Abbotsleigh’s vibrant performing arts program encourages creative expression and imagination. Each year, girls in the Junior and Senior Schools may audition for productions, which range from musical theatre to dance, and showcase the diversity of their talent.
Drama, prose, poetry, musical theatre, playwriting, physical theatre and stage combat are some of the performing and creative arts programs offered in AbbSchool’s dramatic arts courses, alongside the Trinity College London syllabus. Private lessons, solo and group, are offered in two strands; speech and drama and communication skills.
In Junior School, girls from Kindergarten to Year 6 can engage in additional dance and drama activities (group or individual) via AbbSchool. Auditions for the annual drama production are open to all girls from Years 3 to 6.
Each year, as part of the Senior School’s drama programs, girls may audition for productions, which range from dramatic performance to musical theatre. These are staged in the Drama Studio, the Peter Duly Concert Hall and Assembly Hall.
This has become a popular event for Middle School girls to test their spontaneity, teamwork and risk-taking skills. Girls with an interest in Theatresports can enter regional and state competitions through AbbSchool programs.
Drama students also participate in the Shakespeare Carnival, an annual event where students work in ensembles and pairs to stage scenes from Shakespeare’s plays or create new scenes based on Shakespeare’s works. This event is held as a forerunner to the State Shakespeare Festival with winning entries representing Abbotsleigh at Regional and State Finals.
Trinity College London Drama Examinations
Abbschool uses the internationally recognised ‘Trinity College’ methodology, to teach communication skills, speech and drama, Shakespeare, performing arts, musical theatre and the work of world dramatists. Trinity’s assessment of ability in speech, spoken interaction and dramatic performance offers a varied and in-depth study of performance and communication. The program is designed to help students develop a confident manner and a full, forward and free voice. In addition, it allows students to progress in a systematic way as their interest and aptitude for communication, speech and drama develop.
Students may complete voluntary individual or group examinations in Semester 2 to achieve Trinity certification. Trinity exams also provide invaluable experience for class assessments and the HSC. Performing and being examined in front of an unknown examiner is important practice for working on pre-exam preparation, controlling nerves, warming up and confidently being in control of the pressure of presenting a year’s work in one sitting.
Dance transcends the boundaries of language and culture. Girls of all ages and backgrounds enthusiastically participate in our AbbSchool lessons. Practice and precision have led our dance teams to huge success in local, National and International eisteddfods and showcases. The broad dance program, which includes Jazz, Hip Hop, Urban, Ballet and Contemporary, aims to develop confidence, discipline and self-expression through movement, benefiting performers in all arts genres.
Persuasive speaking and entertaining delivery skills are developed through our strong debating and public speaking cocurricular activities. Abbotsleigh regularly enters teams into the ISDA and Archdale debating competition, and also participates in the annual AHIGS Festival of Speech.