to trips and workshops, Drama Scholars will take part in performance projects to share their work with the wider community, giving them the experience


of performing to diverse audiences and offering older girls the opportunity of directing. We aim to nurture each individual Scholar and to facilitate the development of her talent and ability in the performing arts. Are Scholarships reassessed? Drama Scholarships and Exhibitions are valid in the first instance up to the end of GCSEs providing the Award Holder maintains a suitable standard of endeavour and conduct and fulfils the duties required of a Drama Award Holder. Awards are reassessed at this stage to ensure drama still plays a central part in the life of an Award Holder and also to allow other talented performers to be given awards for entry to the Sixth Form.

How to apply If your daughter is registered and has received a conditional offer to join Downe House, the Registry will automatically write to you in November/December of the year prior to entry with details of how to apply for Awards. Further details regarding Drama Scholarships are available from the Acting Director of Performing Arts, Miss Kyia Grandi (grandik@downehouse.net). For general enquires about Scholarships please contact Miss Angela Nutt, Registrar on nutta@downehouse.net or 01635 204701.

Decisions about Scholarships The final decision about all matters relating to Scholarships lies with the Headmistress.

an adventure in education

Cold Ash, Thatcham, Berkshire RG18 9JJ T: 01635 204701 E: registrar@downehouse.net www.downehouse.net

Downe House School

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Drama Awards and Scholarships Information Booklet  

Information and frequently asked questions about Drama Scholarships and Awards at Downe House.

Drama Awards and Scholarships Information Booklet  

Information and frequently asked questions about Drama Scholarships and Awards at Downe House.