Wednesday, 4 July 2012
First They Ignored Us
Last night, we went to watch Eleanor in a play she was performing in with her drama class at school. It was being staged as part of the local Arts Festival which is held annually celebrating local, national and international arts activities. I knew that the class had written the play themselves, and Eleanor had told me that it was different from the usual school plays we're invited to watch, but beyond that I didn't know what to expect.
When we arrived, we were given a sheet of paper with some information about the idea of the play, or 'theatre spectacle'. It wasn't a play as such but a collection of scenes about the struggles which young people face.
The title of the play was inspired by a quote attributed to Gandhi "First they attack you, then they ridicule you, then they fight you, and then you win". This quote had been introduced to the class in lessons, and the students had explored ideas about misuse of power, non-violent communication, expressing feelings verbally and asserting themselves without inflaming a situation.
All the lines in the play had been written by someone in the cast. When the play had finished, some of the teachers spoke about how the ideas had been developed. There was an opportunity for members of the audience to ask the students or teachers questions, and many people did which I think shows how thought provoking the play was.
Eleanor was right, it was certainly different from any school play I've seen before, but still very interesting.