Political theatre takes centre stage with John Curtin College of the Arts Gifted and Talented drama students performing in the world premiere of a new community based and cutting edge drama work, The Handover at the Curtin Theatre in March.
Supported by the City of Cockburn and the City of Fremantle, this newly devised intergenerational project sees Year 12 drama students working with industry professionals to enhance their skill set and encourage personal growth, and use the performing arts to call for change.
Director and creator Ralf Rauker said the performance encouraged the audience to speak up as a community and see hope as something that we have to create actively.
“If you are a teenager today, you might think twice about the moment when ‘the world will be handed over to you’ but you cannot just say no thanks because it’s the only heritage you will get and there is no other place to live,” he said.
“This group of Year 12 students have realised that there are urgent political issues they have to deal with, because it’s about their future.”
Through writing workshops with Perth writer, Alan Hancock and theatre improvisations with Mr Rauker, personal stories were collected first.
For the students the project started as a dialogue with their grandparents, then with a group of seniors from Cockburn, and later the focus changed to the community and what concerns all of us.
” We asked them to ponder whether they had a message of hope for future generations or if there were any insights or warnings needing to be shared with them,” he said.
“Political understanding plays a great role behind theatrical performance and how it can be translated within drama.
“The Handover is also about passing on our own knowledge by teaching younger generations the skills of storytelling.”
Year 12 Gifted and Talented drama student and Student Council President, Pippa Verduin, acknowledged that working with Mr Rauker enlightened her perception of different drama techniques and experiences.
“We were asked about moments of beauty and despair in this process of devising,” she said.
“It has made me work outside of my comfort zone, trying new things, and Ralph has helped us do that by including a lot of improvisational work,” she said.
The Handover is playing at the Curtin Theatre, Fremantle 19 and 20 March 2021. Book tickets online at https://www.jc.wa.edu.au/events/the-handover/