For the 2018-2019 school year, Crofton House expanded the drama program in both the Junior and Senior School, with additional teaching resources and a new production in the Senior School.
The theatre in the Beedie Fine Arts Centre resonated with laughter, music and enthusiastic applause during each one of this year’s theatre and musical productions: Mary Poppins Jr., Into the Woods Jr. and Clue. Talented students were supported by teachers acting as producers, sound technicians and costume designers – ensuring that once again, the productions provided wonderful entertainment.
The Junior School musical production, Mary Poppins Jr., put on by the Grade 6 and 7 girls, was a fun and inclusive show, with 47 students participating onstage and off-stage, including two Senior School girls participating as assistant directors.
Featuring the familiar characters and songs from the classic film, the production allowed the girls to showcase their singing, dancing and acting. Students created period costumes and props as part of Stagecraft Club.
Renee ’24, who played Michael Banks, and Samantha ’25, who played Jane Banks, say that performing in the fast-paced show taught them to improvise and back up their castmates when someone forgot a line or the choreography. “Having to learn all the music and lines as a big ensemble and move and sing at the same time taught us to work together and help each other,” says Renee.
“We learned how to be a team,” adds Samantha.
In December, the Senior School introduced the first annual Grade 8–9 production, Into the Woods Jr. This additional production provides more opportunities for girls to be involved in theatre throughout their time in the Senior School and, with rehearsals beginning soon after the Grade 8 girls join in September, it is an excellent way for girls to get to know each other.
“It’s a great bonding experience to have that sense of community early in the year. We had a student assistant director, Cameron ’19, and one of her roles was to create that bond and to make sure everyone was included,” says Sarah Burgess, Teacher, Creative Arts & Applied Skills, Senior School.
Into the Woods Jr. was held in the Susan and Robert Macdonald Family Drama Studio Theatre, with the audience surrounding the performance space on three sides. Students were responsible for running the sound and lighting and transforming the blank space with props. “I got to meet a lot of new people at the beginning of the year – and it was interesting working in the black box. It was a really different setting, with no stage and the audience all around you,” says Téa ’23.
“Six suspects. Two murders. And a briefcase worth of damning missing evidence...” The lead-up to Clue provided a glimpse into the suspenseful Grade 10–12 production held in March.
Fifteen Senior School girls were joined by five boys from St. George’s School to round out the talented cast. The show had lots of room for participation, with girls involved in hair and makeup, crew, front of house and other areas of the production, and Grade 12 graphic design students creating posters to advertise the production.
“In addition to allowing more participation, having a Grade 10–12 production enabled us to explore more complex skills, acting techniques, and themes with the older girls,” says Catriana Van Rijn, Teacher, Creative Arts & Applied Skills, Senior School.