Online drama classes and free entertainment during the shutdown

A Bognor Regis drama school is switching online amid the coronavirus crisis.

Dramatis principal Suzy Duxbury
Dramatis principal Suzy Duxbury

Dramatis Community Drama School is aiming to keep us all – children and adults alike – entertained with online classes and free entertainment during the shutdown.

Dramatis principal Suzy Duxbury said: “In addition to running discounted youth drama classes through Zoom, Dramatis has introduced a new free adults play-reading group and a free video messaging service that people can use to send personalised messages to friends and family celebrating a special occasion.

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“The new weekly Youth Drama online classes begin with a group Zoom session where students run through 15 minutes of warm-up exercises together.

“Pupils then log back in at their allotted time for a 20-minute one-to-one session. During this, they are given a series of monologues and personalised tuition on skills that help them to get the most out of the text.

“At the end of the nine-week term, pupils perform a chosen monologue to camera. this self-tape is uploaded to the Dramatis Online Stage (a YouTube account) so they can share their work with friends and family.

“With a recent report from theatre industry publication The Stage, confirming that self-tapes’are now the most favoured audition style required by casting agents and drama schools, it’s an excellent discipline for young students to get experience in.”

Currently there are three youth drama classes due to start at the end of April. The Globe group is for ages ten to 12 and runs every Monday from April 27 to June 22 (from 2.30pm). The Royal Court group is for ages seven to nine and runs every Tuesday from April 28 to June 23 (from 2.30pm). The Barbican group is for ages 13-plus and runs every Friday from May 1 to June 26 (from 6pm).

“To keep adults entertained and help ease the loneliness of social distancing, Dramatis is launching Wine and Wilde on Monday, May 4. This low pressure and free play-reading group will bring people together via a Zoom each Monday at 7.30pm to read through a segment of an Oscar Wilde play together.

“Attendees are encouraged to bring along a glass of wine (or alternative beverage of choice) and enjoy a debrief of the text together afterwards.”

And to spread the joy of drama to the wider community, Suzy is running a free personalised video message service.

“Know someone who is celebrating a birthday or special occasion in isolation? Suzy will create a 30-second video message in the style of a famous dramatic character for you to send them that will make their day! Choose from Poppy from Trolls, Long John Silver or Corona Caveman.”

As Suzy explains; “As a community drama school, we want to do as much as possible to help residents during this difficult period. Drama is a great way to release stress, feel connected to others and have fun so we hope our new online programme helps bring people together and raise a smile!

“Dramatis is on a mission to bring the benefits of drama to the West Sussex community. Whilst some drama schools are known for cultivating a competitive environment and pushing people to their limits to get the best out of them, Dramatis focuses on nurturing individual personalities and skills.

“Viewing each student as part of an extended family, Dramatis believes that building people up, not breaking them down, is the key to success, both on and off the stage.”


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