by Fiona Martin, Drama Teacher
Last Friday Year 9 Drama students had the opportunity to take part in the facilitation of and performance in a piece of innovative installation theatre called In-ya-ear, which was installed at Glenferrie Station.
Students manned/wo-manned action sites at the station and interacted with commuters in an art/theatre piece which explored the concept of inertia: travel, communication and/or the lack thereof between busy travellers. They got to ‘turn up the volume’ on people’s thoughts and lives; connect stranger to stranger on Platform One.
It was a treat to observe the students gaining confidence and understanding of this performance concept as they worded engaging strangers and involved them in all manner of wonderful action work; such as being filmed yawning (it uses the same part of the brain as that used for empathy, did you know?), which will be used as part of a further installation in Prague later in the year, listening on headphones to stories of commuters, playing an IRL version of Candy Crush, plugging commuters’ iPods into loud speakers and dancing with them.
The reaction of commuters was just fantastic, the installation forged thought, connection and conversation and smiles along the platform. Many influential people happened to be travelling by public transport that day, including the director of a theatre company and the chancellor of Swinburne University who was very interested in the piece and our Preshil students’ involvement.
“I feel so official and professional”, said Lachlan when he received his own company lanyard, which allowed him express entry and exit at the station.
A big congratulations to the students involved who worked hard and learned so much. This work has fuelled and scaffolded a continuing unit on Street Theatre which the Year 9 Drama students are currently collaborating on.