Gods face Monsters in an action packed weekend of theatre

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Over 120 students from 8 international schools recently attended an action-packed weekend of drama activities hosted by the Regents International School. The theme of the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) Festival was Gods and Monsters with the spectacular Sanctuary of Truth in Naklua providing inspiration for the many and varied theatre activities.

The students came from schools in all parts of South-East Asia, including the American Embassy School of New Delhi, the American International School of Dhaka, Bangladesh; Busan School, South Korea; the International School of Ho Chi Minh City, South Vietnam; the International School of Phnom Penh, Cambodia; Jakarta International School, Indonesia; St Andrews International School, Rayong; and Stonehill School, Bangalore, India.

Art teacher Clare Spear leads the mask making workshop.Art teacher Clare Spear leads the mask making workshop.

The students were divided into 5 core group workshops which explored the essential skills such as Physical Theatre, Voice work, Playwriting and Storytelling. As well as these, there was a selection of ‘taster’ workshops for students to sample, led by Regent’s Performance Arts teachers, on a wide-range of topics such as Percussion, Mask Making, Stage Design and African Theater. The visit to the Sanctuary of Truth enabled the core workshop groups to explore the powerful and thought-provoking theme in greater depth. As Moira Arthurs pointed out to the participants, there is a God and Monster in each one of us which we search to control and understand.

“I don’t know how to describe ISTA but the closest word is extraordinary,” said Regent’s student Jaime.

 High school associates practice their moves. High school associates practice their moves.

As well as the students in the Core Workshop Groups, older high school associates comprised of GCSE and Theatre students, plus Gap staff, assisted the workshop leaders. These students and the visiting teachers all had ISTA led workshops on different aspects of Theatre practice.

The students were treated to a BBQ and Disco on the final night before going home to their host families. For many of the visiting students it was their first visit to Thailand and the intensity of the work and warmth and hospitality they received from the students and host families made leaving very difficult.

The Physical Theatre Core Workshop perform in the finale.The Physical Theatre Core Workshop perform in the finale.

On the final afternoon there was a sharing of the works developed in workshops presented in front of an appreciative audience of parents and friends on the stage of the Globe Theatre. The artistic quality of the performances was outstanding and the whole presentation was communicated with both energy and passion.