In the Curriculum
All boys in their first year do about fifteen double schools of drama. The emphasis is on creative, disciplined fun. The lessons involve improvisation and theatre games; the study, rehearsal, and performance of dramatic texts; the study of verse speaking; and the development of physical, vocal, and imaginative performance techniques. The aim is to provide the boys with a safe and stimulating environment in which to develop skills not easily learned in the schoolroom: physical and vocal self-confidence; the social disciplines of group work; imaginative spontaneity and the disciplines required to channel it; an extended emotional range; the power of their own creativity and a respect for that of others. At the same time they acquire a deeper understanding of dramatic literature, learn and develop some basic performance skills, and are introduced to the scope of drama as an academic subject which they may wish to pursue in later years.
Beyond the Curriculum
For most boys, their first appearance before an Eton audience will be by performing in a house play. Most houses put on a play every two years or so, alternating between a large-scale production in the Farrer Theatre, and something in one of our smaller venues. Boys in their first two years frequently play major roles in house plays and occasionally in full school plays. The Lower Boy Play is an annual production cast exclusively from boys in their first two years, so that younger boys can play leading roles in a major production.
The 'stage crew' is an informal group of boys interested in backstage work. It is open to boys throughout the school and those in their first year often take on important responsibilities, such as operating the lighting or sound.