by Dawn Hope

Drama

Year 9 Drama was presented as a unit (two lessons per week), which meant all Year 9 students had an opportunity to learn, participate and create.

Year 10 Drama was an Option for 2019 and students took part in devising, directing, dramaturgy, workshops, and performances. New Zealand’s Ugly Shakespeare presented The Taming of Shrew in Term 1 to students from year 7 to year 13, as well as a series of master classes in Constance Hall. Students also attended live performances at The University of Otago’s Allen Hall and at John McGlashan College. Term 2 saw day and evening performances of the Greek classics ‘The Frogs’ by Aristophanes (complete with a smoke machine to mimic a descent into the underworld), and ‘Antigone’ by Sophocles (complete with a masked Greek chorus). Terms 3 and 4 took on a more Victorian flavour with traditional melodrama which featured wonderful sound effects, lighting, costumes, singing, music, and of course, the vapours. The two shows: ‘Black Eyed Susan’ by Douglas Jerrold (1829) and ‘Dynamite’ (1996) entertained packed houses in the Caroline Freeman Theatre during the evening in October. The year ended with a series of entertaining skits for Term 4. Students should be now versed in the elements, techniques, conventions and features of drama.

The Sheliah Winn Shakespeare competition was held in April at the King’s and Queen’s Performing Arts Centre. Columba entered a 15-minute version of The Merchant of Venice and a five-minute, student directed version of Hamlet. Sophie Baron (Year 12) spent July at The Globe in London with students from around the world. Sophie achieved direct entry in 2018 for her performance as Othello. In London Sophie participated in a comprehensive package based primarily at Shakespeare’s Globe getting involved in workshops, talks, Q&A sessions about the plays with actors and directors, behind the scene tours of the Globe, Rose, and National Theatre, watching performances and rehearsing at The Globe. These two weeks in London finished with an 11pm performance of ‘Henry V’ to the public on the Globe Stage, with Sophie as one of the 12 Henrys. To finish up this incredible experience they moved on to Stratford-Upon-Avon, birthplace of the bard, to watch the Royal Shakespeare Company perform.

Finally, Drama would like to thank Anna Togneri, Suzanne Bishop, Anna Ward, Michael Meiklejohn, John Hayden, and the PTA for their fantastic support this year.

Ms I. Bercinskas

Teacher of Drama