Our Term 1 Drama unit in Class 9-10 revisited the physical work we were developing pre-Covid and married it with a fresh exploration of language, the power of chorus and playing with alternate perspectives in storytelling. In her poem, A Tree Telling of Orpheus, Denise Levertov gives voice to the trees’ encounter with Orpheus and his music; the combination of physical and verbal expression was the perfect way to step into a tale being told with a perspective other than our own.
Choreography, perhaps like the task of the illustrator of a picture book, is an interesting balance between depicting what is said and expressing elements of the tale not told in words. The class stepped up to the challenge, contributing beautiful insights into moments that lifted us out of ‘recitation with actions’ and into a layered expression of the poem.
As our rehearsals came to their conclusion, one of our Year 10 students wrote a poem in Geography in which he talked about trees knowing how music is made “since they have the biggest orchestra in the world.” It is an heart-warming affirmation of the way our students learn to see that depth of crossover between subjects, and to witness such beautiful insights and imaginings in our students.
Our performance for friends and families was the finale to an evening of beautiful music, a fitting combination given the subject of our poem. Students performed solo, in duos, trios and a band and it was joyous to be in a room sharing our creativity again, witnessing the growth and blossoming of this group of young people.
Georgia is a professional actor who has worked extensively across theatre, film and tv. Most recently, she played Sal Thornhill in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of The Secret River at the 2019 Edinburgh International Festival and the National Theatre in London. Georgia is a passionate teacher and has taught for Sydney Theatre Company and Bell Shakespeare Company, in juvenile justice centres and through her own business, Blue Mountains Drama.