Maggie Saunders

Drama In A day


What is Drama In A Day?

For Primary Schools – years 4/5/6

Children love to play. Give them an idea, lots of space and time and their imaginations will run free.

Drama In A Day allows them to play and imagine within a safe and secure environment under the leadership of experienced directors and actors.

The children are encouraged to work with each other to create an improvised piece of theatre, which they perform at the end of the day to the whole school.

drama in a day at workThe day begins when we meet the class and their teacher. The children have no idea what they will be doing for the next 6 hours except that by 3pm they will be performing a short piece of drama in front of the rest of the school. They are introduced to the theme for the day, which is chosen by the school beforehand. Themes are taken from the curriculum. They are also introduced to a contract of behaviour for the day.

To prepare the children for working as a large group, we use physical and vocal warm up games, which are both fun and stimulating. Being able to run and jump and shout is very popular!

The large group is then broken down into pairs working on slow motion fighting and mirroring so that they can explore focus and control. The children particularly enjoy the non-contact slow motion fighting.

The class is then divided into small groups of 5/6 children. The work they do encourages co-operation and team building. They might be asked to work as a group of sailors on a ship or to make a working machine or to pretend to be in a busy city street. They are given a short scene to work on based on the theme of the day, which they then work on as a group and then show to the rest of the class. This is gentle preparation for the end of the day performance.

Dialogue is introduced to the scenes – everyone is encouraged to take a line of dialogue yet no one is forced to do so and then the play starts to take shape.

From lunchtime onwards all the components are put together, making the ideas into a performable piece of theatre.

We have one or two run throughs after the lunch break and then the children are ready to perform their play before the audience of peers and teachers and sometimes if possible parents and carers.