A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Drama - Edition 11 - 2021

Challenging times are often depicted in the theatre and cinema. We see characters responding to whatever the challenge confronts them in a range of responses. Stereotypically, the hero prevails and all is well. The heroes of the challenging times we are experiencing in Australia at present are many and varied, many unseen and unheralded.

In Drama at Westminster School, as early as Year 8, students become familiar with a phrase oft used by our Stage Combat instructor, Sifu Nino Pilla, and one our Drama Department has adopted for some time; “Our ability to stay focused under pressure is about our ability to adapt quickly to change”. It’s about grit, the grit to hold on to focus, an idea, a line of thought, an action, a plan, a path while remaining flexible.

From the new Year 8 Drama class to the veteran Year 11 and 12s, Westminster Drama students have cheerfully and capably demonstrated their ability to adapt to changes to the program demanded by the online learning environment we have found ourselves in.

Year 8s continue to learn the basic principles that are at the foundation of their future Drama experience at Westminster. Year 9s and 10s are building on their established foundation, while the Year 11s have been working on their production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream and enjoying studying Non-Hollywood and Foreign Cinema. Our Year 12s are busy wrapping up their summary of evidence for their work on Miles Away during Term 1, and commencing their work on a Creative Presentation assessment task. Despite the challenges of confinement, everyone is busy.

As Billy Ocean sang in the mid-'80s (from the movie, The Jewel of the Nile), “When the going gets tough, the tough get going!”. Perhaps this should be reworked and given a contemporary makeover as a new resilience anthem!

Westminster Drama students are showing their great ability to adapt to change and, for that, should be very proud.

John Doherty
Head of Drama