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The Power of Drama to Bring People Together

Posted: June 28, 2019

On Tuesday 25 June 2019, Discovery College hosted the annual ESF Post-16 Drama conference, which was attended by students and teachers from five ESF schools: Island school, South Island school, West Island school, King George V and Renaissance College. With over 50 students attending, we certainly had a full house.┬áThe day opened with a short welcome ceremony, an introduction by Mark Beach and an icebreaker activity that had the kids laughing and playing together as if they had been friends for years. This was followed by four workshops led by professional practitioners, all based in HK, teaching the students authentic practices which will inform their learning through their respective senior education programmes such as IBDP, CP or BTech in Theatre. In groups of around 13 students, workshops were held around DC in the Theatre, White Box studio, Black box studio and Michael Fraser’s Design room.

Marsha Roddy, led a workshop on set design, where students built miniature sets based on emotions, transitions and mood as stimuli. Zani led a workshop on clowning, where students danced in the dark, wore their red noses and learned about being open, making meaningful eye contact and slow head turns between silly walks. Victoria Akhurst, from Dance for Life, taught students some simple dance moves which they then developed into stunning choreographies, each telling a moving and emotional narrative. Simpson and Katie worked with students to morph simple lengths of cloth into a multitude of different objects, finally settling on a pair of soft googly eyes which, when affixed to a master puppeteer hand, became the life of little characters.

Our Y12 students attended with great enthusiasm and were perfect role models of behaviour, engagement and active participation, and they had a fabulous day. Our thanks to them for being so welcoming to other ESF students. Of course, we extend our thanks to all the staff who helped too, the wonderful receptionists who made sure everyone was welcome and signed in, Michael for the use of his room, Steven for arranging the wifi, and Jay and the canteen staff for providing a much enjoyed lunch for our hard-working workshop leaders.

As this an annual event, next academic year we look forward to the ESF Post-16 Drama conference hosted at Renaissance in September for our newest Y12 cohort.