All Girls’ Schools’ National Festival – Drama Report

On April 30th, 2016, posted in: Achievement, Competition, Culture, Drama, Featured, News by

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Drama Girls National TourThe Drama girls were very excited about the opportunity not only to represent the drama department but Wynberg Girls’ High school in the All Girls’ Schools’ National Festival from the very beginning.

There were six of us in the group. Three grade elevens (Juliette Stromin, Juliet Austin and Lesley Bredekamp) and three grade twelves (Savannah Steyn, Robyn Benjamin and TyraLee Nel).We had worked together in Drama Lessons for a very long time and some of us had worked together in Major Productions and in Mrs Glover’s annual productions. The group offered many different skills and strengths. Some of the girls were good at comedy and acting as male characters, while others were very talented at playing inspiring female characters. Some of the girls were amazing at physical theatre, and some were very good supporting actresses. Some were very good in helping write and put together our programme.

We were given several sources of stimuli for our performance which all followed the same theme: The Durban Beach front and “on the crest of a wave.” Our programme had to be maximum ten minutes long and could involve various types of theatre techniques. We decided to go with the poem not waving but drowning, which was given to us as part of the stimuli.

As we brainstormed with Mrs Glover, we decided to follow our instincts and the skills Mrs Glover had taught us over the years which was to keep our performance simple and rely on our talent and skills rather than our props and lighting. Our programme was constructed much like a Senior Drama Exam Piece would be performed in Grade Eleven. We created various skits and pieces and used a simple piece of blue fabric as our linking piece while following our theme “Not waving but drowning”. We interpreted the theme both literally and figuratively. The performance began with a humorous skit entitled “The Trek to Durban”. We created our own Haikus with the sea as the subject and one of the members wrote a passage which inspired the skit “Ashes to Salt” about spreading the ashes of lost loved ones.

Our techniques involved many interesting physical and vocal techniques. We did not use any music or sound effects but rather our own voices to make the sounds of everything from flashing cameras and the ocean to whales and seagulls.

The festival itself was an amazing experience and the girls thoroughly enjoyed it. We made lots of friends with girls from other schools and our own school – people we may not have always spent time with. The two workshops we attended taught us a lot about theatre making and though we ourselves had actually used many of the techniques in our performance piece we were happy to improve and build on our knowledge and skills. The Drama girls were nominated as finalists in every category and won Best Stage craft and one of our members won Best Actress. At the end of the experience, we were privileged enough to watch a performance of our own adjudicator. The performance was Hoot and it was a one actor play with no intervals which left us with a lot to think about.

This experience has given the Drama Society a chance to show their abilities as actresses and the chance to give them an opportunity to put themselves forward. It was a long and sometimes tiring process but in the end everyone contributed towards the common goal which was to do our very supportive teachers Mrs Orpen and Mrs Glover proud. It was also our intention to represent our Drama peers, our school and ourselves well. The Drama girls themselves grew closer as a team and many of us cherish the memories we made. The Grade Elevens have shown leadership qualities and wonderful characteristics that will no doubt strengthen the Drama Society when the Matrics leave. The Matrics will always carry this experience with them after they leave Wynberg Girls’ High School. The All Girls’ Schools’ National Festival was an amazing experience and I believe that given the chance the Drama society will be better than ever next time round.

Savannah Steyn