Duncan Rice

Cricket Nelspruit Duncan R

Teacher Info

The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy is the only organisation of its kind in Africa. It was originally founded in 1979 in Australia, when Helen O’Grady, a trained teacher, drama teacher and actress, hired a hall and commenced affordable after school drama classes for young people from 3-18 years of age and adults.

Her aims provide a self-development drama programme encouraging:

Enthusiasm, energy and a positive approach to life
Ongoing confidence
Self esteem
Skill in verbal communication
Effective social interaction
Performance skills
Her legacy continues and the Helen O’Grady Drama System has now become the largest worldwide drama school of its kind. With an extensive curriculum, dynamic teachers and easily accessible venues, this is a truly community-based organisation, with a strong emphasis on the care of all its students.

Each Academy has a Principal responsible for the overall development, making sure that a high calibre of teachers and tuition is maintained. The Principal attends the studios regularly and works alongside the students and teachers.

Students attend fast moving classes for one hour a week, according to their specific age-group. Parents Days and an annual Production allow parents and guardians to see first-hand the progress of the students.

Cost Starting from R60 for 60 min
Subjects Speech & Drama
Ages 3 – 100
Levels Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced

Lesson Info

Enthusiastic students who learn to speak out clearly and relate confidently with others will have an inside track to lifetime success.

The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy develops all young people. We’re a place where all our students, from the shy to the outgoing can develop at their own pace, with plenty of positive encouragement.

Our specialty is using fun drama activities to focus the bold, outspoken dramatic development and to draw out the quiet, inarticulate person and help them reach into themselves and discover their full potential.

The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy is a highly developed, original drama programme serving 4 age groups:

Kindy 3-5 years
Lower Primary 5-8 years
Upper Primary 9-12 years
Youth Theatre 13-18 years
Adult Classes 19+

Kindy 3-5 years (Starter Course)

The kindergarten programme empowers young children and their natural self through creative drama, working with children to build confidence, communication and interactive skills though drama techniques, for example: storytelling, improvisation, devised theatre and play, mime and dance and much more.

This curriculum runs throughout school terms in private studios and pre-schools. The sessions run for 45 minutes per class and parents stay or wait outside depending upon the age of the child and ratio of teacher and children. The sessions run set and seasonal themes throughout the year.

The lessons are structured and devised to allow creative development as we believe every child matters and drama is such a rewarding experience regardless of age. Children take from drama what they need and we work with the children to achieve whatever that may be, no matter what age they are.

Lower Primary 5-8 years (Foundation Course)

The Helen O’Grady developmental drama programme for Lower Primary provides young children ages 5 to 8 with unique opportunities to develop clear speech, fluent delivery and pleasing social skills.

Our program helps to give them the confidence to be participants in all aspects of their lives, able to ask questions, seek answers and share information with others. Children who mix well with others find it easier to make friends and adjust to new situations. They find school an enjoyable adventure!

The Academy’s highly trained teachers motivate and inspire the students to become articulate communicators through enthusiastic participation in a wide range of creative activities including speech, creative movement, improvisation, and a special year-end performance.

Upper Primary 9-12 years (Intermediate Course)

The confident, articulate child finds it easier to make friends, accept new challenges and explore new directions. The Helen O’Grady
Drama Academy Upper Primary program for children ages 9-12 is designed to help each child achieve these invaluable life skills.

Students in our Upper Primary program participate in a wide range of creative activities including speech, dramatic movement, improvisation, snippets and scene starters.

At the end of each year they utilise all the skills acquired during the year to create a short, scripted production, which is performed, for parents and friends.

In a fun-filled atmosphere, our classes aim to give young people ongoing confidence, self-esteem and skill in verbal communication.

Youth Theatre 13-18 years (Advanced Course)

The Academy attracts a wide range of young people, from those seeking to increase their confidence and speaking ability, to those hoping to pursue a career in the theatre, film, radio or television.

The dynamic, theatre arts program encompasses a five-year cycle of curriculum providing young actors with a great diversity of material for film, television, radio and theatre. As with the classes for 5-12 year olds, the developmental side of the program is still important. The Youth Theatre 13-18 years is still founded on the principles of encouraging the students to become confident, articulate communicators. The theatre arts side of the program is very comprehensive, covering amongst many other aspects, spontaneous improvisation, voice production, small group improvisation with specific directives, mini scripts, character analysis, open-ended duologues, theatre games, radio plays, quick fire dialogues, monologues and structured scenes.

It is the aim that our Youth Theatre Students have the competitive edge over their peers. This is a crucial time in their young lives where effective communication skills will help shape their future career path.

Performance is at the heart of the Youth Theatre Curriculum and students have many opportunities to show their advanced skills, including an end-of-year production.

Adult Classes 19+ (Specialist Course)

Adult classes focus on the 3 Ps: Presentation, Public Speaking and Performance skills. In today’s world, people who can communicate effectively are the ones who will achieve success in their social and professional lives. The skills learnt in these classes will help all adults to become articulate speakers, with excellent presentation skills.

With a theatrical base to these classes, students will learn advanced voice production, spontaneous thinking, improvisation, and advanced acting technique for film, radio and the theatre.

Students have the option of working towards professional qualifications in Performance or Communication Skills through Trinity Guildhall College, London.

The Academy’s aim is to bring out the inner ‘star’ in all its students!

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