Sometimes, just when you think life cannot surprise you anymore, something seemingly quite insignificant can make you sit up and pay attention. This recently happened during one of our Drama activities and I can’t deny it put a huge smile on my face and gave me the warm-and-fuzzy’s all over. First, some background info to set the scene: we teach drama to children at an upmarket private school in Midrand, so it’s safe to say that these children come from a more privileged background than a lot of children in South Africa. A few weeks ago we did one of our quick-fire Intro activities, this one was about finding a tree in the jungle that has money growing on it instead of leaves. The children had to pick as much money as possible before I shouted “freeze”. As usual , I gave them a chance to comment on the activity and tell me what they would spend the money on. Of course, I got the expected Ferrari’s, Bugatti’s, Mansions, rockets to the moon, the latest Xbox and games, apple gadgets etc. But what really made me sit up, was the number of children who said they would give half, or all the money to charity. Some wanted to build houses for homeless people, or buy shoes, food, blankets and clothes. They wanted to give money to animal shelters, orphanages, cancer research and children’s hospitals. They wanted to build schools where children with no money can go to for free. I was honestly blown away! Somewhere, someone is doing something right. Between the parents, teachers, school, and other influences that might have an impact on these children, we are bringing up a new generation who might just get it right. To hear children be aware of their privilege, and say they don’t need more money or stuff, they would rather make life better for people whom they know have so much less than they do was a truly humbling experience. One of my favourite life mantras just kept playing over and over in my mind: “In a world where you can be anything, be kind”.
Friday, April 9, 2021
Wednesday, March 17, 2021
Conversations are at the true heart of all dramatic productions, be it a play, a movie or a TV show. They are all basically made up of a string of conversations, strung together by actions and a change of scenery – conversations interspersed by characters going to work, walking, running, eating, sleeping until they have their next conversation.
Friday, March 5, 2021
Friday, December 11, 2020
Friday, October 16, 2020
Welcome to our final term for 2020. I can hardly believe we have only two months left of this most unusual school year!
Term 4 has, like the rest of 2020, brought new and exiting ways to teach Drama. At our Pretoria and Midrand studios we have adopted a hybrid system for the last push to the end of the year. We are still running Zoom classes, but we are happy to report that we have been able to also start ONSITE classes at some of our studios. It is such a pleasure to be in the same space as our students again, even if it is at a distance!
As it is not possible to go back to all our schools, YET, and the independent venues are not always practical for the parents, we are continuing with Zoom classes for anyone who prefers the online platform for now.
We have also started working on our year end productions, with onsite and Zoom students. How exciting! We can’t wait to show our families, friends and fans what we can achieve when we put our creative minds to it, in whichever way, shape or form we can!
Saturday, September 19, 2020
We ended off our third term with a Bang! All our Upper Primary students, and a selection of Lower Primary students hosted a re-imagined version of our Parent Presentations. Normally our students do a group Parent Presentation, where they get to show off what they learnt during the term. This term we had to put a bit of the twist on it and it was in the form of a Supper Theatre performance in their own homes.
All students had to plan and perform a show, which included a 3-course meal, as well as a variety of items performed while the audience enjoy their various courses. They designed posters, tickets, menus, and programmes. They had to create a stage, set with props and costumes. They had to be the MC and the waiter, or enlist their siblings to help.
The Upper Primary students had to perform a solo interpretation of a traditional Verbal Dynamics item, Cities, as well as a Monologue, and an improvised advertisement. The Lower Primary Students who chose to do the Supper Theatre, performed a dramatized prose, We’re Going on a Bear Hunt, by Michael Rosen, and a poem from our Term 3 selection.
We encouraged the students to be creative and put their personal stamp on the event, so some students wrote their own monologues and added items to their performance, changed the “supper” to a “picnic”, and helped prepare the food and used it for their advertisements.
We asked the students to take lots of photos and videos so we could all share in the fun, and from what we received, it was a roaring success all round. The parents clearly enjoyed the performances and the food, and the students loved showing off their work. When asked for feedback after their performance, the one word used to describe their show most often was “amazing”. Time and time again: “It was AMAZING!”
How wonderful that we could bring enjoyment, fun and excitement to our students’ homes and families.