King Edward’s Witley has appointed a new Director of Drama in recognition of the School’s ongoing expansion of the creative and performing arts.
This year, IB Drama pupils attended summer schools at the Guildhall School of Drama and two pupils went on to study drama full time at the exclusive Oxford School of Drama and the Fontainebleau School of Acting near Paris, France. The School offers drama scholarships which represent up to a 30% reduction in fees and in recent times there has been an unprecedented interest in acting as a career choice from pupils studying at King Edward’s Witley
Lynsey Cleaves joins the School having spent the last nine years as Head of House and a Drama teacher at Brentwood School in Essex. Prior to this role Mrs Cleaves was Head of Drama at The Chafford School in Essex for four years.
A graduate of the University of Hull, where she took her BA Hons in Drama, Mrs Cleaves went on to study for her PGCE at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. She then went on to complete her MA Education at Bishop Grosseteste University, Lincoln in 2015.
Commenting on the appointment, Mrs Cleaves says, “I wanted to have a fresh challenge after nine very happy years at my last school. I am excited to lead the new era of Drama at King Edward's Witley and can't wait to share my passion for the theatre. I love how teaching Drama and Theatre allows me to nurture ambitious young people looking to embark on a career in the industry. However, what drives me every day is the thrill of seeing all students having the opportunity to participate and develop into confident, well-rounded adults through contact with the theatre. I have examined and taught Drama for GCSE, A-level and IB and it is extremely exciting to get the opportunity to offer them all at King Edward’s. I love the spirit of the IB with its broad and outward-looking curriculum, whilst the depth and detail of the A-level curriculum fosters thoughtful student theatre practitioners. There will be plenty of scope for pupils on these courses to participate in workshops with leading theatre professionals and to push themselves to be the very best. This year pupils at King Edward’s Witley were exposed to a wide range of theatrical styles including Shakespearean theatre, physical theatre and theatre of the absurd. In addition, the School produced a number of shows including; ‘The Pink Panther’, ‘Pride and Prejudice’, ‘Guys and Dolls’ and ‘West Side Story’. I hope to bring together all these experiences when directing the pupil s in future thought-provoking, inspiring and entertaining whole school productions. I'd encourage all pupils who may be considering being a part of a theatre production or taking Drama and Theatre to examination level to just give it a go. Whether or not you see a career in the theatre, getting involved at school can truly change your life."
Mrs Cleaves will be resident on the school campus along with her husband and two young children.