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Since initially launching our online playreading group (at the start of lockdown), it has gone from strength to strength. So much so that we’re now running multiple sessions throughout the week!

We will release the various plays, dates and times each quarter so participants can block their diaries in advance!

The Summer Season (incorporating May, June and July) is below.

Mrs Warren’s Profession
Monday Afternoons (1.30pm to 2.15pm)
Mon 10 May to Mon 31 May
Written by George Bernard Shaw in 1893 and first performed in London in 1902, Mrs. Warren’s Profession is about a former prostitute, now a madam, who attempts to come to terms with her disapproving daughter. For more info about this play, CLICK HERE

A Chorus of Disapproval
Thursday Evenings (7.30pm to 8.20pm)
Thurs 3 June to Thurs 24 June
A diffident widower attempts to escape loneliness by joining the local amateur light operatic society. By accident rather than by design (in fact, by not saying “no” to anything be it a request to obtain confidential information from his company or an offer of illicit sex) he advances from a small part to the lead. For more info about this play, CLICK HERE

Bedroom Farce
Monday Afternoons (1.30pm to 2.15pm)
Mon 5 July to Mon 26 July
Trevor and Susannah, whose marriage is on the rocks, inflict their miseries on their nearest and dearest: three couples whose own relationships are tenuous at best. Taking place sequentially in the three beleaguered couples’ bedrooms during one endless Saturday night of co-dependence and dysfunction, beds, tempers, and domestic order are ruffled, leading all the players to a hilariously touching epiphany. For more info about this play, CLICK HERE

A Midsummer Night’s Dream
Thursday Evenings (7.30pm to 8.20pm)
Thurs 8 July to Thurs 29 July
This popular Shakespearean comedy needs no real introduction! The play is set in Athens, and consists of several subplots that revolve around the marriage of Theseus and Hippolyta. One subplot involves a conflict between four Athenian lovers. Another follows a group of six amateur actors rehearsing the play which they are to perform before the wedding. Both groups find themselves in a forest inhabited by fairies who manipulate the humans and are engaged in their own domestic intrigue. For more info about this play, CLICK HERE

For more information, see the PLAYS AND PINOT section of the website.
To secure your space, see the BOOKINGS section of the website.

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We’re returning IN REAL LIFE!

Hurrah! The moment we’ve all been waiting for – Dramatis is returning to an IN REAL LIFE format!

Whilst it’s been lots fun adapting to online classes (which have brought out new levels of creativity in our teachers and pupils alike!) we can’t lie: we’ve missed our face to face lessons.

So, in accordance with the latest government guidelines, we’re delighted to be bringing back our Youth Drama Programme next month. Social Distancing rules will remain in place (which you can read about here).

We have a Holiday Workshop lined up from Mon 12th to Fri 16th April and then the Summer term for Drama Lessons will begin on Mon 19th April.

The Easter half-term workshop, ‘Can’t Stop the Beat’, will be a performing arts extravaganza of acting, singing, dancing and playing games based around three well-loved musicals – Hairspray, Beauty and the Beast and Hercules. To learn more, CLICK HERE.

The Summer term drama lessons will culminate with each lesson group doing a class performance (that will be filmed and uploaded to the Dramatis Online Stage for family and friends to enjoy). To learn more, CLICK HERE.

Please note, since Social Distancing guidelines mean we can only bring together 15 children at a time, workshop and class places are limited, so BOOK NOW to avoid disappointment!

The Adult Drama Programme will remain online for now (with the continuation of Plays and Pinot playreading sessions) but we will start to transition back to real-life classes once guidelines allow.

We can’t wait to see all your faces again IRL!

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Dramatis featured on BBC South!

Yes, you heard correctly! Yesterday saw us make our TV debut with a feature on BBC South Today!

Having been quick to adapt to a virtual format when the first lockdown was announced, over the past 12 months, we’ve run a range of online activities to help support local children with their mental wellbeing. It was great to see all the hard work put in by our teachers, pupils and parents alike recognised in this news segment:

The BBC report focused on our Winter Term classes which were based on a script devised by Dramatis principal, Suzy Duxbury. ‘Willy Wonka’s Lockdown Madness’ was written to help children express their frustrations and fears surrounding the pandemic as well as provide them with some much-needed social interaction with their peers.

As Suzy explained, “Like everyone, I was concerned with how the pandemic was affecting children and so reached out to an online parenting group to get a better understanding of how kids were being impacted and where Dramatis could best support”. A common concern was “a change in behaviour”, with some children becoming “increasingly withdrawn” and others having “uncharacteristic outbursts”. Parents cited a “lack of structured activities” and “ongoing absence of friends” as possible causes as well as the “struggle for children to explain how they feel”.

As a result, Dramatis devised tailored scripts for children to work on as part of their Winter Term classes which culminated in filmed performances of ‘Willy Wonka’s Lockdown Madness’. The Spring Term, which concludes next week, will see children perform ‘Lucy’s Adventures in Zoomland’, another script created to help explore changing emotions in relation to the lockdown.

Eva, one of the pupils who took part in the BBC filming explained: “‘it was great to work through a new script that felt relevant today and it was fun trying new characters”.

We’ve had some lovely feedback about the feature, with many pupils excited to have some fun news to share with their friends in the playground as they return to school this week. For others, its given them a taste of stardom, that will no doubt motivate their drama performances in the future!

A huge thank you to Pete Doherty from the BBC team, for helping spread the word about Dramatis and for guiding us through the process of making our TV screen debut!

We will be announcing Summer Term dates in the coming weeks, but if you have a child who can’t wait to get going, check out our upcoming Easter Workshop (‘Can’t Stop the Beat’) which will run from Monday 12th April to Friday 16th April (and will be our first IN PERSON activity since last year!)

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Our online Playreading group expands and rebrands!

With the latest UK lockdown meaning people are once again finding themselves socially isolated, disconnected from others and struggling to keep occupied, we’ve expanded our much-loved online playreading group to provide a wider variety of plays, dates and times so more people can participate!

When lockdown was first announced back in March 2020, we were quick to adapt our programming and move to a virtual format. As part of the new digital offering, we launched ‘Wine and Wilde’ online playreading sessions.

This affordable online activity (which brought people together via Zoom sessions to read through an Oscar Wilde play) had such an overwhelming response, that we’ve decided to expand it for 2021. The new Plays and Pinot format provides participants with a larger range of plays from different playwrights as well as a wider selection of dates and times.

Plays and Pinot is ideal for adults who are interested in the literary classics but keen to explore them in a new way. The low-pressure environment means it is also perfect for those who are unfamiliar with acting; as there are no lines to learn, and no stages to perform on! Participants are pre-assigned characters in scenes from a play which they then read through together as a small group. In keeping with the informal nature of the group, participants are encouraged to bring along a glass of wine or alternative beverage of choice for a de-brief afterwards.

The first block of Plays and Pinot (A Country Wife) is already sold out but there are spaces available for upcoming sessions which include A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Pride and Prejudice, Sense and Sensibility, Heartbreak House, Lady Windemere’s Fan and What Every Woman Knows.

For more information, check out the PLAYS AND PINOT page.
To book your place, click the BOOKINGS page.

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Dramatis introduces Playdates to help keep children connected with their friends

With Lockdown 2 meaning children can no longer socialise with their friends after school or take part in their usual extra-curricular activities, Dramatis community drama school has introduced online Dramatis Playdates. These one-hour sessions bring together four friends via Zoom for a playdate led by Dramatis. Children are given a series of drama-based games and exercises to play with their friends whilst parents enjoy an hour to themselves as their kids are being (productively) entertained!

Having moved their programme online in the first lockdown, Dramatis has now welcomed over 75 Sussex adults and children for virtual drama classes and courses. This experience with their private groups means they can now extend their services to be able to offer this more flexible Playdate format.

As Dramatis Principal, Suzy Duxbury, explains: “Play is such an integral part of a child’s development; it lays the foundations for literacy and encourages communication and spontaneity. With children no longer able to play and socialise the way they used to, our Playdates bring friendship groups together safely so children can improve their social, emotional and cognitive skills and most importantly have some fun with their friends!

Playdates are themed around a specific story and begin with some icebreaker games so Suzy can get to know the children, and vice versa. Having discussed the story plot, children are assigned drama-based exercises to develop their knowledge of the characters. They work in pairs and as a group of four as they go on to devise a short performance that is recorded and can be shown to parents.

Playdates are for friendship groups of four children aged 5 to 11. Younger age groups are themed around ‘Wonderful Walliams’ exploring stories by David Walliams, while older groups are based around ‘Riotous Roald’ and texts by Roald Dahl. One hour sessions cost £30 (for all 4 children).

For more information CLICK HERE