The Drama department is always immersed in the excitement and challenge of fresh performances. While the shows are aimed at entertaining the audiences, the real value lies in the process of putting the show “on the boards”. Turning creative dreams into practical realities is a challenge and we have been delighted to watch our actors and directors blossom as they reach their goals. We have produced some top performers – Zola Myeza (2010), Gugu Gumede (2011) and Amanda Kunene(2013) each won the prestigious ACT/DALRO/Nedbank Performance Scholarship; Nandi Ngoma is a well known media and television personality; Laura Elliott is a sought after DJ to the stars in Europe and America. But Drama is not only about becoming a star. It is about developing each pupil’s personal confidence and communication skills as learning how to work effectively within groups to make real time deadlines.
Kearsney College Drama Festival
Our girls participate in this festival at Kearsney College – workshopping their performances and receiving acclaim from Stephen Stead and Greg King.
Schools’ Shakespeare Festival
Danville was one of the first schools to participate in this international festival. Our casts are thrilled to work on a professional stage and play to capacity audiences at the Sneddon Theatre. The Shakespeare works presented are fresh, original interpretations of the Bard’s works and bring the language and energy of Elizabethan theatre to life for the girls.
The best practical works performed for assessment are showcased to the school in the Amphitheatre during a lunch break. The works range from choral verses, to workshopped performances to monologues and scenes.
Matric Supper Theatre
In May the Matrics perform their themes programmes for a supportive audience of teachers, families and friends.
In 2015 and 2016, Danville ran its own arts performance festival. Showcasing the talents of the singers in a musical performance, the actors in a workshop performance, the dancers in a site specific dance programme and the highly popular Danville Productions annual movie, girls not only share their love of performance, but learn essential technical skills such as stage management, movie editing, sound and lights operation.
On a Saturday in February, Drama students from schools around Durban gather at Danville for a day filled with workshops, discussion and a performance. The aim is to have a day when pupils can be exposed to fresh ideas from top professionals in the fields of dance, physical theatre and professional theatre as they learn, create and enjoy the camaraderie of fellow drama students.
A highlight of the year is when the Grade 11 pupils write and direct their own plays which are staged in a fiercely contested competition to determine the best play. The participants learn theatre craft as they master the technologies of intelligent lights, surround sound, projections as well as the more traditional aspects of acting, costume, make up and set design and construction. The Danville Band provides live music for the performances.