Music for One World
Upstage Musical Productions, a provider of summer-school workshops, has recently returned from South Africa with a new agenda for UK schools.
In Durban, the team was challenged to produce a new musical with children from the inner city. Many were refugees, had never performed on stage before and spoke English as a second language. Through improvisation and working with choreographer Lucy Pearce, they created the One World theatre project, with original music by Richard Free, to address issues of climate change. After a week of rehearsals in 30-degree heat, the children performed their show as part of the opening ceremony of the Climate Change Conference.
Upstage is an organisation that uses industry professionals to work with young people to develop, rehearse and perform shows in schools in five days. It is now adapting its workshops as off-timetable, term-time activities. The workshops can be adapted for three to four days for pupils in Years 7, 8 and 9.
The programme supports the demands of the national curriculum and develops pupils' skills in stagecraft, projection, movement, dance, interpretation and acting. As well as developing theatrical skills, the workshops give pupils a chance to gain experience of a professional situation and develop skills such as problem-solving and teamwork.
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