This year started with a special celebration, with our Juniors’ group devising a performance for the Queen’s Jubilee Event at Dagenham Library. The piece was a highly entertaining look at what the Royal Family do in their spare time. The performances were enjoyed by a family audience who also made crowns, flags and scepters at our extremely busy craft stall during a very fun day.
Shortly after, the group began working on a new piece for our Christmas Revue Show, our first joined performance with Rising Stars Children Theatre and Eclipse Youth Dance Company. Held at Fanshawe Hall in front of an audience of friends and family the show was a lovely way to celebrate a mix of Christmas stories.
In the new year, the group started to prepare themselves for our first annual showcase event at The Broadway Theatre in Barking. On this a participant said, ”I believe that this is a good place to learn and improve your drama skills’’.
Tell Tales celebrated the wonderful talents of the young people we work with. The show involved all of our ongoing groups who had devised performances around the theme of journeys. The Juniors group created scenes based on Alice in Wonderland to fit with the theme of the showcase. An audience of 116 enjoyed an evening full of amazing performances and interesting tales.
During the summer term, the group developed scratch drama & dance performances, short films and music pieces in response to the London riots. The group were angry at the negative portrayal of young people in the media and used fairytales to highlight the overly simplistic reporting which identified ‘goodies and baddies’.
During the autumn term, Rising Stars developed a promenade murder mystery performance at Eastbury Manor House in Barking. They led all aspects of the production including documentation, costume, make up and stage management. In the process of this many participants gained the next level of Arts Award.
During the Spring Term, the group worked towards a performance which would combine with the other GSA on-‐going groups for our annual event at the Broadway Theatre in Barking. Dividing into three groups, they used Chaucer’s Canterbury Tales as a stimulus to create three funny, insightful and high quality short plays.
Throughout the year, the group explored different themes through drama and other creative arts; at the end of each term they devised a piece of drama to perform in front of an audience.
Their debut took place at the Dagenham Library, with a piece based on World War II inspired by a field trip to Valence House, in which children researched and gathered factual material about the subject.
After their initial success, the group started working towards their Christmas show, discussing favourite Christmas stories and memories. The show was performed as part of Green Shoes Arts Christmas Revue Show at Fanshawe Hall, alongside the youth theatre and dance company members.
Shortly after, they started working towards their first appearance on a professional stage. Tell Tales, a showcase featuring all our ongoing groups, was performed at The Broadway Theatre, Barking. The Children’s theatre group initiated their devising process by exploring ‘play’, and participants explored journeys that they would like to go on with the help of story cards. As a group they created a story about following a rainbow based on their ideas about adventure and exploration. A huge success amongst audience members and participants alike.
During the Summer Term, and working with students due to leave the school, we explored the issues of change and journey through shadow puppetry as a way to open up discussion about their next step and their feelings on it.
At the beginning of the new school year, and with a new cohort, the Autumn Term weekly sessions used puppetry to build team work and self confidence, as well as develop a foundation of drama skills and a group language.
As Spring Term started, the group worked very hard to devise and perform a short film around the theme of knights and royalty. Linked to some of the themes used in the other GSA performance groups, the film featured as part of our annual celebration event. Participants gained new skills in film making, acting for film, and costuming.