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Drama and Theatre students at Xaverian College extend learning beyond the classroom

Drama and Theatre students at Xaverian College become performers, directors and designers, exploring how the great theatre makers approach drama, and how varied and unique the creation of theatre can be.

Every year, students are encouraged to extent their learning beyond the classroom to gain valuable real-world experience. Recently, two groups of students have taken to the stage to develop their own performances.  

‘Letter from the Conscious’ was an idea that evolved from a discussion between a group of students sharing stories about their own personal experiences of racism and colourism, mainly focused in institutions.

From the conversations he had overheard them having, Joe Brownbridge, a Drama Teacher at Xaverian, suggested the idea of them creating a production out of their experiences that they had been discussing. The students created a survey to gather information from parents, friends and other people to share their own experiences, and used this information to begin creating their performance.

The students wanted to continue the momentum created by the performance, and one outcome has been the creation of a space where students can come together and talk openly about their experiences and share them with others. The intention is to embed this space into the enrichment programme so that all Xaverian students can participate and feel like they are not alone in their experiences.

One of the members of the group, Fummilola Osolake, said: “We wanted people to take away from this that black people, brown people, and people of colour are generally stereotyped, but we are not all the same, we are actually dynamic people that have different personalities and experiences.

“The performance was a vehicle for us to communicate this and to get our message across using our different skillsets such as drama, poetry, music and voice recordings. It was truly a team effort and we couldn’t have done it without the contributions and support of students, their friends and families.”

Last summer, James Allen, who studies A Levels in Drama and Theatre, English Literature and History, journeyed to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, along with his theatre company, Kitsch Theatre, and their debut show, “Attachment: The Leech Show”, which received five stars from the audience and lots of outstanding reviews.

James, who wrote and directed the show, was joined by various other Xaverian students, past and present, including, Frida Cassani, who created all of the costumes and Macy Maynard-Smith, who was one of the lead actors.

James commented: “This has been such an amazing experience, and we would really like to continue creating shows as a company in the future. We are currently chatting with the National Youth Theatre to stage a show in London next year, and due to the great reviews, we will be taking “Attachment: The Leech Show” back to Edinburgh again next year! The Drama department has always been so supportive, proving us with feedback, space to rehearse, equipment and so much more, we couldn’t have done it without their constant encouragement.”

See our Drama students in action later this week as they debut their performance of Willy Russell’s Stags and Hens, a not-to-be missed play set in a 1980s disco in Manchester. For further information, visit xaverian.ac.uk.

As one of the largest providers of post-16 education in the region, Xaverian College offers an extensive range of A Levels in addition to several BTEC courses. Applications are now open for courses starting in September 2023. Visit xaverian.ac.uk to find out more.

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