Testimonies

Workshop Participants

‘The Baz workshop was great. The workshop leaders were really fun and helped me to develop focus on stage. This is something that I need to work on for my GCSE practical exams. It was an excellent experience.’

Jade Mastbraker – Year 11 student

‘Baz taught me how to value my character’s space during plays and rehearsal activities. It also taught me about using a careful rhythm with my speech. I am looking forward to putting what I learnt into practise.’

Hannah Akintoye – Year 11 student

‘The workshop really helped me to stay focused while performing opposite people because usually I start laughing. It really helped me to maintain focus and eye contact because I usually really struggle with this.’

Sarah Dillon – Year 11 student

‘I thought it was very productive and enjoyable. I had a really good time and would recommend it to other people. It helped me to think about the language I was using in my own exam performance and how I can say this in a more effective way.’

Jessica Lewis – Year 11 student

‘The Baz workshop was great. I am really into sport so was really interested in how they have linked the ideas of training for a performance as you would for a sports game.’

Jade Kidd – Year 11 student

‘The Baz workshop was fun and exciting. It helped me to improve my acting skills especially my focus on stage. The workshop leaders had really bubbly personalities and they made the tasks easy to understand.’

Rihanna Amoah-Williams – Year 11 student

‘I enjoyed the Baz workshop. It has helped me to use my voice in more imaginative ways as I am beginning to focus on rhythm and timing in much more depth.’

Faye Peart – Year 11 student

‘Thanks for a great workshop Baz, I really enjoyed it and our group are now going to use ideas from the workshop in our devised performance.’

Laurie-Ann Forester – Year 11 student

‘We focused on the structure of Shakespearean language and how to use our voice effectively. I had fun and I am now able to apply the new techniques I learnt in new situations. This is something I can also use when I go onto Drama at A level.’

Aaliyah Al-Lawal – Year 11 student

‘Baz helped me a lot when they came into school because they helped me to understand the use of rhythm and verse. This is something I struggle with in English so it was good to use it practically. I will now try to apply this in my GCSE practical drama exams. And the Shakespeare introduction was great!’

Anna Tshuka – Year 11 student

Teacher Testimony

Caroline Frost

Head of Drama

Harris Academy – Bromley

We were very lucky to experience a workshop led by Baz Theatre Company. The session was particularly process driven and enabled students to see the importance of rehearsal and detailed character exploration. The company planned the workshop around the needs of the school, with a focus on approaching text and activities were scaffolded and well-structured to allow students to build on existing subject knowledge. Reflection and evaluation was embedded within the session and this was particularly valuable in ensuring students could make links with their own GCSE work. It also reinforced the use of transferrable skills such as team work, commitment and creativity.

Our GCSE students are at present working in small groups in preparation for their practical GCSE Drama examination in April and this workshop has given them confidence in using a number of rehearsal techniques to assist them in exploring text, character and status. One group have now decided to actually use the extract taken from Macbeth as part of their devised performance showing that they have developed confidence in using complex Shakespearean verse.

The majority of students come from deprived areas of South East London where they and their families have low aspirations and perhaps what was most interesting was the discussion that took place in a lesson shortly after this workshop. Students felt empowered by the realisation that they too could become an actor and could set up a theatre company of their own. They felt great respect for the Baz team and were very interested in learning more about the company and how they worked.

As a teacher I found observing this process immensely useful. I have already used a couple of the warm up activities in my own teaching since the workshop and have found that students responded well to these, identifying transferrable skills and ideas for their practical drama work. The workshop offered students a means of accessing verse through engaging, practical group tasks. Students then had the understanding and the confidence to explore the extract, taken from Macbeth, independently in small groups. It was particularly inspiring to watch students that would normally struggle with complex textual analysis actually embracing this opportunity. One particularly challenging student was motivated and keen to lead others in a number of the activities; this was very pleasing to watch as in previous lessons, the student had been disengaged and had let other students do the majority of the work.

Students were particularly responsive to the group activities used at the start of the session to foster team working and creativity. With examination classes, we often don’t have the time to work on this with students, however this workshop showed the importance of developing a collaborative working atmosphere. As a department we are now looking at ways to develop activities that focus on this during lessons to ensure the best results during rehearsals.

This was an excellent introduction to text and students were motivated, engaged and extremely positive about their experience. We look forward to working with Baz in the near future.

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