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Zeal Theatre serves up a ‘King Hit’ for Year 8

From Drama and Entertainment Teacher – Peter Lamb

On Tuesday 25 June, the theatrical imaginations of Year 8 students were set alight as Waverley College held a full-day Drama incursion for them. Internationally renowned company Zeal Theatre returned to our Performing Arts Centre and performed a show called King Hit, which explored the ramifications of violence amongst young people.

The play, written and performed by the award-winning company, is aimed specifically at secondary school students and examines the experiences of young people affected by violence – the perpetrators, victims, witnesses and apparently innocent bystanders.

Many of the stories illustrated in the show were drawn from real-life accounts, which certainly gave our students pause for thought. The high-octane, hard-hitting and hugely entertaining production offered alternative perspectives on reckless and abusive behaviour, and challenged the audience to think about how the tragic outcomes of violence could be avoided.

In the Q&A session that followed the show, the whole auditorium of Year 8 boys were highly engaged – asking questions, reflecting on the content of the play and making connections with their own lives.

After this, students participated in energetic workshops with the company; they were supported and challenged to create their own short piece of theatre and perform it for their classmates. These workshops highlighted the profound value of Drama for students; the boys had to collaborate in finding creative solutions to a series of theatrical problems – all packaged in a bundle of dramatic fun!

Students practised invaluable collaborative and creative skills – negotiation, listening, proposing ideas, compromising, extending others’ ideas, thinking laterally, communicating with clarity, evaluating, refining and thinking about what others receive and understand when meaning is created on stage.

The initiative is one of several at Waverley College aimed at encouraging more students to choose Drama as an elective in their Year 9 studies.