ISU Drama Troupe Update
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ISU Drama Troupe Update

The ISU-Drama Troupe is an on-going creative initiative from the Performing Art teachers and an after-school activity. The goal is to present a musical theatre production or a theatrical music production. A large group of students learn to work in and around a stage production, which will be performed in a professional theatre in Utrecht.

By Erick Aufderheyde, secondary drama teacher – pictures of last year’s auditions and Midsummer Night’s Musical Dream 

The drama troupe rehearses on especially reserved hours at the end of a Wednesday afternoon and on certain Saturdays we are having mega-rehearsals to bring everything together. Last year we successfully performed  a musical adaptation of “Midsummer Night’s Dream” at the Theatre Kikker in Utrecht. This school year, 12-14 March 2019, the ISU Drama Troupe will perform “WWW”, our own adaptation of the musical ‘Hamilton’.

Ensemble

Last school year, we were already working hard on two ensemble numbers from ‘Hamilton’, that we were able to present at the last ArtBurst. We had the pleasure of having added grade 1 teacher Anne Brandwagt to the artistic team as choreographer, who was able to add that one element to performing on stage: knowing how to move, how to use one’s body to assist helping to tell a story, and most importantly, making music visible. In addition to Ms Brandwagt, this year our new performing arts teachers, Juan Osorio (music) and Sherna Fester (drama) will join the artistic team.

There is always the risk at an international school that students leave over the summer holiday, but we are so pleased that  almost the complete cast that we had formed after auditions last school year is still with us this year.  Secondary music teacher David de Geus and myself had a few intensive meetings where we discussed our intended script, and were able to make some smart changes.

Band

New in this production is the Band, an instrumental ensemble of musical students who will accompany the choir and songs with live music. At the moment, I am in the middle of writing our script, which contains ten original musical numbers from ‘Hamilton’ plus some new scenes between the main characters and intermezzi that will help the audience to understand the background of the story.

The story in our production is not just about the last years of Alexander Hamilton’s life, but of a new country that struggles with rapid changes in world politics. The end of the 18th century was a time of turmoil and economic insecurity in the United States, a country that was in need of political thinkers of common sense and moral realism (hmmm, has anything changed….). We need to be aware that creating a marvelous theatre production next year should not only be a vehicle for our talented students but should also be understandable for all students in the audience. As you have noticed already, we as teachers have taken quite a task on our shoulders, but then again, we are MYP-teachers: what is art without a risk or two?

Who lives, Who dies and Who will tell the story?

Yet I would like to add that the enthusiasm and talents of the participating students will without a doubt be something memorable. We are also greatly supported by the school and its management team, who recognise the importance for the school community. They provide us with the necessary time when possible and facilitate the means to make it all happen. We are looking forward to rehearsing next Wednesday with three groups at the same time, the choir, the band, and the actors. And with this bulletin update, I would like to applaud our participating students with their commitment and growing talents. We will keep the ISU-community posted on the development of the second unforgettable musical theatre production. With a story that is about creating a legacy for future generations but that abruptly ends. Or is every end a new beginning? When do we allow the story to continue? Who lives, Who dies, and yes, Who will tell the story……..?

Help needed!

Working with a large group in a school setting, working on a stage production is always asking for helping hands! If you are able to help us with costumes, set building, transportation, or whatever might come up in the upcoming months, drop us a line, and we will gratefully stay in contact with you. We can be reached at arts@isutrecht.nl.