Drama opens tough topics

Year 10 students interrogated violence, guilt and other complex scenarios as they responded to Zeal Theatre's KING-HIT play and related workshops.

The play presents a birthday party turned violent.

“What starts as a bit of fun quickly escalates into an alcohol-fuelled war reaching a shocking climax,” said Zeal founder Stefo Nantsou.

The play examines violence among young people, the perpetrators, victims, witnesses and the so-called “innocent bystanders” and offers alternative perspectives to reckless and abusive behaviour.

The play was written and performed by Zeal veterans Stefo Nantsou and Tom Lycos, who played a multitude of characters, blending elements of heightened naturalism, expressionism and verbatim theatre.

The play was followed by powerful warm-up exercises which displayed the effectiveness of eyes, stillness, voice, imagination and shaping the body into a character.

IGS Year 10 students then formed groups to create fresh scenes which may have taken place around the party portrayed in the play.

“I am totally impressed with the work you did,” Stefo told IGS students. “I have nothing but respect for the way you threw yourselves into it.”

Tom said he found the process of creating drama with students very rewarding.

“What I find really valuable about drama workshops is that people have to listen to each other, converse, create something together, find their leaders and followers, and it’s really wonderful seeing kids trying to communicate with each other and form relationships without being on phones or computers,” said Tom.

The students threw themselves into the exercises and then enjoyed the opportunity to watch the Year 11 original play The Next Level in the new IGS Drama theatre.