Helping students step into the spotlightJohn Blois
In the Drama department at Trinity’s Senior School, Mrs Lauren Pasfield is focused on instilling a great love for theatre in her students – especially the ones who think Drama isn’t ‘their thing’.
Lauren spent over ten years as a professional Actor, before turning her hand to teaching. Still relatively new to Trinity, she’s throwing herself into all the creative challenges Trinity has to offer.
“I’d only been teaching for one year prior to coming to Trinity,” she says. “I wanted to go to a School that was established, where student behaviour was good so that teaching was the focus. I’d heard wonderful things about Trinity and about their productions, so that was really appealing to me – I knew it would be a great space for me to practise my speciality.”
For Lauren, her favourite part of Trinity has always been the students.
“The students are fantastic. They’re hungry to learn, they’re so respectful. They’re very focused on being creative and achieving and they really put the effort in to learn. I really miss them during the holidays!”
Even still, she wishes there was a bigger interest in Drama. Classes are often small and tight-knit with only the keenest of students. Lauren believes that this is down to a lack of exposure and a lack of understanding of the sources they dramatise.
Shakespeare’s works, for example, are often explored through the curriculum and different productions, but they can seem too difficult or outdated to students who don’t understand them.
“I wrote a programme for a Year 8 English/Drama Shakespeare comedy unit. It’s a way for the students to learn about Shakespeare, but not just by sitting at their desks. The unit explores his comedies and how they use parody and mistaken identity to create comedy.
“Shakespeare wrote plays to be performed.
“It helps us to expose students to drama at an earlier age – if we give them that experience, then they think about drama and maybe kids that wouldn’t have thought about it before will register their interest when it comes to choosing subjects.”
Lauren has seen how this can not only help students to get familiar with Shakespeare, but perform his works at an elite level.
In Term 1, Trinity held its internal Shakespeare Festival, where students can perform duologues, monologues, ensemble scenes and devised scenes. The winners from this event then go on to perform at the regional Shakespeare festival.
Two representative teams from Trinity performed extremely well at the regional event, and headed to the state-wide final over the King’s Birthday long weekend. Both teams placed fourth in their respective categories, with one student awarded Best Actor in the competition. Lauren says the achievement is a fantastic encouragement to the boys and can help spark further interest.
For Lauren, she’s excited about directing the upcoming School production of Treasure Island. So far, they’ve had 60 students audition for the show, more than triple the numbers they’ve had audition before, a testament to the efforts of staff to engage students with Drama.
“It’s going to be a really fun show, right up the boys’ alley with sword fights, combat, canons and all of that! It’ll be a good professional challenge for me because I won’t have directed anything of this scale before. It’s great to challenge myself, get to know the students more and collaborate with the Media Crew through all the tech challenges.”
She says that so far, they’ve had 60 students audition for the show, significantly more than in previous years, a testament to the efforts of staff to engage students with Drama.
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