We’re a friendly drama school with fun, lively classes in East and West Sussex. Everyone’s welcome in our little acting community, where kids and adults alike build confidence in their ability to express themselves – while having an absolute blast.

Why we do drama classes

Drama cannot be underestimated. The practice and discipline of theatre opens up worlds of possibilities. Creativity is key to adaptability. So when it comes to preparing our young people to be ready for the twists and turns of life, there’s no greater tool than drama. Besides, it encourages us to dream. Youth theatre is where so many of us who work for HOGDA `found our tribe', it opens so many memorable opportunities and forges strong, lifelong relationships! telling you how.

Why parents & students come to us

Ours isn’t what we’d call a “jazz hands” drama school. We’re part of the internationally acclaimed Helen O'Grady Drama Academy, which means we work to high dramatic standards, with professional teachers and a unique programme. But there’s no pressure on our students. For us, participation is that bit more important than performance.

Our classes give each student a creative space in which they can participate freely – and flourish in their own unique way. Everyone has a part, no matter how they play it.

The results are plain to see. Boosted self-confidence, the ability to communicate well, and tremendous creativity that will take them places later in life – whether they end up in the boardroom or treading the boards.

Our promise

In our drama academy, everyone has a role. Every student is praised and rewarded. And we don’t favouritise individuals based on talent or keenness to perform lead roles. Instead we encourage them to support each other, and to spur one another along. We want our students to feel good in their own skin.

We try to guide everyone to fulfill their potential, from shy kids who just want to have more fun to aspiring young actors bound for the stage or screen. Everyone plays a part.

Student safeguarding

Our top priority is making sure we create a safe, inclusive, fun learning space for all of our students. To help us do this, we have in place full safeguarding and safety policies plus a rigorous code of conduct – which includes all the proper checks for our teachers. We also benefit from specialist support from the UK Helen O’Grady safeguarding officer. Feel free to get in touch if you’d like to see copies of our policies or understand more about how we put them into practice.

What people say about us

Throughout the 6 years of attending HOGDA Drama Academy, I have loved every second of it- from joining when I was 10 years old to leaving at 16. I used to be a very diffident, quiet person before joining, and now I’ve found myself to be quite the opposite. I think this is to a large extent thanks to my experience at HOGDA. Through HOGDA not only have I gained confidence that will stick with me for life, but I have also made some amazing friends along the way. I used to never think I’d have the guts to perform on stage Infront of lots of people, but the atmosphere provided by the HOGDA team and being able to perform with people I got on with really well really made those performances turn into happy memories that I’ll cherish forever. The teachers made every class very enjoyable and inclusive. 

I have done a fair few HOGDA summer schools during my time and that’s been a memorable experience, getting to know other people from different groups that share the same passion as you. This academy allows us as students to be creative and gain confidence.

From Anna aged 16

The contribution these online classes have made to the confidence and self-esteem of my children is priceless.

Parent

The Summer School was the highlight of my son’s holiday. He had brilliant fun, made new friends and learnt loads too. His only complaint was that it had to come to an end.    

Natasha, George’s mum

Both of my children have been attending the drama class for over a year. It’s a great opportunity for them to build up their confidence and be able to speak comfortably in public.

Dan, Ying’s mum

My son’s drama teacher at Helen O’ Grady has been a huge inspiration to him. The lesson has benefited him in countless ways and he enjoys and looks forward to every lesson. He would go every day if he could!

Natasha, George’s mum

I’ve made new friends because I have the confidence to speak to others outside of my friendship group.

Lily, 10

Doing drama has been such a rewarding experience for me, helping me to gain useful skills like public speaking, working in groups and thinking on my feet. It also gave me the drive, passion and confidence to apply to and attend professional drama school.

I’ve also seen drama transform people’s self confidence, help the quiet ones to express themselves and teach people a lot about themselves through being other people!

Daniel, previous student

Everyone is welcome and after just one hour you will be willing to come back again, because you will have done all sorts of amazing, great things such as speech, articulation, lots of plays, and best of all you will have made lots of new friends.

Toni, Willow’s mum

I would highly recommend both the drama classes and the summer school. The teacher is great with the kids – they love her – and she works hard with them to put on shows they are proud to be part of.

Julie-Anne, Noah’s mum

My son is loving every second of his drama class. It has given him confidence and brought him out of his shell. He absolutely loves it and looks forward to it every week. I couldn’t recommend HOGDA classes enough.

Niki, Noah’s mum

My son was really shy and wasn’t good at joining in with others. But since starting at Helen O’ Grady, he has really come out of his shell; his confidence has grown and he now loves to join in and try new things. Also, his communication skills have really improved and he has become a lot more creative in how he plays. The teacher is so great with him. Thanks!

Julie-Anne, Noah’s mum

Eva has loved coming to drama classes. She is always keen and reports that she has had fun. The teachers are really warm and friendly and they have a great rapport with both the children and the parents.

Jon, Eva’s dad

My daughter finds school frustrating. But since she started drama classes, she has found somewhere she can thrive. She recently auditioned for the school play, performing a poem she learnt… and she was given a lead part. My daughter now walks a little bit taller.

Helen, Izzy’s mum

Gerri-Jo finds drama a very rewarding and stimulating environment. She feels comfortable and confident to be part of such a great team – in her own words: “It’s my absolute favourite thing to do after school”. We will continue to to be part of a great academy!

Emma, Gerri-Jo’s mum

Drama classes and summer school are fantastic! Amy has such a lot of fun and has recently developed her confidence in talking to an audience. The teacher is always so enthusiastic and puts a lot of energy into providing exciting performances.

Amy’s mum

See us in action!