An innovative six-month-long School Residency drama project, spearheaded by Aberdeen Performing Arts (APA), has been given the thumbs up by the city pupils who took part.
Youngsters from Hanover Street and Kittybrewster Primaries worked with APA’s Creative Learning and Aberdeen City Council’s Arts Education teams on the scheme which drew to a close this week.
The project, sponsored by Aberdeen Harbour Board stalwart supporters of APA’s Creative Learning arm, set out to create new opportunities for the youngsters to expand their knowledge and understanding of theatre with workshops in the schools and at The Lemon Tree, led by performing arts professionals.
The project culminated for two classes with the chance to stage their own production at the Lemon Tree Studio in front of each other and an invited audience of parents and teachers. The APA Creative Learning team devised the performances with the pupils based around class projects Titanic and Scotland.
This was followed by a celebratory trip to His Majesty’s Theatre for workshops, lunch and a backstage tour, during which they were able to step out onto the HMT stage and learned all about the wigs and costumes used in the production of Legally Blonde.
“The children had a great opportunity to celebrate and showcase their hard work and presenting it at The Lemon Tree made it very special” said Hanover Street Primary teacher Sarah Black.
“The project has been excellent - the children have actually cheered, when I reminded them that Judith Stephen – our drama workshop leader - was coming in.
“Confidence has taken a turn and the children have a very positive attitude towards drama.”
Judith added: “I am constantly impressed by the creative abilities of the young people we work with. Hanover Street Primary pupils were not only imaginative in their own languages but also creatively fluent in English.
“Having the opportunity to watch confidence growing and the resulting enthusiastic participation is the best bit of my job.
“The final performance reflected the young people’s commitment to the project and the total support given by the teachers. It was a pleasure to be part of it.”
Kittybrewster Primary teacher Lydia Tate added: “We are extremely grateful to have been given this tremendous opportunity. The children have accessed skills and experiences which would not otherwise be available to them.”
“It has been a hugely rewarding project to be part of,” said APA Creative Learning worker Claire Davidson, who lead the workshops at Kittybrewster Primary. “Kittybrewster teachers fully embraced our methods of working and the children have excelled in the challenges we have given them.