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Hot off the Press: Dramatis Students take part in Amberley Museum’s Anniversary Celebrations

On 16th and 17th November, Dramatis pupils got out of their usual class surroundings and headed up to the beautiful surroundings of Amberley Museum to take part in their 40th Anniversary celebrations.

Located in the heart of the South Downs National Park, the Museum is dedicated to preserving the industrial heritage of the South East.  With 36 acres to explore and over 40 exhibits to visit, it is the perfect place to discover the South’s working past.

Up until the late 1960s, the Museum site was a working chalk pits where chalk was quarried and burnt in kilns to produce lime. So as part of their Anniversary celebrations, the museum held a weekend bringing to life its chalk heritage with an interactive event called ‘Chalk, Walk & Talk’.

As part of the event, one of the old buildings was transformed into a Victorian school in which Dramatis teachers and pupils invited visitors to step back in time by putting on a series of classroom based sketches.

Under the stern eye of the School Mistress (and appearances from Headteacher, Mr Stone) Dramatis pupils got into character as Victorian students. Dressed in traditional costumes, the pupils recited poetry, took part in cleanliness inspections and learnt about the British Empire. In keeping with the harsh reality of the era, punishments were doled out in the form of dunces hats and the cane. Playtime brought some welcome relief with pupils taking to the grounds and playing traditional Victorian games. The chalk theme was gently incorporated into the script; from writing on the board to playing hopscotch.

Huge congratulations to the pupils who took part: Ruudi Galloway, Liv Sidall, Sophie Hiller, Chloe Chown, Finnley Crockford, London Hackett, Eva Makgill and Agnes Robson. You were all superstars!

And thank you to the Dramatis Supply Teachers and Associates for their roles in running the school: Jack Tutt, Peter Morris, Hannah Rose Ames, Daphne Morris and Graham Duxbury.

There has been some excellent coverage of the event in the local press including the Chichester Observer.

We hope to put on more immersive performances with local organisations, so watch this space for further info!

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Hot off the Press: Dramatis launches Musical Theatre classes!

You know how everyone else likes to end the year quietly? Well we’re going out with a bang (or rather, with Jazz hands!)

On 26th November, we will be launching our new Musical Theatre classes for children.

We are delighted to welcome Annie Harris to the Dramatis Family who will be leading these all-singing, all-dancing sessions.

Annie graduated from the renowned London College of Music in 2011 in Musical Theatre. She has since performed in many professional plays and performances and has taught at the prestigious Roedean School in Brighton. Annie has also found time to start up her own improv company for children; ‘Made up Mayhem’. Specialising in musical theatre and singing, Annie will be leading classes in term time as below:

The Little Apollos (ages 7-9)
Tuesdays from 5.15pm to 6.15pm (The Kursaal Room, Jeneses Arts Centre, Bognor Regis)

The Apollos (ages 10-13)
Tuesdays from 6.30pm to 7.30pm (The Jubilee Room, Jeneses Arts Centre, Bognor Regis)

In 2020, we will extend the classes to offer an Adults Course.

For more information or to book your place, CLICK HERE.

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Hot off the Press: Dramatis receives funding to run first Outreach Workshop

Outreach logo

Dramatis currently runs paid drama classes, courses and workshops for adults and children in West Sussex. Our long term aim is to demonstrate the benefits of drama to the wider community through our charitable arm; Dramatis Outreach.

Funded by donations, grants and bursaries, the aim of Dramatis Outreach is to offer free courses and classes that help local residents develop interpersonal skills and reduce social isolation.

We received our first donation in February 2019 from the Pagham Pram Race committee. This local event (which was set up over 70 years ago) takes place every Boxing Day and sees entrants design (and race in!) prams along a 3 mile course that stops at various pubs along the way. The 2019 event raised over £17,000 which is distributed by the committee to local causes.

We were delighted to be awarded some funding from the Committee and this confidence and support in our work led us to apply for other grants and donations.

We are excited to announce that Sussex Community Foundation, who raise funds for and make grants to local charities and community groups across East and West Sussex and Brighton & Hove, have recognised the benefits we bring to the community. They have just confirmed they will also be supporting us and this collective funding means we are now able to run our first Dramatis Outreach workshop.

‘Finding Voices’ is a ten week workshop aimed at those with anxiety and/or depression and will culminate with a pre-recorded performance aired on local radio. It aims to improve the overall wellbeing of participants and is designed in accordance with the recovery model (looking at feelings of hope, agency and opportunity). Weekly sessions will comprise: confidence building games and exercises, group discussion and sharing, basic play and character analysis and improvisation with role play games and exercises.

We want to take this opportunity to thank the Pagham Pram Race committee and the Sussex Community Foundation and look forward to showing you what we achieve with your kind support.

If you’d like to know more about ‘Finding Voices’ or know someone who might be interested in joining the course, please CLICK HERE.

Sussex Community Foundation logo nO TAGLINE

Curtains Up

Curtains Up: Review of Plenty

Chichester Festival Theatre
Click Here for more info 

Susan Traherne is a former secret agent. Her heroic work with the Special Operations Executive in Nazi-occupied France brought her extremes of danger, as well as adventures and romance. Twenty years on she is living a very different existence in London, as the wealthy wife of a diplomat. Her strained marriage and altered circumstances have threatened her identity and trapped her in a destructive nostalgia for her wartime idealism. In a post-war land of plenty, Susan battles for her own body and mind, as Britain loses its role in the world. Using a non-linear structure, the drama dips backwards and forwards in time to explore how the past and present coexist. On its first appearance at the National Theatre in 1978, David Hare’s play caused a furore, and is now accepted as one of the great modern classics. David Hare’s previous plays for Chichester include South Downs (2011) and Young Chekhov (2015).

What The Press say:

“Plenty – the state of the (post-war) nation drama that firmly put David Hare on the map – premiered at the National in 1978, went to Broadway, and has been revived in the West End. Yet it’s in Chichester that it looks most at home. Rachael Stirling triumphs as a fearless Bond-like figure in Kate Hewitt’s incredibly slick revival, stylishly designed by Georgia Lowe.”
Daily Telegraph

“Rachael Stirling is excellent in Kate Hewitt’s invigorating production of a play about individual and national unease. David Hare’s Plenty is the occasion for a critique of society that has unexpected resonances today. As the first scene is about the British penchant for lies and the second argues that it takes more people to dismantle an empire than to administer it, it hit me that Susan’s disgust at deception and incompetence finds an uncanny echo in the divisions and anger provoked by Brexit. But, if Hare’s elliptical epic lives on, it is because its portrait of individual trauma is matched by its ability to tap into our nation’s permanent unease with itself.”

Our Reviewer says:

Rachel Stirling is the daughter of Diana Rigg and she certainly is a chip off the old block. In David hares play which first appeared in 1978, she plays the role of Susan Traherne who worked with the SOE in Wartime France and hasn’t had a moment’s excitement since. Exaggeration of course, but this pretty much sums up Susan’s post war life and the play of course. Stirling brilliantly portrays the contradictions of this woman seeking to replicate the excitement of the time. She seamlessly moves from young adult to mature and gives the role real gravitas and sympathy.

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Hot Off the Press: Dramatis announces FOUR Summer Workshops!

With school holidays nearly upon us, Dramatis has announced four Summer workshops to keep children, teens (and adults!) entertained.

The programme begins on 12th August with ‘Begin to Act’; a drama workshop for adult beginners. Ideally suited to those who have never tried acting or those who have dabbled but are a bit rusty, this two hour workshop will explore the basics of acting, how to improvise, how to build a character and how to act from a script.

For the teenagers, a one day ‘Improv Masterclass’ will take place on 13th August, exploring what it takes to Improvise. There will be plenty of exercises, games and chances to put new skills into practice. Participants will work on creating their own improvised piece that will then be filmed.

For younger children, a 3 hour Movie Madness workshop on 15th August will provide the perfect opportunity for kids to get away from the TV screens and act out scenes from their favourite films in real life!

Children looking for a longer drama experience, can book on to the ‘Horrible Histories’ four day workshop. Participants will act, dance, sing and mime their way through history and work on a finale performance for parents and friends to see at the end of the week.

What are you waiting for? Book a Dramatis Summer Workshop to develop new skills, make new friends and above all, have fun!

For more information on the Adult Courses, click here.
For more information on the Teen and Children’s Workshops, click here.