Drama & Theatre Arts


Welcome to Drama & the Arts

Welcome to Drama & Theatre Arts at Westlake Boys’ High School. Drama is enjoyed from Years 9-13 and is taught by six talented and dedicated staff.

The drama department runs an extensive and broad programme, enabling students to experience not only in-class curriculum performance, but also technical production (lighting, sound, stage management), theatresports (improvisational play), and an annual major school production (“Les Miserables” in 2019).

Curriculum drama topics studied (in-class) include acting, scriptwriting, devising, physical theatre, stage combat, Shakespeare, New Zealand drama and theatre, political theatre, mask work and status play. At Year 13, students are invited to attempt Scholarship Drama.

The drama & theatre arts department’s dramatic and theatrical output, as well as its students, has won numerous regional and national awards.


Technical Performance Course

At Westlake Boys’ there is the opportunity to join a team of dedicated students who are taught both in a curriculum (Performing Arts Technology Course) context, where students can gain credits for technical work undertaken at school, or alternatively a more relaxed non-assessed after-school club. The work of these students is then seen in the major school production, in the Year 13 production, and at school-wide, community events such as Korean Night and Chinese Night.

The staff member who leads this course is Lee McClymont: [email protected]


Theatresports

The theatresports team meet twice a week at school, to train, and also compete regularly at Auckland-wide theatresports competitions run by the Theatresports Youth Programme. Focusing on improvisational skills, and spontaneous creative responsiveness, if you are a fan of “Whose Line is it Anyway”, or “Thank God You’re Here!” then you will thoroughly enjoy Westlake Boys’ Theatresports.

The staff member who leads this course is Rachel Smith: [email protected]


Westlake Schools’ Production

Over the past five years, Westlake Schools have enjoyed unparalleled success, combining both Boys’ and Girls’ Schools to mount a major production. In 2019, the production is “Les Miserables”, which boasts 80 students in acting roles, 30 students in the orchestra, 20 students backstage and in technical roles. Previous productions have included two musicals by composer-lyricist Stephen Sondheim: “Assassins” (2015) and “Sweeney Todd” (2017), and two plays, a bicultural reimagining of Shakespeare’s “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” (2016) and a piece of performance ethnography, “YouthQuake” (2018), co-written by Nick Brown, MJ Milburn and the 70 students in the production. 

The staff member who leads this course is head of department Nick Brown: [email protected]



Awards

Westlake Schools’ Previous Productions:

2015: “Assassins”, by Stephen Sondheim & John Weidman

iTicket Awards include:

Outstanding Lighting Design

Outstanding Sound Design

Best Supporting Actress: Lina Kim

The People’s Choice Award

Best Musical


2016: “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”, by William Shakespeare

iTicket Awards include:

Best Supporting Actor: Joe Jackson

Best Play 

Shakespeare Globe Centre (NZ) / University of Otago Awards include:

Outstanding Movement Award


2017: “Sweeney Todd”, by Stephen Sondheim & Hugh Wheeler

iTicket Awards include:

Outstanding Performance by a Cast

Best Actor: Connor Charlesworth

The People’s Choice Award

Best Musical


2018: “YouthQuake”, by Nick Brown & MJ Milburn

iTicket Awards include:

Outstanding Lighting Design