Acting Head of Drama

As educators our role is becoming more and more complex. At times we feel like we’re staring into a crystal ball. What will the future look like for our students? How can we best prepare them for it? As we move rapidly into the unknown we consider how we can best help our students navigate a world of constant change and prepare for a life beyond school knowing that the jobs of tomorrow are yet to exist.

As Drama teachers, our students amaze us every day with their ability to jump into the unknown. They work collaboratively and creatively to solve problems on their feet whilst having fun along the way. The very important 21st century skills of collaboration, communication, creativity and critical thinking constantly interplay in the Drama classroom. These are the skills that all learners will need to meet the challenges of what might lie ahead.  

Our students learn about their world by experimenting with a range of dramatic forms in their study of Drama from Years 8 through to 12. Through doing this they create theatre that not only challenges their own ideas but also the perspectives of their audience. The Drama cohort of 2016 were brave. Their group devised performances dealt with terrorism, the dangers of growing populism in politics and the injustices faced by those living in detention. Their bravery was rewarded with outstanding HSC results. 75% of our students received a Band 6, 19% a Band 5 and 6% a Band 4. Of the 16 students who studied Drama, four students were All Rounders. Special congratulations must go to Caterina Klasen whose Individual Project was nominated for the Onstage program.

2017 began with the Bell Shakespeare Artist in Residence program. For the sixth consecutive year, Christopher Tomkinson conducted the week long program with our Year 10 students which allowed them to delve into the world of Shakespeare. Their hard work led to a highly engaging and successful performance of Macbeth in the LRC.

Year 11 students began the year with a study of Realism, stepping into the shoes of women from the Victorian era in their performed scenes of Ibsen’s play A Doll’s House. At the end of Term 1 the class also worked tirelessly as stage crew for the Music Festival under the guidance of student stage managers Lily Black and Kate Roberts. Their hard work ensured an incredible show at our new venue in Darling Harbour.

Year 11   have since explored a variety of non-realistic forms including expressionism and comedy and are looking forward to applying their skills to their group devised production PAST, PRESENT, FUTURE…TENSE  (working title). Please join us in the Drama Space on Thursday the 3rd and Friday the 4th of August to watch their performances which will explore the concept of the future and what it might hold.

Years 8 and 9 students have explored Clowning, Improvisation and Playbuilding with energy and enthusiasm. Year 8 students in Term 1 were treated to a performance by acclaimed clowns Kiki and Pascal and Year 9 have been extending their clowning and improvisation skills by donning the masks of Comemdia dell’Arte characters, allowing them to explore the world of ancient Italian comedy.

In Term 4 Year 9 students will once again enchant local primary school students with their pantomime performances. It’s a wonderful time of the year giving our students the opportunity to apply their skills and experience to the joys of performing for a young and very excited audience.

Year 12 Drama students have now completed the theoretical component of their course and are working concurrently on their Individual and Group Devised Projects. We hope to see you at the Year 12 showcase in late August to view and celebrate the outcome of their hard work.

Lastly a very big thank you to all the Drama staff for the passion and dedication they bring to their classrooms every day. A special welcome also to Mrs Casey Scoines, the newest member of our growing and dynamic department.

 

Ms Anna-lea Russo
Acting Head of Drama