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Branksome Hall News

Theatre Students Take the Lead: Student Visions 2024

On May 8 and 9, 2024, our students’ creativity and imagination came to life at Student Visions, performances directed by our Grade 11 students and performed by our Grade 10s. The scenes and one-act plays ranged from classics such as Anne of Green Gables, to a play written and directed by Grade 11 student Hao Ming. 
Student Visions is an opportunity for students in Grade 10 to perform their culminating piece for an audience outside of the classroom, and an opportunity for Grade 11 students to take a leadership role in Theatre by directing a short play. Students spent weeks carefully selecting scenes from plays, studying the material and rehearsing it. This year, 13 performances were split between two exciting nights.

When it comes to Theatre education, letting students take the lead is beneficial to their development. “Students build soft skills such as creative problem-solving, taking initiative and the ability to work under pressure with a deadline by directing their own show,” said Angela David, Instructional Leader, Arts. “Creatively, they also get to tell their own stories in their own way, innovating exciting theatrical responses to the scripts.”

Grade 11 student Hao Ming is not a theatre student, but when offered the opportunity to write and direct her own play, she jumped at the opportunity. “With my play, Looking Back, I wanted to make people stop, breathe and take in the moment,” she said. “I wanted to show them, through humour and sincerity, that it’s easy to get caught in our own perspectives, and it’s even easier to spend our present moments regretting the past or contemplating the future. Writing is a comfort to me, so most of all, I wanted to impart that same feeling onto the audience.”
An avid writer and a natural introvert, Hao Ming did not know if directing a play was something she could ever do. But once she stepped into the Theatre Lab and watched the actors bring her creation to life, she realized it was a form of self-expression she never knew she needed. “I hadn’t expected to love directing as much as I did, but I found myself constantly excited to go to the Theatre Lab after school and just create. When I’m directing, I have the freedom to make my ideas come to life and show a part of myself that I otherwise would not be able to.” 

Grade 11 theatre student Duo directed a scene from EllenAliceMonaJune by Colleen Neuman, and employed her natural sense of creativity, movement and comedic timing to bring the script to life. 

Angela David and her team of theatre teachers could not be prouder of their students. “Congratulations to Hao Ming for getting her own play on stage, and to Duo for creating moments that were clearly directed and with her vision seen. Congratulations to all of our students on a successful showcase of Theatre!”
We wish to acknowledge this land on which Branksome operates. For thousands of years, it has been the traditional land of the Huron-Wendat, the Seneca, and most recently, the Mississaugas of the Credit River. Today, this meeting place is still the home to many Indigenous peoples from across Turtle Island and we are grateful to have the opportunity to work and go to school on this land.

Setting the new standard for girls' education everywhere takes collective action. From all of us.