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BLOG: Ruby

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Day 1

I started at 12pm. When I came in there were people everywhere – I was told it was going to be a busy first two days. I was introduced by Androulla to the staff working around me in the office. Everyone was kind and welcoming towards me.

First, I sat in on a production meeting for Careers in Theatre, a programme for students taking GCSE Drama who are given hands-on experience of working in the theatre industry, alongside theatre specialists. I soon found out their task is to make a performance – in just one day. The production meeting consisted of 5 groups: Lighting, Sound, Stage Management, Acting and Design. All of the groups had a lot of great ideas and it was interesting to watch how a short play is constructed. It seemed as if no idea was a bad idea.
I was then put to the task of typing up the Evaluation Form the students of Careers in Theatre had completed. The task was fairly easy but it did take a while.

After lunch I took part in the Next Steps project, with young people moving from primary to secondary education. It is a project that helps address challenges and gives young people a safe space to explore their worries through creative practices. It was fun as we played games and read a script from a play. We then each created a character and made short scenes of different aspects of that character’s life, considering what might influence them to act the way that they do in certain situations. It was challenging at times because the young people were exited and were struggling with concentrating. I went home tired but smiling, because my first day hadn’t been as scary as I’d expected.

Day 2

First, I typed up some more evaluation forms completed by students in Careers in Theatre.
Later that morning, I went into another production meeting of Careers in Theatre, but this time it was a different group of students from different schools. I was given a camera and was carefully shown how to use it. My task was to take pictures of everything the students were creating in their designated group. However, it didn’t feel like a task, as I enjoyed taking pictures of everything and anything, despite being a bit stiff at first.

Once the production meeting was finished, I also went visited the groups in their individual rooms when they were separately creating and took pictures of what they were up to.
After my lunch break, I went into Eclipse Youth Theatre Group, for schools years 4 to 6. The workshop was fun and the children were very creative. In small groups, they each told a story using shadow puppets that they had made. I was given the camera again to take pictures, which was great. Eclipse’s creations were very pretty and I was amazed what they had achieved in a short amount of time.

Day 3

I came in to a big pile of paper on my desk and I truly felt like an adult in a film, where they come to work and a massive pile of paper is waiting for them; they then proceed to sit down and sigh. Beccy explained to me what I had to do and I got on with it. I soon realised that it was a fairly easy job.
Then I went to the Equinox Youth Theatre group, which has a group of different young people to yesterday. I also saw my old friend from secondary school, who happened to also be volunteering and helping with the Youth Theatre that day.

After Equinox, I went into the Solar Youth Theatre, which is an evening specialist youth theatre group for disabled young people. It was very interesting to watch and take part in. I thought the specialists were amazing and the children were lovely and hilarious. It was eye opening to experience how drama brought joy, laughter and had a big effect on people’s lives. I thought the specialists planned these sessions so well; there was a lot of thought put into it and the drama games were very inclusive.

Day 4

I came in to be greeted by Androulla and Elysia, who gave me time to complete my blog for the last two days; so I started straight away on that. Right after, I got started on typing up new student evaluations from the Careers in Theatre project.

After lunch, I went into Next Steps with a new group of young people. I took pictures of the children’s work, as they had put together a performance in each group, which was mostly short dialogues. It was the last session of the entire project, so many of their parents came to watch the performance. They also spoke about their worries, as well as the negative behaviours they had in primary school and how they are working to change them for secondary school. This was very interesting to hear. Their performances were all good quality and fun to watch.

Day 5

The Half Moon Theatre felt like a different environment when I came in. There were much less people around and it was a sunny, early Saturday morning. I would have to be more independent as Androulla and Elysia weren’t in, however I had my timetable to follow. I got started on my blog from Thursday and then I typed up student evaluations. At 11.15am I went into Sunbeams, a youth theatre group for children in school years 1-3. It was a fun group to be in, as we played drama games and the children created their own animal drawings. I even drew a cute rabbit that I was very proud of. After lunch, I came back to my blog. In the afternoon, I watched the show Arthur’s Dream Boat (it was a great show!) Afterwards I finished my review and blog.

Before home time I thanked the lovely staff for having me. Thank you Androulla and Elysia for having me, it has been a great experience to understand the works of a theatre. I have learnt much more than I had anticipated about what goes on behind the scenes in plays. Especially projects such as Solar Youth Theatre, which was amazing to take part in and made me realise how much planning goes into each of these projects. The week went by too quickly!


Review of Arthur’s Dream Boat

The show was especially sweet, I loved the creativeness of the props. Each puppet was designed with extreme care and the story line was great. It was lovely to see all the young children laughing at every joke/play on words – clearly the show was hilarious! It was about a boy Arthur who had a dream about a wonderful boat, so he tried to tell his family about it but each family member had something different going on and wouldn’t listen. Every time the play moved to a different family member there was a song or sound associated with that character, and each time the lighting changed. I think everyone loved it when the lights reformed to the disco ball as a chorus of “oooos” orbited the theatre room. It was very interactive as the kids and adults could join in almost every five minutes. Arthur’s Dream Boat was a high quality play and I could see every young child intrigued.

Ruby came to us from Morpeth School (Tower Hamlets), 14th – 18th October 2019

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