ARTS AND CULTURE
As part of our balanced approach to education, we make a wide variety of arts and culture focuses and areas available to our students, allowing them to find and pursue their passions beyond the academic sphere. Well-equipped facilities and knowledgeable teachers and mentors ensure that they are able to reach their full potential with all the support they need to excel.
Westville Boys’ High School has established a fine reputation as a leader in the Performing Arts both in Durban and South Africa as a whole. The school aims to fulfil the potential of every student, and the performing arts is a major feature in this mission. In fact, it constitutes a definite point of difference in comparison to other boys’ schools.
A major production is staged twice a year. The productions are of the highest acting and technical quality and are not restricted to any specific genres. These have included Broadway musicals such as High School Musical 1 & 2, Oklahoma!, Guys & Dolls and Little Shop of Horrors, serious dramatic plays such as The Crucible, Master Harold and the Boys, White Men with Weapons and A Few Good Men; as well as Shakespearean plays Macbeth, Hamlet and The Tempest.
Musical revues along specific themes also showcase the singing and dancing talents of WBHS students. Cultural evenings, dance festivals and the annual Shakespeare Schools’ Festival presentations are also staged every year, exposing as many boys as possible to the very strong culture of performing arts at the school. For female roles, WBHS opens its auditions to budding actresses from a variety of local schools.
Recognition for the talent unearthed at WBHS has come from a variety of sources. Examples include the invitation to three boys to perform The Merchant of Venice in the Shakespeare 400th
centenary event on Robben Island; acclaim received at the annual Playhouse Shakespeare festivals; performances of set works (Coriolanus and Waiting for Godot) for IEB and public
schools; selection for the KZN Young Performers and Kickstart projects; representation in TV productions such as Idols and Peter Toerien’s HSM project; selection to the KZN Youth Choir, KZN Youth Orchestra and KZN Wind Band; gold medal winners at the SA National Championships for Performing Arts; and invitations to perform in venues such as the Playhouse, Snedden Theatre, Baxter Theatre (Cape Town) and even Carnegie Hall (New York).
Well-known personalities and performers who attended WBHS include singer Kyle Deutsch, music producers Awon Wolf and Sketchybongo, international dancers Kevin Ellis and Keagan
Barnes, cellist and pianist Aristide du Plessis, and Hollywood and Fox producer Simon Swart.
The school offers Dramatic Arts as a subject for all learners in Grades 8 and 9, and as a subject for Matric purposes in Grades 10, 11 and 12. Those wishing to undertake Music as a subject for
Matric purposes register for courses through academies such as the Trinity College London and they are included in orchestras or ensembles for WBHS productions.
Arts and culture
With an incredible range of clubs and societies, students can explore their creative talents through a variety of focus areas. With well-equipped facilities and support from staff members and older boys, all pupils are expected to join at least one club, society or task team.