In the next two weeks we open five new productions. This is a major challenge, fortunately we have four hundred and fifty students and their teachers all helping us.
First up, on 13th & 14th July Saltley Academy’s Year 8 open twin productions of Romeo and Juliet at about 10:15 in Shakespeare’s New Place, Stratford-Upon-Avon. This annual project is part of the school’s promise to students when they join the school. It is a collaboration between the English and Drama departments – Craig condensed Shakespeare’s text last year and this year Lucy and Amy are leading rehearsals on our slot-together stage.
In the early evening of 13th St. Gerard’s Catholic Primary School’s Year 6 will perform Our Primary Years, a show revisiting the students time at school alongside world event of the same era. They are devising this with Carys who has spent two years working across the school to help them embed drama as one of their key teaching strategies. This show is inspired by the Stan’s Cafe show Time Critical.
Another version of Our Primary Years, devised by Year 6 at Blakesley Hall Primary school with Craig, will premiere on the 17th July and be performed again on the evening of the 19th. Last year Owen devised a version of Precious Emily with the school and the year before Craig devised A Clearing In Woodlands with them, a performance about local history.
Earlier on 19th Billesley Primary School’s Year 6 will perform (No Such Thing As A) Civil War at MAC. This show, directed by James (me) with songs written by the students with Katy Rose-Bennet, tells the story of England’s civil wars from Elizabeth I’s death to the coronation of Charles II. The cast of approximately 90 limits the number of historical figures that have to be omitted. This show is a form of prequel to our collaboration dramatising the Cuban Missile Crisis – Any Fool Can Start A War.
Although getting these shows to the stage can be taxing and stressful for everyone involved nothing is as rewarding as watching young actors bursting with pride when they come off stage knowing they’ve done a great job or their parents fussing over them after the show amazed at what they have achieved.
Good luck everyone.