Hot off the Press: Dramatis launches Family Nights In to keep inter-generational relatives connected during Lockdown 2.

With the novelty of online quizzes and family video calls worn thin after the first lockdown (!), Dramatis community drama school has launched Family Nights In to help different generations of the family stay connected in the safety of their own homes.

Combining the nostalgia of traditional games with the convenience of technology, these one-hour sessions use Zoom to bring family members from different households together to play a series of games and activities led by Dramatis.  Having an impartial leader take charge of proceedings (and scores!) means families can simply sit back and enjoy the fun.

Family Nights In include a series of games which test acting, singing and memory skills (for example the Conveyor Belt game in which a series of objects are shown on screen that contestants then have to recollect in a set period of time). There are also activities which focus on family knowledge and teamwork (like Freeze Frame in which contestants are given a moment in time that they have to capture in a frozen statue position).

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 family format.

Family Nights In are for up to five households (suitable for ages 5 to 95!). Participants simply need a computer/laptop/iPad and access to Zoom. One-hour sessions cost £50 (for all 5 households).  For more information or to book one for your family, CLICK HERE.

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Hot off the Press: 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


Online Playreading Group returns to keep West Sussex residents connected

When lockdown was first announced back in March, we were quick to adapt our programming and move to a virtual format. The new Zoom led online programme included workshops and courses for residents of all ages which culminated in filmed performances that were featured on the Dramatis Online Stage (our You Tube account).

The unexpected highlight of the programme was the introduction of our adults play-reading group; ‘Wine and Wilde’. This online activity had such an overwhelming response, that we decided to keep it running post-lockdown and are considering introducing an ‘IRL’ version in a local wine bar once government guidelines allow.

Wine and Wilde is ideal for adults who are completely new to acting or nervous about committing to a course. There are no lines to learn, and no stages to perform on! Participants are pre-assigned characters in scenes from an Oscar Wilde play which they then read through 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.

As Janet, one of the attendees, explains: “I was hesitant at first as I’m quite self-conscious, but I had so much fun!”. Marty, another attendee, adds “It’s been great to meet new drama lovers and have something to look forward to” while Mandy says, “Everybody’s really friendly and supportive”.

In a climate in which the impact of loneliness has been acutely felt, groups like this have become a lifeline.

As Dramatis Principal, Suzy Duxbury, explains: “our online playreading group aims to keep residents connected during these uncertain times and provide a much-needed space for escapism and laughter”.

The performing arts industry has been hit particularly hard by recent events and so we were delighted to see our Wine and Wilde group featured by UK News Group and Drama & Theatre alongside fellow industry friends, The Playground Theatre, Nick Hern Books, Belgrade Theatre and Up Ere Productions.

Wine and Wilde Play-reading Group
Format: Online sessions run via Zoom (in blocks of four)
Date/Time: Fridays from 7.30pm to 8.15pm
Price: £10 (per block of four sessions)
Upcoming sessions:
25 Sept/2 Oct/9 Oct/16 Oct: Lady Windemere’s Fan
6 Nov/13 Nov/20 Nov/27 Nov: An Ideal Husband

For more information about Wine and Wilde, CLICK HERE.

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Hot off the press: Dramatis launches FREE Half Term Workshops !

Do you have a child that likes acting, drama and performing? Are you looking for something for them to do in the half term holidays?

Then consider Dramatis Community Drama school! We are the only performing arts school in Bognor Regis and Chichester offering pure drama as a subject and this Autumn half term, we want to give as many children as we can the opportunity to take part in one of our FREE drama workshops.

Let’s face it, the past year hasn’t been easy on our children so we want to give your little ones a fun experience to remember 2020 by!

Come and join us, as we jump into the imaginary world of Disney, Pixar and Harry Potter. We will be playing games, acting out scenes and even using props and costume as we arrive at “Platform nine and three quarters” to go “inside out” and get “tangled” up in some acting fun!

WORKSHOP ONE: “Disney Dreams”
Thursday 29th October
Ages 5-6
9.00am to 10.30am
The Regis School, Westloats Lane, Bognor Regis, PO22 5LH

WORKSHOP TWO: “Pixar Party”
Thursday 29th October
Ages 7-9
10.45am to 12.15pm
The Regis School, Westloats lane, Bognor Regis, PO22 5LH

WORKSHOP THREE: “Journey to Hogwarts”
Thursday 29th October
Ages 10-12
12.45pm to 2.15pm
The Regis School, Westloats lane, Bognor Regis, PO22 5LH

Please note that spaces are limited!  Do get in touch via email or contact us 07540792849 to book your spot.


How does drama support a child’s Emotional Wellbeing?

Are you concerned about how the pandemic has affected your child’s emotional wellbeing?

You’re not alone! As revealed in this study by YoungMinds , many parents are worried about the impact Covid restrictions have on their children.

During this disruptive time, kids have missed out on school, had their hobbies and activities reduced, seen their friends less, spent more time online and ultimately have had to live in a time when the whole world has been turned on its head.

Whilst parents are doing all they can to support their children through “the current situation”, they’re only human and (on a day to day level) there’s only so many times anyone can hear “I’m bored” with a level of sympathy!

At Dramatis, we run courses and classes that not only keep children entertained but also help support their emotional wellbeing.  We’ve witnessed first-hand the life skills drama helps develop in our pupils. From confidence, communication and problems solving to self-expression, emotional regulation and empathy; drama has been shown to boost social, emotional and cognitive outcomes.

These outcomes are summed up best by the below infographic created by WeTheParents that lists 21 benefits (and the associated research) that drama can have on children.

Interested in booking your child onto one of our drama courses? Our Autumn term runs from 14th Sept to 18th December. For more info, CLICK HERE.

Learn more about the science-backed benefits of drama education at We The Parents.