In 1979, Helen O’Grady, a trained teacher, drama teacher and actress, hired a hall in Perth, Australia and commenced after school drama classes for children. Her aims were to provide a self-development through drama programme for children, to encourage:

  • Enthusiasm, energy and a positive approach to life
  • Ongoing confidence
  • Self-esteem
  • Skill in verbal communication
  • Effective social interaction
40 years later, Helen O’Grady’s programme of self-development has become the largest drama organisation of its kind, with over 100,000 students attending classes each week. The Academy’s ethos of ‘Development Through Drama’ aims to encourage students to be confident within themselves and to communicate well.

Through structured lesson plans, the classes focus on:

  • Developing social interaction skills focusing on vocal and physical communication techniques
  • Improving clarity of speech for public speaking and one-on-one communication
  • Building self-esteem and confidence to help our students feel good in themselves and around others

“I would highly recommend this class”

My daughter attends the Helen O' Grady Drama Academy in St. Helens. Since joining, her confidence has grown and she looks forward to her lesson each week. Her lovely teacher, Andrea, has nothing but praise for her and is leading her into becoming a talented drama student. I would highly recommend this class.

Parent - St. Helens

Luca had a wonderful time! He has always had an amazing imagination and it has always amazed me the lengths he goes to. I am so glad he enjoyed yesterday, he really cannot wait to return next week. He is already thinking about costumes he has that he can wear! Thank you.

Parent - Tayforth

Thank you for being instrumental in improving Tamsyn's confidence and for the great opportunities she has had in the shows. She has REALLY enjoyed herself. She is looking forward to the opportunities Redland High will give her for drama and I know she will enjoy herself all the more because of the grounding you have given her.

Parent - Bristol

My children attend the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy Derbyshire and I am overwhelmed by everything the academy has given my children; confidence, fun, memories, excitement and belief in themselves. Thank you so much!

Parent - Derbyshire

Thank you Helen O'Grady: Our son has been going to the academy for a number of years and what a difference it has made to his speech and confidence. Our boy is 11 and has oral dyspraxia, which affects his ability to speak clearly and his short term memory. He loves his drama and is very outgoing. He wants to get involved in the drama lessons and annual plays that his primary school put on, but has been held back because of his dyspraxia and has never had a speaking part. Helen O'Grady has been awesome, the staff are so helpful and understanding of our son's difficulty and he has always had a proper speaking part, even during the early years. Thank you Helen O'Grady for helping our son thrive and grow into a confident young man.

Parent - South Wales

In school assemblies and plays, my son, Stefan was usually relegated to the background. He was bright but lacked the confidence to speak up and be heard. Since being at the academy, Stefan has bloomed and consequently had major parts in each successive school assembly. Thank you so much for instilling in my son the confidence to let his voice be heard and his presence be felt. Such confidence will be invaluable as he grows up and will help to prepare him for every aspect of life.

Parent - North London

I am very grateful to be working with such positive people. The family of the Helen O'Grady Drama Academy is spread so far and wide. How wonderful knowing we are all linked together by our passion to help children develop and believe in themselves through are stunning curriculum.

Alison Mazanec - Executive Principal, Bristol

Thank you for everything. In 10 years you have changed me from a shy young boy to a confident young man.

Student - Tayforth

Through the programme thousands and thousands of young people find their voice, generate self-belief, become generous participants in life and experience much fun and fulfilment along the way!

Helen O' Grady - Founder