Around the Christmas/Febuary time of the school year I go off the radar with friends and family for a week, spend my time buying random objects (or finding random things at home) and being considerably stressed out. Why? Two words: show week!
As a drama teacher, extra curricular features high on the job specification. For some subjects it’s more revision focused but for practical subjects, such as Performing Arts and PE, it’s a weekly, if not daily, occurrence and at the heart of the subject.
Ever since I became a teacher (back in 2007!), school productions and other such things have been a favourite part of my job. These activities help us as teachers to form bonds with the students and for the students to see the teachers in a different light, as well as make friends from other years. I love that, by the final night, the cast are one big family. Bonded in the experience they have shared and the support they have given each other.
This year we did Joseph, not my choice and certainly not one of my favourites however the final result was one to be proud of. Staff and students worked hard and, although there was a lot of moaning, sweat, tears and shouting throughout the rehearsal process, there was also a lot of smiles, laughter and fun that resulted in an immense feeling of pride.
Previous shows I’ve co-directed have been Hairspray, Adrian Mole, Christmas Carol, Grease and We Will Rock You and I especially love seeing those students that get involved year in year out grow in confidence and talent. One of the students this year has been in every production and I remember him in year 7 when he was in Hairspray and dressed up in a Tux as part of the ensemble, this time he played three, yes THREE, of the main roles!
If I’m completely honest, my favourite part of my job is the extra curricular shows. Don’t get me wrong, half way through I have been known to utter the words “I can’t wait till it’s over and I can get my life back!” but then show week arrives and the excitement of it all is overwhelming and I forget all the crap stuff like kids not turning up to rehearsals, set not being built, props not being bought, lines not being learnt and every other issue you can think of! I’m already excited for next years!
Finally, if you get the chance to go see a school production, make the effort and go. There is nothing better than seeing a bunch of kids do what they love and be proud of what they’re doing. Not only that, there is nothing worse that performing to empty chairs and they appreciate every single audience member.