The Year 12 students from Gregory Terrace and the advanced drama students from Australian Catholic University have had the opportunity to explore production techniques and performance themes in this self-devised performance piece entitled Take Up Arms. This was an exploration of war in our contemporary society. As an exposé of the theme of war, this performance piece focused on issues such as the morality of war, the inherent violence and cost of life, and the physical horrors that all wars inflict on humanity.
Students were invited to explore the theme through visiting a wide range of dramatic, literary, and visual textual sources. Some chose to present key moments which illustrate their current understanding of how war affects people
It is always exciting to work with new people. However, working collaboratively can often lead to arguments and disagreements. Sometimes humans feel frustrated with working with others and are reluctant to learn new ways of approaching the creative process. Conflict often arises and we need to adopt methods of diplomacy which effectively help to achieve peace amongst the group. What our students have experienced in the creation of Take Up Arms, then, is a microcosmic war. They have embraced the challenge of creating their own performance piece with a ‘foreign’ group of students and they have successfully negotiated a space for each student’s creativity to find a voice. This has been a wonderful experience for both groups of students and it can only be hoped that future cross-fertilization in the creative arts will be possible for students from Gregory Terrace and Australian Catholic University.
Catherine Heffernan and Delyse Ryan.