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Self-directed school drama events

(9 Posts)
Dancergirl Wed 29-Jun-16 09:53:02

Both my dds have recently been involved in schools arts/drama events which involved the pupils being totally responsible for putting on a show from writing scripts, songs, organising rehearsals and directing. They are in Years 8 and 10 at different schools.

At the oldest one's school, sixth formers are in charge of things. I had a letter from the drama teacher which I had to sign and return, other than that there has been no communication. Dd has hardly been called for any rehearsals and when she has they have been at last minute's notice or cancelled! The whole thing seems to be very badly organised. Dd has had to reorganise her after school music lesson on occasion only for the rehearsal to be cancelled. I need to have a rough idea of when she's staying late at school so I can organise my other dc, I don't think that's unreasonable is it?

At my Year 8 dd's school, it is her Year group organising a similar thing except the rehearsals are done in school time. This has turned into a bitch-fest with the popular girls getting the best jobs. Dd was supposed to be one of the choreographers but she said whenever she suggested something for their group dance, it was just dismissed without them even listening to her suggestions. Two of the girls finished the dance via FaceTime and then told dd afterwards. Now it appears that dd's name won't be in the programme as choreographer. Dd feels completely ignored.

It's fantastic that the girls organise these things themselves but AIBU to think that some of them just don't have the maturity to organise things sensibly and fairly and without any adult input it can give rise to favouritism and nastiness?

RedHelenB Wed 29-Jun-16 09:59:02

I think it's preparing them for life. Not heard of it before re productions but know in drama lessons they have to do it all by themselves.

Dancergirl Wed 29-Jun-16 13:08:43

I know it's good experience to do it all themselves but I think things like this need to be overseen by a teacher at least to some degree. Any school run production means an audition process, the best performers get the parts (not the director's favourites!), there is a rehearsal schedule and it's all organised well.

TeenAndTween Wed 29-Jun-16 13:14:12

YANBU.

From my DD's experience, often the pupils are asked to work 'in groups', but no one provides any training / feedback / guidance on the team-working skills. What these things really need is an adult overseeing and making them pause for reflection etc as they go, helping them develop their team working.

Witchend Wed 29-Jun-16 14:11:08

without any adult input it can give rise to favouritism and nastiness?

Lol. If you read any threads about play parts you'll find a lot of people firmly convinced that the teacher allocates parts by:
1. Teacher's children
2. Governor's children
3. PTA member's children
4. Their favourite children

Anyone else gets the job of carrying a sign saying "Cinderella's coach".

Wellthen Wed 29-Jun-16 16:09:35

RedHelen that's completely different. In practical tasks in drama the children are given clear criteria for their grades and part of it is that all members take an equal part, work well together etc.

I completely agree op, year 8 are too young to do without adult input. It doesn't need to be an adult controlling or overseeing every rehearsal but, as a pp says, helping the girls reflect on what's working well and what isn't, is everyone happy, has everyone had a say etc.

When a group of people come together to organise something the first thing that needs to be made clear is roles. At work the roles are obvious but within volunteering, community events, clubs there is still a leader, treasurer, deputy and so on. Any situation which does not have clear guidelines and people will struggle. Children more so.

Wellthen Wed 29-Jun-16 16:15:30

Posted too soon:
If this is being done in school time then I would go to the teacher in charge and ask, genuinely, what are they getting out of this?
If its about learning to work together, the ins and outs of putting on a show, learning stage craft and this needs adult guidance. Children do not learn these things by themselves and the children who are being pushed out are not learning.
If its 'just a bit of fun' or 'for the experience' I would ask how they are ensuring equality of opportunity - are ALL the girls having fun and experiencing something new? Or are some of them experiencing the usual crap they put up with day to day from the popular bitchy girls?

Dancergirl Wed 29-Jun-16 16:55:06

wellthen that is exactly it, you have hit the nail on the head. I really felt for dd when the girls finished off the dance behind her back sad

At a rehearsal yesterday, they were doing their group song and dd was standing with her arms crossed in front of her. One of the girls (popular, outgoing, seems to be in charge) told her off for this. Another group of girls (popular in charge girl's friends) were messing around throwing a ball around. When dd made a comment about this, popular girl asked her why she was being such a bitch shock sad Obviously I wasn't there and have only heard dd's side of the story but it doesn't sound like nice behaviour.

Dd's really fed up of the whole thing now which is a shame as she was looking forward to doing it.

WreckingBallsInsideMyHead Wed 29-Jun-16 17:15:35

From the Year 8 girls I know it sounds like a recipe for disaster!

Great for them to have control and independence and to experience problem solving... But adults need to be overseeing things, preventing it descending into bullying and chaos.

They're so young, they need a huge task like this to be broken down into smaller steps for them and to be guided to solve problems rather than getting disheartened and frustrated

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