Red Deer Public School District

Students at G.H. Dawe take the stage with Trickster Theatre

Students at G.H. Dawe School had their creative juices flowing last month as they had a visit from Trickster Theatre.

Trickster Theatre is a theatre company that has been around for 35 years. Troupes visit schools throughout the country and just before Christmas they landed at G.H. Dawe School.

The students come up with a theme for a final schoolwide production, which stars each student, and all of the ideas for the show are entirely up to the students. Students at G.H. Dawe chose a Canada 150 theme with the title of the production being 7 Leadership Qualities of Great Canadians. Students performed the show on Dec. 21st.

The production evolves throughout the week and Delia Barnett, residency leader at Trickster Theatre, said that is incredible to see.

“We come in the first day and we do a lot of exploration of the theme and whatever prop the class has been assigned - some props can be pool noodles, a crash mat, a parachute - the sky's the limit on props,” she said, adding by the second day students are building the theme and context of the play and by the third day students are running their full play. “Because the school can pick their own theme, we can tailor it to whatever they want - we can fit it into the curriculum or if there is something they just want to learn.”

Barnett added she loves to see the growth and development in students as the week progresses.

“Sometimes with the older students they are ‘too cool’ to run around and act foolish, but usually by the end of the week they’re having a great time,” she said. “You see them coming out of their shells, playing again and being okay with using their imaginations. The little kids, they buy in and have more imagination instantly, but you see them start to focus in as the week goes on. It’s a cool way to get self esteem and to have more belief in yourself.”

Sue Carmichael, Principal at G.H. Dawe School, said the week was a great one for students.

“This would not have been possible without donations from the Alberta Foundation for the Arts and a parent donation,” she said.