IB Theatre students benefit from NIDA workshops in Sydney
By Witek Sulima-Horbatowski, Grade 11 IB Theatre student, East Campus
This year’s UWCSEA East IB Theatre trip to Sydney was an amazing and fun experience. During the trip, we had a schedule packed full of theatre workshops at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney as well as three separate theatre performances, which included two ‘question and answer’ sessions with the actors. We all learned many new skills through the workshops that we attended, which focused on acting, movement, voice and directing. Acting workshops which focused on improvisation and focus were a great addition to the movement based activities we do in Theatre classes. The skills we acquired during the brief workshops we had with professional theatre tutors are definitely going to come in handy throughout the IB Theatre course, but also in other subjects. Working with professional tutors wasn’t the only new company I was around, with the Grade 12 students being mixed in with us Grade 11s. Interacting and working with students at a similar age but with more experience was very fun and there were lots of things to learn from them.
The three performances we attended while in Sydney were Cirque De Soleil’s Kooza, and plays Marat/Sade by the New Theatre and A Midsummer Night’s Dream, by Sydney Theatre Company which was performed at the Sydney Opera House. All of these productions differed greatly, but each one had its own unique flair and flavour, which was exciting to see. Kooza was a big, extraordinary acrobatic performance, while Marat/Sade was a performance in front of a very small audience, done in thrust, with the audience being very close to the actors, making the play very intimate. A Midsummer Night’s Dream, on the other hand had a totally different presentation, being performed in the Sydney Opera House, and being interpreted in an unusually dark way. All of the productions we saw have given us great ideas to use for our future projects in IB Theatre, but they were also great fun to watch. The Sydney IB Theatre trip was a fantastic opportunity, which I hope to be a part of next year as well.