On Friday November 11, the National Cultural Centre will come alive with the staging of the play “Old Story Time” by Trevor Rhone, which was directed locally by Grace Chapman, and involves a cast of the English ‘B’ students of the Mackenzie High School. The matinee show is targeting CXC English B students in and around Georgetown.
The play is a required text on the CXC English B syllabus for 2012-2014. English teacher at the Mackenzie High School, Sarah Nunes, said that she decided to contact Ms Chapman, an Arts-in-Education Specialist and veteran dramatist, to work with the students in the production of the play.
Nunes noted that the theatre experience will expose the students to a deeper understanding and by extension analysis of the play.
“Plays are really written to be performed, and by having the children performing the play, it naturally enhanced their learning experience and understanding,” an obviously satisfied Nunes pointed out.
“Children have a lot of potential and energy, and if that potential and energy is mismanaged, we can lose them. I really love what I do (teaching) so over the holidays while I was preparing my scheme of work, I heard of the school’s record breaking performance in CSEC English B, so I thought of a way for us to do even better. “Immediately it was birthed in my spirit that a production of the drama aspect of the syllabus would be a good thing, so I immediately contacted Ms Chapman, who agreed to help us,” Nunes added.
Over the past two weeks both members of the Linden community and Secondary School Students across Region Ten, who are writing English B at the next sitting of the CSEC were given the opportunity to view the production, at the Mackenzie High School auditorium and Lichas Hall respectively.
Students and parents expressed satisfaction with the production, and congratulated both the staff of the Mackenzie High School and Director Grace Chapman for the initiative.
Chapman, in a recent interview, said that working with the students who were for the most part ‘green’ as far as theatre was concerned, was a very fulfilling experience.
Chapman pointed out that she readily accepted after Nunes asked her to direct the production, which she described as a work in progress, as the students are still striving to perfect their roles.
“But I’m satisfied; I’m very happy with these students because most of them show a lot of potential and are very eager to learn. I was also pleasantly surprised that they caught on so quickly considering the fact that all of them, except Carlisa Blair, who played the part of Lois, had no experience on the stage.
Their diction was also really good-all in all I think they did a great job, and I know that by the time they get to the Culture Centre on Friday, they’ll be doing fantastic,” Chapman asserted confidently.
Rehearsals for the play were done over six weeks Chapman said, while noting that the students were involved in every aspect of its production.
“We had a whole production team of about 35 persons including the lighting crew, and what we did was actually illustrate that even with limited resources, we can still produce quality theatre,” Chapman added.
During the production of the play the students looked at the play from a cultural and historical context and did characterization and character analysis.
The students said that they were very happy with the production, which they claimed has helped them immensely in analyzing the play.
They now boast of enriched learning experiences.
The staging of the play “Old Story Time’ was made possible through sponsors such as Bosai Guyana Inc. the Linmine secretariat, Banks DIH Limited, the Regional Democratic Council, Jacs Bakery and Restaurant, Pioneer Construction,GT&T,Courts, Lichas,the Linden Foundation Secondary School and the staff of the Mackenzie High School. (Enid Joaquin)
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