Recently a number of students studying IB Theatre and GCSE Drama from both the Bangkok and Pattaya campuses of the Regent’s School collaborated in an exciting and creative drama experience at the spectacular teak structure of the Sanctuary of Truth situated at the sea’s edge in Naklua. Each wing represents a strand of spiritual thought found in the principal religious traditions in this part of the world.
The weekend had the overall title of REISTA 4 as this is the fourth time students have met for an intensive weekend of drama based on the model of the International Theatre Association Festivals of which the Regent’s School has been an active member for the last seven years.
The final performance did not disappoint and all the students received a well-earned ovation.
After arriving on the Friday evening, the students were divided into ensemble groups and played ‘ice-breaker’ games. The following morning was spent within the stimulating environment of the Sanctuary of Truth which gave the students ample opportunity to absorb the unique atmosphere of the structure and to concentrate hard on interpreting the intricacies of the unique carvings which festoon the walls. Notebooks were eagerly filled with observations aided by drama exercises which allowed students to connect even more with their surroundings.
The afternoon was spent with each ensemble beginning to develop their observations into a coherent expression of drama. Part of the time was also spent watching examples of devising theatre companies on DVD. That evening allowed the students to relax and, at the same time, develop their performance skills in a riotous two hours of improvisation games called theatre sports. After all that activity the students were more than ready for some rest.
The final day was spent with the respective ensembles polishing their drama presentations for the final performance in front of an audience of parents and friends in the Globe Theatre. One of the innovations of the weekend was the lesser emphasis of formal; workshops by teachers with greater responsibility given to students themselves in terms of leadership and developing their own ideas. The final performance did not disappoint and all the students received a well-earned ovation which acknowledged their hard work and commitment over the weekend.
Hopefully, the REISTA weekends will continue from strength to strength. GCSE Drama student, Valerie de Saegher commented, “I really enjoyed the weekend as I met lots of new students from the Bangkok campus with the same passion. It was a really useful learning experience and fun weekend and I am glad I was part of it.”