The world of Drama at GEMS (Singapore) has flourished this year and students have uncovered unknown talents, grown in confidence and discovered the many life skills learned through theatre arts.
The Grade 6’s have had opportunities to learn various theatrical techniques used to creatively respond to different stimuli and create original performance pieces ranging from symbolic representations, to movement based dance pieces, devised storytelling and scriptwriting.
The Grade 7s’ investigated the impact of theatre through non-verbal communication, choral speaking, performance with a message and children’s theatre.
The Grade 8s’ experimented with shadow puppetry, monologue performances, poetry in motion and theatre with a cause.
The Grade 9s’ developed their skills in group devising as they prepared for the demands of upcoming Grade 10 coursework through investigating their own sense of identity in solo performance, learning about the classical techniques of Commedia Dell’ Arte, devising further through Protest Theatre and designing and building their very own life sized puppets.
The Grade 10s’ completed their IGCSE coursework and MYP course with scripted monologues, a scripted group performance and an extended devised performance from a given stimulus.
Whilst exploring fundamental techniques and various strategies, students have explored the existing art forms and created their own.
Beyond the classroom all of our students also had the opportunity to work with Artist in Residence, performer and theatre maker, Ulrich Gottlieb exploring physical theatre and the many approaches to creating performance using only the performer’s body and the immediate environment which surrounds us.
In addition, many of our students had the opportunity to participate in the school musical production performing onstage in speaking roles, as part of the ensemble, as chorus and as dancers.
This full scale production demanded a high level of commitment, dedication, perseverance and hard work with over 50 secondary students on board in making the production a great success.
Many students also volunteered backstage, on the technical and design teams, learning the many stagecraft aspects involved behind the scenes.
Finally, we were also proud and privileged to take our Grade 9s’ and 10s’ to watch the professional production of ‘Normal’ at the National Library theatre featuring the performance of Ms. Danielle Cutiongco, our Arts Department Assistant Teacher, which gave our students an invaluable experience of current, local, professional theatre in action.
Throughout all the explorations, experimentations and discoveries our Drama students keep an ongoing Drama Process Journal to reflect on their individual experiences and development.
Many students have developed notable self-confidence, practiced rigorous collaboration, embraced enlightening self-awareness and established their ever-evolving individual sense of identity.
Through theatre arts we provide a safe, supportive space for our young people to express themselves, take risks, and feel empowered.
Mandi Manson, Drama