Head of Drama
E-mail: Mr P WallerAMCIS, BEd (Hons), TESOL
Mr Philip Waller is Head of Drama. He trained at the University of the West of England, graduating with a BEd (Hons) in English and Drama. He has played various musical theatre roles, he also sings and plays percussion. After university he enjoyed a varied career, producing and directing at Sky Sports Television and also working for Network 10 in Sydney.
He returned to the UK and to Cranleigh Prep School in 2010. He currently combines Drama teaching with the role of Senior School Advisor, following various other teaching posts within the school. He has a particular love for musical theatre. He is also a trustee of The Charlie Waller Memorial Trust, a charity that offers support and education to those affected by depression and mental illness.
Cranleigh Prep School prides itself on the way in which Drama is embedded into the curriculum to help children to develop confidence, communication skills, team work and the skills of how to present and stand up in front of an audience. We carefully increase the exposure the children have and the difficulty level, to ensure each child has the opportunity to meet their potential at whatever the level is and when they are ready to meet the independent challenge. It is no secret that these are crucial skills the children will need to have in their future.
Each child in the school is given the opportunity to perform every year. Here the children learn drama techniques through games, script reading , mime, modelling, voice projection techniques, improvisation, team building exercises, ensemble work, just to mention a few.
Lower School (Forms 1 & 2)
There are bundles of opportunities for children to perform at Cranleigh Prep. The Lower School tread the boards towards the end of the Michaelmas term. This is a wonderful opportunity for the younger children to get their first taste of performance and a team project, building confidence in a light-hearted, yet focussed way, using poetry recitals and a modern musical take on the nativity story.
Middle School (Forms 3 & 4)
The Form 3 musical production develops further skills in the Michaelmas curriculum time for Drama, Music and Dance. It is a fabulous collaborative effort across the Performing Arts, involving all members of the year group. We believe that pupils should be encouraged to involve themselves in performance at the Prep School and this project embodies that concept, with everyone in the production participating in singing, dancing and acting.
In Form 4, children have the opportunity to participate in voluntary informal Drama productions which are rehearsed in the Lent term and performed at the beginning of the Summer term. The production is mainly rehearsed and performed in Priority Time.
Upper School (Forms 5 & 6)
Form 5 children work on a substantial musical play, which enables those who show particular aptitude on the stage to extend their experience alongside their year group. Everyone is encouraged to take part.
Serious actors in Form 6 can audition for parts in a drama production, which is performed at The Arts Centre in Cranleigh.
Weekly lessons are available in LAMDA, which helps to develop acting and poetry speaking skills alongside self-awareness and self-confidence. Children are prepared and entered for external LAMDA exams each year. If you would like your children to take LAMDA lessons, please email Mr Waller on firstname.lastname@example.org