Well it’s been awhile since my last post but the Drama Department has been busy, busy, busy with non stop activities since christmas.
Last week seen all students at Knox Academy attend an assembly relating to the Holocaust. We had two students (from thr English Department) who went to Auschwitz last year and we wanted them to be able to reflect their time there and enable students to be aware of what they seen. The Drama Department, along with English, created a 30 mins assembly that really made the students think. It included an edited video of NBC’s ‘The Diary of Anne Frank’ put to Simple Plan’s song ‘Untitled’, personal accounts from the two Knox students, reflections from The Holocaust and the Rwandan Genocide, 3 poems, a power point presentation reflecting life in Europe before, during and after the Holocaust and the Knox String group playing the theme to Schnidler’s List.
The impact on the students was amazing, they sat completely silent taking everything in, respecting each piece. The power point was played during the String Group and when they had finished the images kept going for another 2 minutes and the wall of silence that hit you from the young people was so powerful. What was so rewarding was that although I ‘directed’ the order of the assembly this was very much student led with the ownership on them.
We are now about to have a de-brief session and start planning our event for next year. I would just like to thank all the staff and students involved for making this a rememorable experience.
American School link
Well we are now under way in our collaboration production with our school in the States. Students from the youth theatre have started to look at script writing skills and will begin their research into terrorism in the UK and after Easter will begin to create and write their pieces.
Across the pond they have began to look at their structure and the overall piece is to be staged in both schools in May – lasting roughly an hour.
All go! Keep looking for more details later
S1 students have now completed their dance/drama unit, creating some lovely work in connection with the Holocaust. Each student in S1 watched the acclaimed film ‘The Diary of Anne Frank – the whole story’ to gain insight into life during WW2 for Jews. They have now started a new unit of work on Bullying which has seen us actively discussing all sorts of bullying. They have now started to examine the story of ‘Wicked – the untold story of the witches of Oz’. By using a well known story (The Wizard of Oz) students will look at how there are two sides to every story and because of being different the ‘wicked’ witch of the west was bullied. We will then use the skills learnt in the unit to devise a docu-drama about bullying.
Over in S2 we have a new rota of students so we have just started Stage Combat. Using feedback from the students who completed the course before Christmas I have now changed the course slightly and these students will sit an acting assessment based on Stage Combat using skills learnt in improvisation, self-control, focus, stage combat, characterisation and status.
New York! New York!
The Drama department are taking 42 senior students to New York next February break (2009). They will spent a week in capital city of show business taking part in a Drama workshop with a Broadway performer, visiting some of the most iconic sites in the City, seeing two Broadway Shows and shopping! We are all excited and will be posting more about this later.
S6 Acting Company
As you may remember from a previous post; Knox Academy has an S6 Acting Company which produced ‘In Holland Stands a House’. Since then they have been focusing on skills and are now working towards a showcase evening which will see each student take part in a duologue; each scene will be linked by a cast member reflecting on her friends in the street where she once lived. Can anyone guess who? Yup! Mary Alice Young from Desperate Housewives will be telling the audience about what she can see. Audience members will see scenes from ‘Angels in America’, ‘Perfect Days’, ‘Bondagers’, ‘Medea’, ‘Sleeping Around’, ‘The Architect’ and all are linked by monologues from Desperate Housewives… as well as a trio from the musical ‘The Witches of Eastwick’. Should be an excellent evening of entertainment!
The Women of Lockerbie
On a personal level I am now directing Deborah Brevoort’s award winning Drama ‘The Women of Lockerbie’ with my own theatre company random ACT.
A mother from New Jersey roams the hills of Lockerbie Scotland, looking for her son’s remains which were lost in the crash of Pan Am 103. She meets the Women of Lockerbie, who are fighting the US Government to obtain the clothing of the victims found in the plane’s wreckage. The women, determined to convert an act of hatred into an act of love, want to wash the clothes of the dead and return them to the victim’s families. The Women of Lockerbie is loosely inspired by a true story, although the characters and situations in the play are purely fictional. Written in the structure of a Greek tragedy, it is a poetic drama about the triumph of love over hate.
We went to Lockerbie last sunday and visited the crash sites and was overwhelmed by what we saw and the kindness of the people who showed us round and spoke first hand of what happened that night. It was important for us as a theatre company to make sure that we do this play complete justice.
This is to be staged in April at the Scottish Storytelling centre. For more details click here
So as you can see it is all go… and i’ve not mentioned the admin, the report writing, the course options etc! I love teaching!