It’s officially the third trimester of the 16-17 school year at CISB! That means 5 new classes are starting Theatre Arts. This week, we’ve been warming up to theatre class by playing lots of high-energy drama games. This is a great way to begin, as it helps build confidence and allows students to feel comfortable and safe in the classroom/ performance space. Next week we will begin our first units The Original Drama Queens (melodrama) and Yes, And… (improvisation). So far students are showing lots of enthusiasm and positivity in class. It will be exciting to see what they bring to the stage in our MYP units!
The StageCats took a break from rehearsing for their upcoming show We Will Rock You to attend Dulwich College’s production The Red Shoes yesterday evening. This one-act show, based on a poem by Anna Maria Murphy, dealt with very dark themes and required the actors to work together as an ensemble to create the world and ideas expressed by the author. One of the StageCats’ favorite aspects of the show was the live 5-piece band made up entirely of students! All in all, the night was a fantastic opportunity for students to see a different style of production and to recognize the hard work of other young actors in Beijing. We look forward to welcoming Dulwich College students here on Friday, April 21st for the We Will Rock You dress rehearsal. 🙂
Last weekend, 6 CISB StageCats attended a drama festival hosted by the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA). Because this is CISB’s first year as a member school, this was our first festival! Over the course of three days, students took part in ensembles, participated in workshops and went on an out-and-about trip. All of these events culminated in a final performance in which students shared their work with other ensembles, parents and friends. The theme of the festival was community, particularly how the meaning of community has changed in the age of WeChat and social media.
Day 1: Students gathered for opening Peking Opera performances and met their ensemble leaders. After the initial introductions, students went to Chaoyang Park to take part in traditional games and take photos that would be used as inspiration in rehearsal. In the afternoon, students worked with their ensembles and learned a whole group song. The day ended with a student social – lots of food and dancing!
Day 2: Students worked in their ensembles and also had the opportunity to take part in two workshops. Some of the workshops included Kung Fu, Chinese Drumming, Peking Opera, Bunraku Puppetry and Storytelling. This was a great way for students to explore different aspects of performance and theatre.
Day 3: Much of the day was spent preparing for the final performances. Students finalized their ensemble pieces and then worked as a full group to stitch the pieces together into one cohesive performance. The final sharing went very well; students showed their engagement with the theme through movement, tableaus, short scenarios and more! There were lots of parents in the audience. Even a few CISB students who did not attend the festival came out to support their fellow StageCats!
Overall, the ISTA festival was a very positive experience for all involved. CISB students and teachers are very grateful to the organizers and artists for putting on such a fantastic event. Not only did students have the chance to improve their drama skills, but they also explored a new style of creating theatre on a topic that is so relevant to all of us. We are very happy with our first festival and look forward to attending (and, in the future, hosting) many festivals to come. Thank you ISTA!
Last Thursday, Grade 7 students performed monologues for their Interdisciplinary Unit Behind the Mask. This performance was the culmination of many weeks of hard work in both English class and Drama class.
For this assessment, each student explored the inner and outer persona of his/ her chosen character by writing a monologue from the character’s perspective (from texts Antigone, Iqbal, or Smile). After writing their masterpieces, students rehearsed their monologues in Drama class, focusing on mask skills such as exaggeration, slow/ clean movement, isolation, and audience contact.
The monologue performances were a great success! Students performed for their fellow classmates, teachers and parents. Performing solo is not an easy task, and we are beyond proud of the courage and poise students showed on stage. We are also impressed that the Grade 7s tackled such a complex, challenging assignment. Great work everyone! 🙂
Check out some of the monologues below: