Shakespeare Schools Festival

Shakespeare Schools Festival

At Don Valley Academy we have always loved taking part in the Shakespeare Schools Festival and as a director I have truly relished the opportunity of seeing my vision brought to life by our amazingly talented students. This year’s production of Macbeth was no exception. It was even more incredible that we were asked by the organisers to perform the piece for a second time at Sheffield Montgomery as an example of excellence, after they watched their performance at Cast, Doncaster in October.

Another positive aspect of being part of the festival is the friendships which are formed amongst cast members. The support that they give each other is phenomenal and the friendships span from years 7-13 which makes the process even more heart-warming to see. Students have told me that they feel part of a ‘drama family’ and that it has had a positive impact on their school life at Don Valley even after the production has finished.

The saying ‘hard work pays off’ is certainly true when it comes to our Shakespeare productions and our student’s dedication and passion never ceases to amaze me. During the summer term we hold auditions which are open to all students within the academy and following this a cast of up to 35 students are selected to take part in the festival. Rehearsals take place during enrichment time twice a week and students often take part in a weekend rehearsal the weekend before the performance.

Our students have been highly praised by the festival organizers for both their attitude off stage and their talent on stage. I have also heard members of the general public praising our students for their incredible professionalism. Don Valley Academy might be classed as being in a socially deprived area but to be recognised as talented and professional performers it shows that our young people are successfully overcoming these social barriers. We are proud to be flying the flag high for the Creative Arts at Don Valley Academy and celebrate the positive impact opportunities like this are having on our school community.

Mrs R. Threapleton

Faculty Leader of Creative Arts

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