A Play by Year 13 students
As part of both a GCSE and Drama A-Level, a large part of the course is devoted to creating a ‘devised’ piece of theatre surrounding a topic or stimulus. Devised theatre is all completely original, and as students we create the movement, dialogue and even set of the piece. We are then marked on our performance skills and play as a whole. Creating theatre is a highly rewarding concept, as along with having a piece of theatre as the end result, it is a creative and enjoyable process where we work hard in our groups to learn about what it takes to make and perform in a play.
For our A-Level devised piece, our Drama class created a play with the simple yet powerful title ‘Period.’ The story follows a young girl named Tiffany, who starts her period for the very first time at school, and deals with the varying opinions of both her family and friends as she struggles to find her voice. In the end, Tiffany breaks free from the opinions of society and finds confidence within herself using her voice to speak out against the stigma surrounding menstruation.
As an all-female group, we found that the stigma surrounding periods was a vital topic to discuss in a high school and felt that we may be able to help some of the young girls in our audience who may be experiencing or yet to encounter this confusing time in their lives. After discovering the fact that 48% of women have felt shame for being on their period, we felt that it was important to speak out against this stigma and make our audience consider their attitudes towards it. We have been working extremely hard to write, rehearse and perfect our piece as we wanted it to be both a comical and light-hearted experience for our audience which also left them with a deeper message.
One of my personal favourite aspects of the piece is our set, as in the middle of the drama studio for many weeks we positioned three real toilets to act as a real school bathroom in which our play would be set! On Wednesday 13th of November, we filmed our play to send to our examiner, which was very successful, and then three days later we did a performance at lunch time in the Drama studio. It was great for our friends in different subjects and even teachers from a variety of departments see what we do during our lessons, and it was a successful opportunity to show those lower down the school that A-Level Drama is a massively enjoyable and creative subject with the power to insight change. Is also a subject where you can work as a close team and feel proud of the final result of your work, as we did of our play.
Many of our friends, peers and teachers came to watch our piece and thoroughly enjoyed the comedic aspects, use of music and heightened characters. Our audience members said, ‘I enjoyed the play massively because I thought it tackled a really powerful topic about the struggles of being a teenage girl’ and ‘I found the play really funny and eye-opening for all the audience and showed the reality of what most girls go through when they get their period’.
Most importantly however, we felt that we powerfully delivered our message, educating our audience about the period stigma and hoping to break some of the shame surrounding it.
Article written by Emily, Year 13