Traveling the globe and stepping into new and different the cultures is one of the ways that TGS students gain a true understanding of how people all over the world live, play, work and learn.
In a way, theater arts gives people a similar opportunity to learn about someone else’s life by stepping into their shoes, even if only for an hour or two. While in Sydney, TGS students have been learning about acting and dramatic interpretation. “Theater, from an educational standpoint…is an introduction to public speaking, voice projection, and so on,” says TGS teacher Marta Guevara. “It is considered by a number or schools as an essential subject in their curriculum.”
Working with several professional working actors and dramatists from the Australian Theater for Young People (ATYP), a Sydney-based theater company, students have been developing their skills in drama and acting. ATYP is exclusively dedicated to working with young people, and has led TGS students in theater arts class for 2-3 hours each week. Lead by Heather Clark, Education Manager at ATYP, instructors also included Caleb Lewis, Natasha McNamara, Sara Grenfall, and Jennifer Monk; students have worked most closely with instructor Rachael Coopes.
TGS students have loved the chance to try out the craft of acting, learning fundamentals including controlling voice and tone, physical theater, developing character, and improvisation. They’ve also learned how to create dramatic tension, and interpret stage direction.
David, expressing “character”
Beyond honing their acting skills, students also learned about staging a play. To prepare for their final project, students had to gain a concrete understanding of all of the elements required to produce a dramatic performance. Even though actors are the most visible part of a play, several other individuals and teams are required to make everything run smoothly. Students learned about the roles of the producer, manager and director. They also gained an understanding of how script writers, costume designers, lighting experts, set builders and props masters make the story come to life on stage. Finally, they took a look at how rehearsals can shape a performance by perfecting the interactions between the actors and the behind the scenes crew to ultimately generate a flawless performance.
The course culminated with a one-act play which has been written, staged and performed by students; it will be presented to a live audience of their MLC classmates and friends. The comedic production is a true collaboration amongst all of the students, combining physical theater, set design, and of course – great acting. Rachel, the instructor, has indicated that TGS students have done incredibly well in this program, comparing them to students who take acting weekly in order to develop an acting career.
Photography by Joel Jackson.