Friday, 15 December 2017

Chaos Met Harmony Indeed

By Sybille Ecroyd

By Sybille Ecroyd

On Monday night I went to a play put on by an after-school drama group, taught by Necessary Arts founder, Naima Thompson. It was an unexpected pleasure.  From behind the scenes what I discovered, as an adult tasked with shushing exuberant teenagers backstage, was a focused group of young actors intent on giving the best they had for an audience of parents and supportive friends.  

What they had was a piece they had created over weeks of committed
practice and exploration of method acting, Stanislavsky’s way of getting actors to get inside the emotion of a role, to become and experience that role as the here and now.  

The theme for the evening has been the overriding and disturbing theme of our world’s year: devastation. Through a series of pieces they wrote themselves, they explored the enormity of the question of “why” such things happen through a conversation between an omniscient being who personified devastation itself and hope.  

With each act of devastation, the rest of the cast became the victims and survivors as well as the devastation itself, for example, an especially effective scene a hurricane was evoked by a disco where the actors became fans whose voices gradually built to a high pitched crescendo at the point the hurricane hit. 

Emotions were palpable through scenes of cruelty imposed by a soldier in war-torn Germany to families divided by a natural disaster to a brother dying in a faraway hospital bed, alone. Actors became the people affected by disaster. 

It was an unexpected evening of being educated and reminded of my humanity by an unlikely source: the learners themselves. For that, I thank them all!  Bravo!!

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