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DD1 devastated by getting the only non-speaking part in the Year 6 play

(40 Posts)
Marmitelover55 Tue 18-Jun-13 16:32:56

My DD1 has been looking forward to finding out what part she has in this years Year 6 play, but today found out that she has the only non-speaking part and is very, very upset.

She is quite a quiet and hard working girl, but loves drama and has been in the local drama group's pantomime for the last 4 years.

For the school play, they were allowed to choose whether they wanted to audition for a large, medium or small part, and DD1 chose to audition for a medium/large one and also wanted to audition for singing as well. She never did a singing audition (they seemed to forget about her), but thought her speaking audition went quite well.

Last year when they did Shakespeare in Year 5, she had a small part with 3 lines (she was the Nurse in a scene from Romeo and Juliet and was very good in my totally unbiased opinion) and the class were told that those with smaller parts would get the larger ones in year 6. Unfortunately both of the year 5 teachers have left and it seems that the year 6 teachers weren't aware of this.

I had a quick chat with the other year 6 teacher and she said that they would write in a line for her, but she is very angry/upset and doesn't want to take part in it at all. It is one of the highlights of the year for the children and the next month will be spent on rehearsing. All of the other parts have been allocated.

I am not sure what to do. I have told DD1 that in the big scheme of things it is not very important, but that I understand she is very upset now. Has any one got any advice please?

Marmitelover55 Wed 19-Jun-13 16:26:15

DD1 much happier this afternoon - when they typed up the script, they had missed out her two lines - so this has been corrected. She has also been made co-director as well. Fingers crossed that she may still get a bigger role though. Her teacher ha been lovely to her smile.

Allalonenow Wed 19-Jun-13 16:45:02

Glad it went well today, and now looks more hopeful for a decent role for your daughter. The smallest role can often steal the scene, and good stage business will enhance the character.

BooksandaCuppa Wed 19-Jun-13 18:58:14

OP and to anyone else reading this thread:

What your Head said to you about taking this seriously because you have never been in to speak to her before is a really, really important point - and one I wish more people could grasp.

OK, admittedly this might be more relevant to my situation as ds has SEN and was especially tricky to manage in earlier years at school, but I have always taken the view that one should support your child's school as much as possible, never moan over silly things and always pick your battles (as in life generally). Then, when you really do have a concern, people (teachers and Heads) will usually take you seriously.

I was the most supportive, flexible and helpful parent my son's school could have wanted grin - and the moment I had a proper issue (middle of year 5), the Head bent over backwards to resolve it, promptly and sensitively.

Well done - and I bet dd will be a star:-)

DeWe Wed 19-Jun-13 19:22:12

All resolved well! Glad she's happy.

lougle Wed 19-Jun-13 19:38:10

The play you linked to has 27 speaking roles, so they must have added 30 parts shock

MidniteScribbler Thu 20-Jun-13 09:25:13

Not every student gets to play the lead, and in school plays, the "best" may not be the right choice for an educational experience, especially in primary school. It's a school play, not the west end. Schools generally keep track of who has done which roles in previous years, and try to give all students different opportunities throughout their schooling. We also know which kids are doing which activities outside of school, and that can play a role in ourdecision making.

We have one child in our school who will not be given a lead role, because she performs four nights per week in a major commercial musical and has done a workshop in New York. She doesn't need the experience of playing the lead in a school play. There are other students who do. But it doesn't stop her mother up at the school every time ranting and raving that she's not the lead. She has had some large roles, just not the lead, and she gets to perform a solo at the Christmas concert (because she truly does have incredible talent), but we have to balance the needs of ALL students.

You can never please everyone.

fiddlyfoodlebird Thu 20-Jun-13 11:08:26

Whilst booksandacuppa may be partially right in the approach that you should choose your battles and not moan about "silly things". Some schools take a different approach and request that parents let them know about "silly things". For example, at DS' new pupil and parent night for his secondary school last week, the HT, Head and Deputy Head of Year impressed upon parents most emphatically, that no matter how trivial it seems, parents must let them know about any worries a YR7 pupil has. They want to avoid parents brushing things under the carpet and hoping they'll go away or get better. They have the philosophy that not all "trivial" matters are actually trivial and they want to nip things in the bud before they become huge issues.

It was refreshing not to be made to feel that we were going to being patted on the head if we we were good boys who never spoke to the head about our DC's worries and toed the line.

Marmitelover55 Thu 27-Jun-13 16:06:28

Another update - just thought I'd let you know that DD1 now has quite a big part as the boy playing "Raptor" has decided he wants a small part after all. She now has 35 lines, is in 3 scenes and has a solo rap to perform grin Thanks for all of your support and suggestions.

saintlyjimjams Thu 27-Jun-13 19:29:39

Well I'm pleased that she has been promoted. Well done her.

Slightly disagree with Midnite scribbler & know where Downton is coming from in that my ds who has had individual (so not chorus) parts in touring west end productions, (so does have some ability), doesn't understand why he's been given a smaller part than everyone else in his end of year play. Acting and singing is his thing - if he was a country sports or national team player I doubt the school would hesitate to wheel him out for competitions. It helps (me) that the part is one that suits him character wise so I have been able to focus on that but he comes home from each rehearsal in right strop and I can sort of understand why as he's just sat around a lot of the time. The other kids who have been given the bigger parts shine at other stuff that he doesn't - and they don't get ousted from the things they shine at in the name of fairness. But that seems to be the way of drama in schools. TBH given the foul mood he keeps coming home in I'll be pleased when the bloody thing is over.

I don't tell him I think it's possibly unfair btw (will judge whether it was when I see it - he may be over exaggerating) - I tell him to get on with it, and concentrate on doing his bit well, but if he's right then yes I think it's a bit unfair. We'll see.

Anyway I am pleased your dd is happier. It's such a shame if schools put kids off drama through not recognising when someone is quietly keen iykwim (my ds actually falls into that category as well, although I'm not sure he's exactly hard working).

Ponders Thu 27-Jun-13 19:34:59

I don't tell him I think it's possibly unfair btw

jimjams, you really are saintly grin

saintlyjimjams Thu 27-Jun-13 19:38:47

Oh honestly he generates enough drama himself grin if he actually knew I agreed with him we'd have an Oscar winning performance going on grin

He has to suck it up. And he may be being unfair as I can see why he suits the part- I'll judge after the play. If anyone can think of any suggestions/strategies for him (and any of the others on the thread) stuck watching everyone else rehearse please share. If I hear how boring it is one more time I shall brain him!

Lancelottie Thu 27-Jun-13 20:01:18

Well, we've told DS that if he really wants to be an actor (sigh) he'd better get good at doing very small parts cheerfully and well, or he'll be very unemployed.

He's not West End standard though, so this may not work on your DS!

saintlyjimjams Thu 27-Jun-13 20:15:02

Oh I think it is excellent advice Lancelottie! And I have pointed that out to him. He'll learn. Although I think he'd accept it more in a professional production iykwim. I can see his point thought as he has spent the last 7 years being bumped off sports teams in favour of those who are better than him - sometimes even when he has turned up for a trial and someone better hasn't bothered but has changed their mind later, so he's been shoved into reserve while they've been given his place. And he loves sport (just isn't very good) so he does mind when that happens iykwim. He'll live, and I'm sure it's a good lesson, but just picking up on midnitescribblers post really.

Ponders Thu 27-Jun-13 20:23:50

having had kids with a gift for eg reading, who loved sport, but were total klutzes so never lauded the way the kids who had a gift for sport were, I sympathise completely grin

I never could get my head around the different attitudes at school towards the different gifts...

saintlyjimjams Thu 27-Jun-13 20:32:04

It's odd isn't it? I actually don't think that ds2 will end up on the stage as an adult (my guess is he'll end up in IT grin ) so even the professional stuff he does is for fun, and it seems a shame he doesn't get to have his turn at school because it's not seen as fair.

I was more annoyed about having his sports team place taken away from him in favour of someone who hadn't done the trials because he was really upset about that, but that again does highlight the difference.

I do always outwardly support the school (even in that I tried to find something fair about it, might have struggled, can't remember what I said) but blimey they don't always make it easy grin

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