On Thursday, 19th October, the drama department put on an Internacia Agado or International Performance. The programme consisted of several items from different cultures presented in various languages.
Drama teacher Nicola Howard said she was inspired to create performances in different languages after visiting some of the language classes at SCIE and seeing how well the students engaged with this area of the curriculum. She proposed the idea to the other teachers in the drama department and, after learning that there would be several performances to celebrate the 20th anniversary of SCIE, came up with the idea of an international performance.
Internacia Agado means International Performance in Esperanto. Esperanto is a constructed language created by Polish ophthalmologist L L Zamenhof in 1887. Esperanto was intended to be a universal language for communication, and people across the world still speak it.
The show featured songs in French, German and Welsh, poetry in Turkish and Malay, a dance from Greece, a music video from Zambia and a play in Spanish. The items were linked with a clever script written and performed by Phoebe Ouyang from G2. The idea was that Meimei was taking a journey around the world and sending postcards back to her mum. Narration alternated between Meimei writing the postcards and Mama reading them as they arrived. Meimei was constantly suggesting that her mum should take a round-the-world trip: when she got back home at the end of the play, she found the house empty and a note from her mum to say that she had taken her daughter’s advice!
Many students who had never performed on the SCIE stage before took part in the performance. Apart from those taking acting roles, some musicians had never performed before, including harpist Abby Yan and pipa player Halier Wang both from G1. Emilie Xiao from A1 danced for the first time in her SCIE career, participating in the Greek dance choreographed by Michale Bracewell. Many teachers participated behind the scenes who had never helped before, giving considerable support with language but also makeup, costumes, lighting and sound.
“It is great to involve old and new talents”, said Nicola, “to ensure that traditions are passed on, and the culture of theatre and performance is maintained within the school. It is also good to have all year groups represented – students from A2 like Judy and Tony leading the way for younger students”.
The Internacia Agado was performed just a few days after the international food fair, so the international spirit was very much in the air that week. International mindedness is a part of the SCIE philosophy: there is an entire section about it in the Student-Parent Handbook. Students are encouraged to learn “respect for the diversity of people in our world”, to develop “an open-minded appreciation for other cultures”, and show a willingness “to communicate in a multi-lingual world”.
There have already been requests for another international performance, and Nicola is looking around for new ideas that can help broaden the horizons of the students and help them understand the unique and fascinating traditions and cultures of the world.