A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school in Adelaide,
South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Drama - Edition 3 - 2020

2020 has commenced with a good deal of energy and excitement. Our Year 8s have enjoyed getting into the swing of the culture and experience that is Drama at Westminster with Ms Kendra Pratt, an exceptionally capable actress, improvisation performer and teacher. Kendra’s work in the Adelaide Fringe over the years has been well received, a testament to her ability.

Our Year 9 students have been busy preparing to perform their first assessment performance piece, excerpts from the powerful WW1 commemorative play, All Blood Runs Red. This is challenging the students to extend their use of techniques from the Stanislavski System, a valuable extension experience for all. The Year 10 students have been similarly challenged in training in Circus skills, working toward creating a performance for a Year 4 student audience early in Term 2. This has been augmented with visits to great contemporary circuses during the Fringe like By A Thread, A Simple Space, Circolumbia, and Cirque Africa, all of which have inspired the students to create great work to a high standard. Students have been assisted by Old Scholar, Dana Cropley (’15) in their flexibility training, and will be assisted by Circus & Physical Theatre creator and performer, Taylor Dawson, in the creation of their show. Taylor is currently the Stage Manager for the hit show, Lighthouse.

Our Year 11 and 12 students' experience of non-realistic theatre styles have also been augmented by visits to a range of theatre shows and experiences across the Adelaide Festival of Arts and the Fringe, including The Gods, The Gods, The Gods, Taboo, The Knights, Grounded, Kafka’s Ape and the circuses mentioned above. Westminster Drama students are afforded extensive opportunities to attend theatre and other performing arts experiences which support their studies and appreciation of the Arts. Year 12 students will shortly commence their rehearsals for the SACE Stage 2 Production which will also draw on these experiences.

As an additional note, What Rhinoceros? has been published by The Australian Script Centre, after assessment by the following criteria:

  • Theatrical merit - understood to encompass writing ability, style, skilled use of language, strength of characterisation, appropriateness of form, clarity of expression and sustained development of themes or ideas.
  • Technical merit - the writing displays a clear understanding of theatrical craft, genre, stagecraft and structure as a whole.
  • Potential to engage the intended audience.
  • Whether it is production-ready, i.e. the work displays significant depth and completeness for potential productions.

Rest assured, our Drama students receive great exposure to the best theatre experiences both within the School and during visits to shows. As always, the Westminster community can expect a great range of student productions of exceptional standard in 2020!

John Doherty
Head of Drama