Drama at GEMS World Academy (Singapore) is focused on providing students with the basic skills of performing arts and creative dramatics. Within the programme, students from Grade 6 to Grade 12 will refine their communication and performance skills, gain a deeper understanding of the history and practice of theatre and investigate how drama can be used as a catalyst for social change and reflection. Additionally, students will be provided with opportunities to exhibit and implement their collaboration and performance techniques within small- and large-group settings.
Specially designed drama activities are woven into the Nursery, Early Years and Primary Years programme of inquiry and enable children to develop communication and collaboration skills through the exciting medium of drama tools such as puppetry, games, role-play, improvisation, reading aloud, movement and dancing. The programme empowers children to express themselves not just through words, but also through facial expressions and body language.
Secondary Years Drama programme is focused on developing a deep understanding of theatre through a variety of performance techniques, narrative writing, improvisation and transforming a performance concept into live action. It encourages the growth of creativity, nurtures imagination and develops empathy. Emphasis is placed on the artistic process and the students’ understanding of this process as an essential component of their artistic development through continuous investigation, planning, goal setting, rehearsing, performing, reflection and evaluation.
Early, Primary and Secondary Years students are provided with an opportunity to showcase their learning and perform in front of the audience during class assemblies, Open mic sessions and Talent shows, witness their peers in performance and through this become critically aware audience members.
From Grade 9 onwards, Drama is provided optionally within the Secondary Years Arts programme, with students selecting courses based upon personal strengths and interests.
The Diploma Programme Theatre course is a multifaceted theatre-making course of study. It gives students the opportunity to make theatre as creators, designers, directors and performers. It emphasizes the importance of working both individually and collaboratively as part of an ensemble. It offers the opportunity to engage actively in the creative process, transforming ideas into action as inquisitive and productive artists. The theatre course encourages students to appreciate that through the process of researching, creating, preparing, presenting and critically reflecting on theatre - as participants and audience members - they gain a richer understanding of themselves, their community and the world.
During the year students are provided with additional opportunities to participate in drama workshops led in-house professional instructors from the International School Theatre Association (ISTA) and take part in the ISTA Festivals around Singapore. These events provide experiences that develop creative learning and internationalism through theatre, with changing themes each year to offer unique experiences at each and every one.
After school, students may choose to join various clubs such as Stars on Stage, Drama Club, GEMS Voices and audition for a role in a musical production.
Stars on Stage provide Primary Years students with an opportunity to explore different performing arts styles and concepts on stage in preparation for a culminating performance in front of the audience.
Drama Club for the Secondary Years students offers an opportunity for student-led performance initiatives to be realised, actualised and presented to an audience of parents and peers.
Gems Voices is a ‘Glee’ style performance group (singing with a live band, dancing, and acting) which prepares selected repertoire and performs high-quality content at various events in and out of school throughout the year.
Productions are run annually and alternating between plays and musicals. Students practice after school and over the weekends towards a fully produced piece of theatre performed in front of hundreds of parents, peers and faculty. Onstage participation is the main emphasis. Interested students are given the chance to take a stage role and to gain some exposure to singing, acting, and dancing. The major school productions in the Secondary Years require specialised skills and the stage roles are assigned on the basis of competitive auditions.The requirements for stage crew, technical crew, costumes, set construction, and so forth are substantial and students have the opportunity to engage with these essential elements of fully developed stage shows.