Through drama, people connect with their inner emotions and develop deeper understanding of the human condition within varying contexts. Theatre and drama push us to seek truth, take risks, and embrace and advocate for new and diverse voices.
Taking this tradition forward, Red Leap Theatre, a women-led troupe known for its bold, visual, thought-provoking performances, joined Dulwich for the first time last year as part of our Diversity Arts Series. This year, Red Leap brought digital theatre performances to Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong, Dulwich College (Singapore), and all our Dehong sister schools.
Hailing from New Zealand with a core team of six visionaries, Red Leap Theatre’s mission is to create high-quality, original visual theatre that pushes creative boundaries, transforms how the audience relates to theatre, and celebrates and supports women's stories and talents.
At Dulwich, we recognise the value of theatre and drama in inspiring student creativity and developing both empathy and intrinsic motivation. We constantly seek to provide resources and opportunities that meet students’ academic and non-academic needs.
Red Leap theatre put together customised digital one-day drama workshops and one-week drama immersion programs for Dulwich College Shanghai Pudong, Dulwich College (Singapore) and all of our Dehong schools. These events covered the craft of storytelling and explored the use of imagery combined with the physical form to reveal truths about the worlds we live in.
Despite the challenge of delivering drama online, Red Leap Theatre made the activities fun, engaging and collaborative through extensive pre-planning. Red Leap had ‘in-conversation sessions’ with drama teachers from our schools one week before the workshops to help them better facilitate the event onsite. Lesson plans were also sent to each school in advance according to their daily schedule, including related videos, a list of resources, games, and devising exercise tips.
During the workshops and immersion weeks, students watched videos of varied dramatic forms such as silent shows under the guidance of drama teachers at school. Students then participated in prompted discussion and collaborative game activities to build self-confidence and teamwork skills.
At Dulwich College (Singapore) for example, Red Leap Theatre supported our Year 5 teachers in developing the drama element of our Conflict unit. The teacher session, prior to starting the unit, enabled the non-specialist teachers to gain a deeper understanding of how the workshops would progress and how to support the students. The team supported with guidance and videos, providing ideas and stimulus for students to develop their skills in drama and apply it to the context of conflict. The students then worked to create a short piece focused on a scene involving conflict. After they prepared the drama piece, they filmed and edited their work. The physical theatre focus brought in new aspects of creativity while editing targeted the development of their technology skills alongside the drama.
One of our teacher shares the experience:
“What an absolutely amazing day of professional drama we have had, my students were mesmerized and enthralled and I truly believe they are more confident, more expressive and more talented today, than they were yesterday.”
A young drama enthusiast commented:
“I think it was really enjoyable to learn from and we could follow the examples from the online workshops which was really helpful."
Dulwich is proud to partner with Red Leap, which shares our passion for performing arts and delivers programmes of the highest quality for our students, teachers, practitioners, and community. We are always excited to see our students immerse themselves in various art forms brought to them under the Diversity Arts Series, which encourages them to further express and explore their interests and passions.
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