Tuesday, September 14th was a very exciting day for everyone involved in Challenge College: the stage at Newlands Community Centre turned into Verona Mall and the students and some staff members into Montagues and Capulets.
This term, Tuesday afternoons were — literally — all about drama!
Our project started in late July when the staff decided to stage a 15 minute version of Shakespeare’s Romeo and Juliet. Since it is quite hard to identify with the original characters and the ancient language, the students gave the play a modern touch by changing the lines using their own words. Rehearsals turned out to be more difficult than expected because we had to make several cast changes during the term.
Newlands Community Centre was the site of our last rehearsal and the performance. Everyone felt a little bit nervous and unsure about performing in front of the audience. At 1.30 the last guests – students’ families, Challenge 2000 staff members, a representative of the City Council and one from the Vodafone Foundation – arrived. We were pleased and relieved that our performance was so good, and so well received by the audience.
After that, our student Tyler, also known as Ty-1, impressed the audience by performing a few rap songs.
This term’s community work has been about getting the students at Challenge College to look outside of themselves and think of the community – from Johnsonville, to Wellington, New Zealand and globally! Our main focus on this theme has been to raise funds in support of the Kenbe La Foundation Source of Hope School in Haiti. We researched the tragedy and devastation the earthquake caused in Haiti, specifically looking at the story of Emily Sanson-Rejouis. The students got behind the idea of raising money to help the impoverished young people of Haiti get an education – we had a sausage sizzle, and as part of their other studies this term performed an extract from Romeo & Juliet which seemed to be a good way to raise even more money. Those that came to support were great, some even giving more than a gold coin entry fee to help us surpass our fundraising goal!
We are so proud of our students and we want to thank them for getting up on the stage even if it made them feel uncomfortable!
Tabea and Steffi