The materials we publish here now are a bit out-of-date, for the events described took place in November last year, but we savoured them till the International Theatre Day which is celebrated in March. The students who participated in the project acquired many art skills, worked in a team and were able to use their English language skills. I do hope they will never forget this precious experience of creative work and will transfer it into their native language, Russian.
From 28th of November to 4th of December, 2005 in Samara with the help of British Council, Russia, the CLASS ACT project was arranged. Originally, the New Drama Theatre the “Travers” in Edinborough, Scotland, created this project. It has been working for 14 years already. With the help of the producer of this program Cathrine Mendelson and the professional playwrights Nicola McCartney and Douglas Maxwell, 14-17-year-old Scottish children wrote their own plays. Then the professional actors and directors of the “Travers” Theatre staged their plays.
There are some aims of the program:
to develop creative activities of teenagers;
to involve the new generation to start going to the theatre;
to search new talents.
In Samara region this theatre project for Russian teenagers was organized for the second time. Last year it was in Toljyatti and this year — in Samara.
During one week, the Scottish playwrights Douglas Maxwell and Nicola McCartney gave the Samara teenagers master-classes with lots of training exercises. They explained what a theatre is, what a play was, which theatre genres/conflicts existed, how a climax should be developed and so on. The interpreter Irina Fishman helped the children to understand the playwrights to the full degree.
Надежда Никифоровна Рогожина, проректор по международным программам, зав. кафедрой лингвистики и межъязыковой коммуникации Самарского муниципального университета Наяновой, кандидат педагогических наук, доцент.
Директор негосударственного учреждения дополнительного образования “World Class-Samara”.
The final performance took place at the Pushkin House of Culture on 4th of December 2005. The directors of the “Samart” Theatre, Alexander Malzev and Vadim Levanov, staged the children’s short plays. And the actors and actresses of the Samara State Academy of Culture and Art presented them to the public.
The authors were the students of the schools №23, 53, 124, 145, the gymnasium “Perspektiva”, the Medical-Technical college, the Childrens’ Home №1. Nayanova University presented the students of the 9th forms and their plays:
Radushin Lev - “Teenagers’ Problems”;
Semyonov Alexey, Nazarov Artyom – “Come To Me To Work”;
Mezina Alina – “Unnecessary Wonder”;
Kotelnikova Dasha and Petrova Natasha – “Eternal Time”.
Marina Bammatova, an English Instructor, Nayanova university
Some impressions of the participants
Radushin Lev: The Class Act program has finished and I would likes to say some words. First of all, it was a great practice in English, because I spoke to people who organized that project! They can speak only English! Their names are Nicola and Douglas. They are playwrights and it was their second visit to Russia with such a program. It was very interesting, because we turned out to be real dramatists in all the meanings of this word with the help of the professional actors, directors and producers! It was a very exiting week!”
Mezina Alina: “I liked this project very much. It helped me to develop different art skills. Every participant had a chance to work with the real English playwrights. Communicating with the people from Scotland, l understood how well I know the English language. In my opinion, there should be more similar projects in Samara. They make our life interesting. And it’s very important for any teenagers of my age.”
Nazarov Artyem: “In general, I liked the Class Act project. It was very exiting and at the same time amusing to write a play by myself. But the most important thing for me was that I understood how to write a play correctly. The playwrights, actors and directors were very professional. Besides I liked the final performance very much. It consisted of 27 different plays, which had been written by my friends, other schoolchildren of our city and me. I wish I would participate in such a project again.”
Semyenov Alexey: “I liked the Class Act project very much! It was very interesting to write my own play as a real playwright. Besides, it was a great pleasure to communicate with the real Scottish playwrights Nicola McCartney and Douglas Maxwell whom I can consider my friends now. They gave me a lot of useful pieces of advice about how to write a play. Now I am eager to take part in some other programs connected with the English language and English culture organized by the British Council.”