Published on: 4 April 2014

Year 9 students had an opportunity to work with a professional director and actor as part of the Midnite Youth Theatre Company production, Private Peaceful, staged in the Drama Centre last week.

Acting Artistic Director of Midnite Nicky Garside said guest director Jenny Davis, a specialist in creating theatre from oral histories, had selected the production in the anniversary year of World War I. Private Peaceful, set in 1916, is a play about the horrors of war and the loss of innocence for an entire generation.

Mrs Garside said it was wonderful for the boys to work with a professional, who had high expectations from her young cast and crew. “It was fabulous for the boys to have that experience at such a young age,” she said.

Preparation for the production included a visit to the Fremantle Army Museum, where members of the cast stood in a recreated WWI trench on the Western Front and imagined the dreadful conditions while also learning of the troops’ camaraderie and humour.

“In a way, being part of a theatre production also relies on camaraderie and support for one another and the process of theatre teaches empathy and the ability to focus, both important life skills,” Jenny said.

A professional actor also taught the boys how to perform stage combat for some of the war scenes while the School’s own Army Cadets were called in to do some marching training with the cast.

Midnite’s next production is the Year 10 play, The 39 Steps, to be staged at the Drama Centre from 22 to 24 May. Tickets to the play, directed by Mrs Garside, will be on sale from Monday 7 April by clicking here

Photographs courtesy of Mitchell Allen (Year 9)