COMMOTION AT THE OLD COURTHOUSE – YOUTH ISSUES TAKE THE STAGE
Published on December 10 2010
COMMOTION will give 23 Niagara students an opportunity to perform two new plays that they’ve created over a 12 week drama enrichment program at their high schools and present it at the Sullivan Mahoney Courthouse Theatre from December 9-11, 2010. Thanks to support from TALK Niagara (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids) and Bonnie Prentice, students from 8 high schools all over Niagara will see these plays created by students from Eastdale Secondary School and Laura Secord Secondary School. Free performances at the Old Courthouse are Thursday, December 9th at 10 am and 12:30pm, Friday, December 10th at 10am and 12:30 pm, and Saturday, December 11th at 7pm. For ticket information call Carousel Players at 905-682-8326 X26.
The play On the Line by Laura Secord Secondary School students tackles the influence of technology and media on young people, bullying and family relations. Students from Eastdale Secondary School have created the play Squawk: Flippin’ the Bird which explores the use and abuse of authority, decision-making and issues of identity. Both plays open up new doors for discussion with teens on what happens on the internet, the social pressures they face, and they encourage students to share stories with their peers about their own experiences. Roxolana Chwaluk, Caitlin English, Brandon Pachan and Trevor Rotenberg, facilitators trained through Brock University’s Drama Department have been working with the students an estimated 240 hours at their schools since September 2010.
“The characters, scenes and stories from the plays evolved from improvised scenes created by the students and developed through a play building process called RSVP. In Commotion, we start exploring resource materials, like umbrellas or ironing boards, and allow the stories, issues and insights to emerge from this work” said COMMOTION leader Pablo Felices Luna, Artistic Director at Carousel Players. “The COMMOTION program is led by Professor Gyllian Raby with designers Michael Greves, Joe Lapinski and Doug Ledingham. We thank drama teachers Tracey Garratt from Eastdale Secondary School and Tracy Thorpe from Laura Secord Secondary School for welcoming us into their schools, for actively fostering creativity in their students and for their passionate commitment to drama at their school.”
This is the second year of the three year COMMOTION project and involves Carousel Players, Brock University’s Marilyn I. Walker School of Fine and Performing Arts and TALK Niagara (Teams of Adults Listening to Kids). Last year 35 students from E.L. Crossley Secondary School and St. Catharines Collegiate participated in the program. COMMOTION is made possible by SSHRC: Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada and approval from the District School Board of Niagara to work with participating high school students on the project.