Publications

Looking at the impact of stress

WORDS: MS OPHELIA HOPKINS-PANTELIS

Greatscot _dec 2011_41a

Over the past three years, the Drama Services program has been developing short plays based on social issues of student interest and community relevance. The program is designed to give boys an opportunity to explore and reflect on the experiences of others in their community, telling their stories, and we hope, building their understanding.

This year, student writers in Years 11 and 12, were interested in exploring the way families were responding to and coping with disaster, focusing on survival stories and the notion of community and personal renewal. We investigated social pressure on families and friendships in times of crises, exploring the impact of stress and depression on young people in Australia. The result was Kicking at Shadows, a play written by the students, exploring the theme of pressure. The play told the story of three adolescent boys coping with the expectations of others and themselves in an increasingly isolated but ironically more connected social context.

A group of volunteer student actors in Years 10 and 11 bought the story to life on stage in the first week of Term 4, transforming the Cramond Studio into the world of the play and putting on the production after just two days of rehearsal. This was a great community event and it was very interesting to see what the boys had created. Next year, the Drama Services program will again work with Servants Community Housing to create work based around the stories of residents.