"O for a Muse of fire, that would ascend the brightest heaven of invention, a kingdom for a stage, princes to act and monarchs to behold the swelling scene!”
Shakespeare Henry V
Drama is one of the highlights of Haileybury's co-curricular programme, offering an exceptional opportunity for self-expression, communication and reflection.
Its role in understanding how people think, feel, communicate and receive messages helps its participants engage with others and themselves on a higher plane.
Drama also plays a crucial role in the development of self-confidence, presence and team bonding.
It gives pupils valuable skills in presentation, voice projection, social interaction and – for future life – networking.
As well as acting, Drama at Haileybury also offers a range of other skills behind the scenes, such as theatre work, prop making, lighting and sound.
Pupils of all ages and levels of participation benefit from an exciting and challenging programme.
These offer not only the experience of a high level of study but also the opportunity to be part of a cutting edge performance-based theatre programme.
Each year there are three co-curricular performances as well as a range of clubs and technical workshops that pupils can get involved in to enhance their passion on or behind the stage.
We also hold a biannual House Drama Festival, which has involved over 200 pupils from all the Houses.
Every Spring Term we showcase some excellent GCSE and A Level performances which are taken from scripted plays as well as work devised by the pupils themselves.
We also see talent in some exceptional work by those doing lighting, set or costume as one of their options for controlled assessment.
From Shakespeare and Greek comedy to Little Shop of Horrors (pictured) and Peter Pan, no challenge is too great as we strive to offer theatre from all over the world.
All of this takes place in the extremely well-equipped Ayckbourn Theatre (named after the Olivier and Tony Award winning playwright Sir Alan Ayckbourn, who is an Old Haileyburian).
Here, pupils experience a combination of exciting direction, wonderful staging and a real focus on production values.
Pupils also have the opportunity to experience LAMDA, a professional qualification in acting or public speaking that earns pupils merits and distinctions. Haileybury consistently achieves excellent LAMDA results. Haileybury works with Alexandra Steedon and her excellent team of tutors at Exam Stars, who can provide first-class tuition on a solo, paired or group basis. Pupils can participate in Acting, Improvisation, Public Speaking and Shakespeare examinations.
Haileybury's Drama School enjoys the passion and excellence of a diverse and creative team of staff. Their skills and experience range from professional actors to multimedia specialists to teachers and Heads of Department with a wide range of cultural experience.
Jacob Dylan Thomas Director of Dramatic Arts
Jacob (BA PGDip) joined Haileybury in September 2017. He was previously part of Dame Joan McVittie's leadership team at Woodside High School in North London, leading on Teaching and Learning. Jacob has worked professionally as an actor, both on television, film, radio and stage and was previously the Co-Artistic Director at Centre Stage School of Performing Arts working as an Acting Teacher, Director and Agent. He holds a BA in Drama from the University of Bristol and also has a Postgraduate Diploma in Acting from East 15 Acting School. Outside of the classroom Jacob has a passion for music and fitness, playing in a Blues band and taking part in marathons and triathlons.
Robert Byers Head of Academic Drama
Robert Byers (BA (Hons) PGCE QTS MA) joined Haileybury in September 2015. He was previously Acting Head of Drama at Hockerill Anglo-European College and has also been a Head of Drama in schools in Dubai and Moscow. He studied Drama and Communication Studies at Lancaster University and also has a Master's Degree in Creative and Media Education (Bournemouth University). He completed a PGCE in Secondary Drama at Manchester Metropolitan University and holds Qualified Teacher Status. Robert is a keen runner and has taken part in the Dubai Marathon.
Shona Davidson Teacher of Drama
Shona joined Haileybury in September 2017 from Talbot Heath School, where she was a part-time Drama and English teacher. She has a BA in Drama with Dance (2:2) from Roehampton University. She also has a PGCE in Secondary Drama and an MA in Radio. She enjoys going to a variety of cultural events, including the theatre, concerts, cinema, exhibitions and talks. She also enjoys walking and rock climbing.
Toby Everett Performing Arts Technical Production Manager
Toby runs the technical requirements of all public events at the College, be that sound, lighting or other production and technical assistance.
He also runs the TTU (Theatre Technical Unit) which is the training ground of the lighting designers of the future.
Kate Pearson Drama Technician
Kate has a special interest in prop making and set design. As ‘producer’ she is the lynch pin of every production at Haileybury.