School plays – devil or divine comedy?
As we approach the latter end of the autumn term,
schools will be thinking of the end of termproduction. The Christmas term seems to be the time for such an extravaganza. I’m not talking about the carol service or a traditional nativity but a show with lines to be read and stage directions to be followed. Usually it is held in the evening with tickets that sometimes have to be bought.
My experience of such events is mixed. At my first school the tradition was for every child to be involved (munchkins, shepherds). We kept our fingers crossed that a fire officer was not in the audience to see just how many extra bodies we had in the hall! Rehearsals towards the end had a ‘military operation’ feel and there were many nervous children bursting to ‘get it right’. The parents came in huge numbers to the point that we did consider a third evening as well as a matinee – it was THE event they had to attend. Children were only absent through illness.
At the other extreme was a small production, just for the keen children and staff. The finished product was not as professional and the audience was quite sparse. Some of the children taking part did not attend the evening performance citing it was too late (6.30pm). I found it quite difficult but I was new to the school and still getting to grips with things. Our results were not ‘pulling up trees’ and staff felt that time spent on such a venture would cause them more pressure.
With all the talk in the media recently about the arts in school I wanted to ask how you view school plays. Are they a necessary evil or luxury that only ‘outstanding’ schools can have? Do you spend time on producing such a thing or is it left to a school club?
Parents – if your child is struggling at school, how would you feel if some of those extra lessons were missed for the play? Do you think every child SHOULD be in the production or only those who want to?
Please leave a comment so that we can see what the present views are!Image courtesy of Google