Drama Camp 2016

We started the year off with a bang this year ,with our first ever drama camp. Our Drama Tutor designed a week long intensive course of drama skills, set, prop and costume making, writing and performing. We got a great group of 13 kids through the door, some new to D’faces and some old. Together they put together a fantastic fairy tale performance which they performed last Friday night to an audience of friends, family and even a few local walk ins.

 
 
Drama Camp Participant Joseph Matthews as the Mad Hatter

Drama Camp Participant Joseph Matthews as the Mad Hatter

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The camp started Monday on the 11th of January. The first day was fun filled and allowed the kids to get to know each other by playing drama games. The kids tested the murky waters of improvisation with some quick thinking games and got to learn some circus movement with the holiday closing class.

Day two got more serious, and we started doing some more intensive improvisation. The morning was dedicated to improvising scenes from Alice in Wonderland and turning them into short plays. One group got to have a tea party and took on the roles of the Mad Hatter, March Hare, Alice and the Dormouse, while the other challenged each other to a game of croquet, where the Queen of Hearts, Cheshire Cat, White Rabbit and Alice played for their heads. We then started to choose our fairy tale for their major play by reading through various stories. The majority vote was for Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, so after lunch the kids set to twisting the story and changing it up. By the end of the day we had a story about Snow white and her beautiful, kind stepmother. In this adaptation, Snow White wishes to be the most beautiful and the magic mirror tells her that beauty can be found only through the kindness in her heart. Within the original story the kids created a new, beautiful moral about beauty and love and the importance of inner beauty over that which is on the outside.

Day three (audition day) started with monologues. Each participant was assigned a monologue and they worked on them all morning in pairs. They then had to audition one at a time for the part that they wanted in Snow White, from mirrors to dwarves. After lunch the parts were announced and the script was finished. It was time to start seriously working on getting this play on the stage. We blocked the movement and the kids started to learn their lines, just in time for the younger group of kids to arrive on Thursday.

Thursday was rehearsal day one, and also the night of our camp sleepover. A group of 5-9 year olds came along to join in, filling up the spare dwarf parts. We played a few games and then started working hard on the performance. We also had the challenge of building sets and making props and costumes, and so we got hold of some enormous cardboard boxes and made some minimalistic sets. The costume concept was to have one piece per character that defined their part, as the show was to be about the performances rather than elaborate costuming. Each costume piece was made from either cardboard or newspaper to match the rest of the set. We finished off early that day and watched Alice in Wonderland then partied to Grease before getting ready for bed.

Friday was to be a long day, and so we started off slowly with breakfast and a few games, then once everyone was dressed, we started getting serious. We got into intensive rehearsals all day, while working out sound, lighting AND fixing up the characterisation, as well as finishing sets and costumes. Two participants who weren’t keen to get on stage got trained to use the lighting and sound equipment and helped with scene changes.

Our Friday night performance got an audience of 60+ people and was thoroughly enjoyed by all. The kids were incredibly proud of the show they pulled together and as was I. Their performances were exceptional, their dialogue was word perfect and the stories were new and exciting twists on tales the audience already knew.

It was a long and challenging week, working 9-5 every day, but the combination of dedication and talent in the kids who came along made it great fun for all. I only hope that D’faces can host more events like this in the future.

Congratulations to an awesome group of kids for putting together a great show in only a week. Thanks to D’faces for hosting the event, to the parents for sending your kids along, to the program, to friends, family and members of the public for attending and supporting the show and to anyone who regularly supports D’faces.

Regular Drama classes will commence on Monday the 1st of February at 4.30 pm. Email admin@dfaces.net to enrol or just come along. Check out our Facebook page for upcoming events.

Michal Hughes

Drama Tutor