Sunday, August 6, 2017

Teacher Interviews: The Drama Queens


At approximately 5:00 a.m., on Thursday 3 August, 27 learners and two teachers departed from Worcester Gymnasium. Their destination: Fraserburg, a sweet little town in the region of absolutely nowhere (AKA the Northern Cape). Their purpose: to participate in the Fraserburg Toneelfees, an annual festival where schools from all over the country come together to perform drama pieces of their own choosing.

I interviewed Mrs Nel, an experienced drama director and well-known Afrikaans teacher at Worcester Gym, about her experience in Fraserburg. She directed one of the two senior pieces: Fawlty Towers.

Ian: Could you give us a brief summary of the senior piece you are directing this year?
Ms Nel: Fawlty Towers is a comedy about a British hotel. The owner, Basil Fawlty, is very careful to obey his strict wife Sybil, who likes to see things happening smoothly. When a sour old woman, Mrs Richards, checks in and starts complaining, and a betting opportunity threatens Basil to make the wrong choices, the laughs begin.

I: Who are your actors and other participants in the piece?
M: [Actors:] Basil - Nikus Venter, Sybil - Jacomi Breytenbach, Polly - Jacorie Viljoen, Manuel - Aneeq Jacobs, Mrs Richards - Shayna Moffat, Guests - Elsa Burger, Bianca du Plessis, Christo Botma, Kyle Duvanage.
[Technical:] Sound and lighting - Braam Visser, stage manager - Carla van Niekerk.

I: How did you come by this British piece?
M: Mrs Tara Conradie told me about it and I decided to try to direct a comedy, which I haven’t done before.

I: What sort of feedback did you get on Fawlty Towers?
M: It was received very, very positively!

I: How many times have you been to the Fraserburg Toneelfees?
M: This was my tenth time. What a privilege to do things like this with hand picked Bosvark Actors! I’m proud of our learners who never fail to warm my heart wherever I take them.

I: Ten times! And remember folks, we only do the Fraserburg Toneelfees every two years! Thank-you for your time, Ms Nel.

Ek het ook n onderhoud gevoer met Juffrou Grethe Steenkamp, ‘n nuwe juffrou by Worcester Gim. Sy het drama gestudeer en het vir Juffrou Nel gehelp met die regie van die junior stuk. Sy was ook die regisseur van haar eie senior stuk, Drie Stories.

Ian: Kan jy vir ons ‘n kort opsomming van jou stuk gee?
Juffrou Steenkamp: ‘n Unieke vertelling van drie stories, gevleg in een storie. Die akteurs beeld op kreatiewe maniere die stories uit en maak die stories hul eie.’n Belangrike les word geleer deur die verloop van die vertelling.

I: Wie is akteurs en tegniese werkers?
J: Liné Bredenkamp, Asiphe Juleka, Conrad le Roux, Lu-Marie Lötter, Marquerite Zeeman, Mikyall Harris, Bennie Swanepoel.
Tegnies: Caris-Paige Little, Henk Blaauw.

I: Was daar enige glipsies tydens die optrede?
J: Niks wat die beoordelaars agtergekom het nie.

I: Watter terugvoer het julle gekry van die beoordelaars?
J: Dat dit die eerste stuk van die fees was waar hulle hul verbeelding kon gebruik het. En dat ons goeie fisiese teater elemente gehad het. Hulle was ook beïndruk met die teks en die boodskap aan die einde.

I: Het enigiets snaaks of interessant gebeur oppad of terug, of tydens die fees?
J: Juffrou Nel is afgetrek deur ‘n spietkop. Na jare van self aktrise-wees by die toneelfees, was dit baie lekker om vanjaar die geleentheid te kon kry om as regisseur daar te wees.

I: Wie weet, dalk is een van ons ‘n regisseur daar in ‘n paar jaar! Baie dankie vir jou tyd, Juffrou Steenkamp.
I myself play the role of Francois in the junior piece, #instant. It tells the story of Lara (Jillian Fritz), a girl trying to write an oral about a fairytale with a twist. Together with her friends Marli (Chelsea Grove) and Francois, she decides to talk about how fairytales don’t work in real life because of the way we live.  Lara and her friends’ speculation about what would happen in modern fairytales is portrayed by the following actors: Cinderella - Corné van Niekerk, Prince 1 & 2 - Henno Conradie, Red Riding Hood - Zuané Mathee, Wolf - Stefan Breytenbach, Rapunzel & Snow White - Josephine Jonker.

All three pieces will be performed again on Wednesday, 9 August in Montagu. You can come and watch them the night after that at 6:00 p.m. at the Worcester Gymnasium School Hall. Just bring along a R10 admission fee and enjoy a night of laughable, goosebumps-giving, and thought-provoking plays.

Drama: Fraserburg

Die Fraserburg-dramatoer van 2017 was 'n enorme sukses. Almal sal die herinneringe, wat op dié klein Karoo-dorpie gemaak is, vir altyd koester. Van skaterlag op die bus tot mekaar omhels na 'n skitterende vertoning. Dit was beslis een vir die boeke.

Die groep het die Donderdagoggend dou-voor-dag vanaf Worcester Gimnasium vertrek. Half vyf is die tasse in die bussies gelaai met half-verkluinde hande. Die opgewondenheid was tasbaar. Op pad na die eerste stop in Laingsburg, het die meeste mense bietjie 'n uiltjie geknip, maar van daar af, na 'n vullende ontbyt van Steers, was almal wawyd wakker. Daar is gesing en gelag en gepraat en nuwe verhoudings gebou.

Uiteindelik het die Gimmies in die vaal, plattelandse dorpie aangekom. Die bagasie is afgelaai en almal het koshuiskamers gekies vir die aand. Gim het drie verskillende stukke gehad wat opgevoer moes word. Twee senior vertonings en een junior. Terwyl die een groep gerepeteer het, het die ander twee kans gekry om te gaan verken. Daar was meestal stofpaaie en rolbosse om te sien, maar die geselskap het die leerders geïnteresseerd gehou. Die enigste "coffeeshop" in die dorpie, die Pers Malva, was binnekort propvol honger Gimmies. Omtrent 20 van hulle het om die twee tafeltjies in die een kamer met die ag stoeltjies gepas op een of ander manier. Naderhand was die winkel se borde op en party kinders se koek is bedien in pieringtjies. Die Pers Malva het daarna toegemaak vir die res van die dag.

Die Donderdagaand het die twee senior stukke opgetree. Juffrou Nel se Fawlty Towers en juffrou Steenkamp se Drie Stories. Fawlty Towers was eerste om die beurt. Dit was 'n humoristiese vertoning wat gehaal is uit die bekende reeks. Die akteurs en aktrises was skitterend en het die gehoor konstant aan die giggel gehad. Die beoordelaars het dit 'n goud toegeken. Drie Stories was artistieke teater en het baie fisiese aktiwiteit vereis. Die spelers het hul fantasties van hul taak gekwyt en almal laat snak na hul asem. Die stuk het silwer verower.

Daardie aand het die seniors baljaar en gesels tot in die middernagtlike ure. Maar eers nadat die juniors behoorlik ingelyf is. Vier van die seniors het die kleintjies na buite geroep ná donker en vir hulle 'n storie vertel van Elsa, die vreemde meisie van Kakamas wat twee jaar gelede verdwyn het op die toneelfees van '15 en nooit weer gekry is nie. Hulle het 'n paar gruwelike details ingegooi om die juniors behoorlik op hol te jaag. Terwyl hulle besig was om angsbevange na die storie te luister, het die res van die seniors in hul kamers gaan wegkruip. Ligte uit. Die graad ags en neges het salig onbewus van die ouer kinders onder hul beddens en in hul kaste gaan slaap. Ná 'n rukkie, het die seniors vreemde geluide begin maak. En die harde asemhaling en die skraap van naels teen die houtvloere het die juniors dadelik laat opspring en hardloop vir die vale.

Die volgende oggend was dit die juniors se beurt om op te tree. Hulle opvoering het gehandel oor "millennials" en die rol van sosiale media in hul lewens. Die beoordelaars en gehoor het die boodskap en toneelspel hartlik waardeer. Daarna het almal terug in die bussies geklouter en die lang pad aangedurf, mer die ongelooflike ervaring steeds vars in hulle gedagtes.

Saturday, August 5, 2017

Organise Your Life

It’s only 2 weeks into the third term and you’re already feeling a bit overwhelmed by how much you have to do. You try your best, but usually fail at getting 8 hours of sleep (only me? Well…).  Got you (myself) covered! Here are a few tips and tricks on how to start cleaning up your life and becoming more organised.

Pause for a moment.
Take a look at the areas in your life which need the most attention right now. It could be your room that looks like a natural disaster just hit it (only me again? Well…) or the pile of tasks you have due next week which you’ve been procrastinating since you got it. Tackle it and one weight is lifted off your shoulders. Now you can move on to the next thing.

Make lists and write things down.
Honestly, ticking things off a simple to-do list – which you scribbled down in only a few seconds – is so satisfying. It could just be making your bed or doing homework, but with that “check!” off your list, you’ll want to keep writing things down and completing tasks.

          5 minutes method.
Ever heard of it? Take out your phone and set a timer for 5 minutes. In that 5 minutes, devote your attention to any one task. 5 minutes pass so fast and that’s why it works. It feels like you just started working and your timer beeps that time’s up, but you feel like you want to continue – so you do.
Before you know it, you have made progress! Keep going!

Get a calendar.
A big one on which you can doodle, personalize and fill important dates on is just the thing you room might lack. If it’s on an easily accessible place that you can see, you can write down things that you need to remember and there’s barely a chance of forgetting anything. Planners can work in the same way. You can check it in the morning, fill in important dates (homework, hangouts, road trips etc.) as you remember them and you can easily carry it around.

Declutter.
If you have spare time, start decluttering things bit by bit – not only your room. Take out the random socks and Lego blocks from under your bed. Clean up your desk area. Cut and paste in the random pages in your school workbooks that are becoming so untidy and frayed. Throw out the random papers in you blazer pockets or in your bag. Throw out old clothes and shoes from your cupboard. Get rid of unnecessary junk.

        Start.


Intimidating as becoming organised from the state you’re in sounds, once you start getting the hang of it, you don’t really want to turn back. Humans are all about feeling accomplished and getting recognition. Becoming organised gives you both of these. Your friends will be asking you for tips in awe as they look at the new improved you. You’ll be a pro answering their questions with a smug smile as you “forget” to mention it was from a Circum blog article. Ha!