Drama Scholarships

Drama scholarships are offered annually at 13+ and 16+. Those joining the school at 11+ may apply as internal candidates for the award at 13+; for 16+ only those joining the school for the sixth form can apply but existing students can be nominated for an honorary scholarship in year 11.

Criteria

Drama scholarships are open to pupils from any school. The scholarship is awarded for exhibiting strong theatre making skills, performance skills and most importantly co-curricular endeavour; at 13+ candidates would be expected to study Drama during the Middle School years; at 16+ in the Sixth Form, candidates are not required to study Theatre as part of their IB Diploma, but it would be advantageous to study Theatre (in Group 6) or Literature and Performance (in Group 1).

Holders of the scholarship will become artistic ambassadors, the best example of what a student of Drama can be and participate fully in the co-curricular theatre programme. Scholars have the chance to be involved in several productions, performances and workshop style clubs throughout their time at Sevenoaks to help foster a deeper love for theatre and to expand on their technical acting skills. Their involvement may be as a performer, director, technician, or stage manager, and may include duties such as staffing front of house and working backstage.

Holders of a Drama scholarship must demonstrate

  • Leadership
  • Reliability
  • Commitment
  • Teamwork
  • A High level of Skill

All scholarships are reviewed annually and their continuance is dependent upon satisfactory conduct, attitude, participation and progress. At such a review, holders of awards are expected to assess their own contribution and to set targets for themselves.

Candidates applying to Sevenoaks School will be asked to express their interest during the application process. The 16+ Drama scholarship first round takes place in the Michaelmas term of Year 9. The Sixth Form Scholarship assessment second round takes place in November of Year 11.

A satisfactory performance in the appropriate entrance examination is a condition of a Drama scholarship.wwwsaksschool.org

The L6 Drama Scholarship Assessment Task

Phase1: a preliminary recorded audition speech (about 3-5 minutes), uploaded to your own vimeo account, which you should password-protect for your security, and submitted as a link on the application form, by September 30 2021.

Candidates will be notified just before the half-term break in October if they have been shortlisted for Phase 2. Students can choose to complete this part of the assessment here at Sevenoaks, or during a Skype video call with staff at Sevenoaks School.

Phase 2: scheduled during the week of Mon 15 - Fri 19 November

1. a 10-15 min presentation, plus a 3-5 min speech (can be a development of the preliminary audition speech).

2. Taking direction to rework the speech

3. A 10-15 min discussion about the presentation, plus the candidates interests in theatre

Details of the Phase 2 task

The task requires each candidate to propose a hypothetical theatre project based on the play/material the preliminary audition speech. The proposal will be 'pitched' in a similar manner to an artist/company seeking a commission, or a dramaturg feeding back research/development of an idea.

The project proposed could be based on one of three approaches:

  • devising original dynamic work based a theme, idea, text(s) or context (linked to the stimulus)
  • directing/performing a dynamic interpretation/adaptation of a published script (linked to or could be the stimulus itself)
  • or a combination of both.

Candidates must start their pitch by presenting an overview of their proposal: how it will be staged (concepts and production/staging techniques), where (what kind of space and venue) and why (justify and refer to aims for their target audience). They must explain the link between their proposal and the stimulus, in terms of context, subject matter, theme, form or style. The project could involve any age group(s) and range from a solo performance to a large-scale production.

Although the concept may not be fully realised, it is the quality of the thinking and potential of the project that is important rather than a finished, polished production. Some ideas may not be fully completed but will anticipate a dramatic process (perhaps articulated in the presentation). It is not necessary to outline in detail the plot and story - a concise synopsis will do.

The pitch should include a short performance element, to give a flavour of a specific aspect of the proposed project. For example: a monologue taken from a published script; a prepared improvisation; or a performance of an original piece of writing. The performance will then be reworked to test versatility and range. Candidates are being assessed as theatre-makers, therefore we are primarily concerned with their creative ideas and appreciation of theatre, rather than their expertise with PowerPoint. However, communication skills will also be considered.

Work undertaken by the student must be appropriate for the context of the school and age of the student. Therefore, student work for this assessment must not: glamorize the taking of drugs; incite or condone intolerance or hatred of others; include excessive or gratuitous violence; make reference to, or represent, explicit sexual activity.

Drama at Sevenoaks

Our philosophy is to foster a passion for excellence in drama and to make full use of our outstanding facilities, including our world-class performing arts centre, The Space, to educate our students as broadly as possible. 

A strong spirit of ambition and experimentation runs through Drama at Sevenoaks School. In recent years, productions have drawn on a wealth of dramatic knowledge and diversity to bring a program of vital texts and stylish performances to audiences; whether this be learning trapeze skills for The Penelopiad, devised movement and choreography for Caesar, stage combat for Rebel Heart or puppets for Animal Farm. Every two years the department takes a production on tour to schools in Germany during the Michaelmas half term. There is drama for every age group. 

We place particular emphasis on the process undertaken to mount a production, and how to maximise student ownership and responsibility, enabling them to get much more out of each project. Senior performers grow into theatre makers rather than merely actors.

Students also take key responsibilities in design and production roles. A reliable source and training ground for such students is the Space Technical Team, mentored by the building’s professional technicians, and our in-house Production Coordinator, who constructs props and costumes. Students operate lighting and sound for all projects, and often for visiting professional shows as well. 

Alongside the main productions, which are mounted in the Sackville Theatre, several smaller studio projects are hosted in the Ordovsky-Tanaevsky Drama Studio. These student-led pieces have recently explored highlights of American literature (Oleanna, Zoo Story), and the best of the National Theatre Connections Plays (DNA, Extremism, Three). There are also after-school drama clubs and many students undertaking LAMDA or Trinity Guildhall classes to work towards a graded examination. 

The Sackville Theatre in The Space is also an emerging venue for small and middle-scale professional theatre, programmed for the school and local community. We have been lucky to host a diverse range of international theatre, often part of a national or international tour. Recent highlights have included Les Enfants Terribles, Theatre Ad Infinitum, Strangeface, and Play on Words Theatre. The Space is a resource for the school and the wider community, not only in supporting our high-quality drama and music provision with first-class teaching, recording and performance facilities but also as a major venue for the arts in the South East. 

Further information and application details

For Sixth Form entry, applicants will be asked to indicate their interest on their application forms. The Director of Drama is pleased to meet candidates informally at any stage and to answer any queries.

Drama Scholarship Information

Drama Scholarship Application Form

L6 Drama Scholarship Application Form

The Director of Drama, Mr Gavin Henry, is pleased to meet candidates informally at any stage and to answer any queries.

Emerging Talent Programme

If your child is exceptional in their field, please visit this page where you will find more information about our Emerging Talent Programme. Click here.