Reflecting on my school experiences I realised I didn’t have one that really stood out to me from primary school (not unless you include the trip to the National Museum of Scotland when one of my classmates got their head stuck in a fancy-dress costume!) So instead I thought about memorable high school experiences and one immediately sprung to mind – the Class Act playwriting project.
This was a project I participated in during my sixth year of school as part of my Advanced Higher English class. We were lucky enough to be partnered with the Traverse Theatre Company who work with a few schools across Edinburgh to help pupils develop their playwriting skills. The theatre company provide in-class workshops, giving hints and tips on how to come up with new ideas for a play and how to write them in a way that entices the reader.
After these workshops our class split into small groups to write our own short screenplays. I still remember the play my group came up with: ‘The American Dream’ – a news reporter who is power hungry for fame and decides to sabotage the American president. The most exciting part of it all was knowing that our screenplay would be performed by actors in the Traverse Theatre. This provided a great motivation for us during the writing process as we knew there would be an amazing end product to the project.
Once the screenplays were finished, we were able to have a dress rehearsal with our actors to make sure they grasped the mood of the play and to make any last-minute adjustments. We then had a trip to the Traverse Theatre where we got to see all our plays come to life on stage with actors, costumes and props. I still remember the nervous, yet excited, feeling when I knew our play was being performed next!
To bring it all together we were also given a published book at the end, which included all of the screenplays performed throughout the night. This was an amazing memory to take home.
This project is still running in Edinburgh and the following link will take you to the details for Class Act 2018: https://www.traverse.co.uk/whats-on/event-detail/1538/class-act-2018.aspx