For our challenge, we decided that we wanted to put on a play completely by ourselves, and that we would oversee every aspect of the process. We also wanted to raise money for the Mark Evison Foundation and the Evelina children’s hospital (which is particularly close to our hearts, as two members of our group have been treated and undergone life-changing operations there). As a group we decided to perform a version of ‘Sleeping Beauty’, which incorporated the well-known fairy-tale, but also took inspiration from adaptations of the original story – which includes human-eating ogres and two princes! We knew that there were lots of different jobs that had to be done in order to bring this play together. We assigned each-other various roles that would not only take us outside of our comfort zones, but challenge us as a group and as individuals. This included people doing lighting and sound who had never done anything technical before, as well as people acting in a play in front of an audience for the first time (as well as being in charge of the budget and our money).
It certainly proved to be a challenging process, and whilst we planned everything carefully we definitely realised just how much time and energy goes into putting on a play. We decided that we would meet once a week and alternate from rehearsal to team meetings, but the closer we got to the performance the more frequent the rehearsals became, so that we were rehearsing every day at lunch and after school. As we were putting on the play for two nights, we had to arrange the performance space at school, as well as helping one of our group members make the set she had designed – and a lot of prop making! In order to get an audience for the play, we had to heavily advertise it throughout the school, via emails, assemblies, talks, posters and even social media. Eventually though, the days of the performances came (the 27th and 28th September 2017) and although we were all nervous, we knew that we had planned everything, from the performance itself to the programmes and the food and drink being sold in the interval, so the only thing left to do was act.
I think it is safe to say that thankfully it was a success! Both performances went really well, with lots of people coming to watch and support us, and who, after speaking to since the shows, enjoyed the performances thoroughly (including our teachers). The stress and hard-work was definitely worth it. Over the two days fundraising, from tickets and programmes to food sold at the interval and bucket donations, we managed to raise £1,048.92, which will be split evenly between the two charities, which we are all so pleased and proud of. Overall, it has been a fantastic experience which has allowed us all to challenge ourselves by taking on roles outside of our own comfort zone and allowed us to learn new and exciting skills. Regardless of the stress that we went through to create the play, we are all proud of the final outcome and even more proud that we are able to help two amazing charities.