I write this siting at the Chiangi airport, Singapore, less than 2 hours’ after our final sharing at the International School Theater Association‘s [ISTA] Australian International School [AIS], Middle School three day festival.
My immediate response to the event, map art from the exhaustion, returns to a familiar: the kids have once again been creative and collaborative, demonstrating massive capability and skill through the festivals three days. Brilliant.
I arrived Wednesday evening to meet up with the ISTA Team down by the river in Singapore. The ISTA team were: ISTA rep’: Liane Cambell, Creative director: Rob Warren, Artists: Alison Hurst, Jez Gregg, Pete Benson and I. I feel honored to be with such a talented creative, collaborative bunch of professionals.
Thursday saw a full day getting to know the AIS venue and clarifying our plans. Strange considering all agree the content should come from the kids. Our direction clarified? DIGITAL FOOTSTEPS. Singapore’s path amidst an ever growing presence of technology and change.
70+ students from Singapore schools. 4 ensembles, led by 4 ISTA artists. Students provided with iPads to capture sight and sound. “Out & About” alongside Singapore’s river being nothing new to the students. Sweatingly hot & sunny. Regardless we walked the river. Focusing on capturing the river’s past, present and future.
What might the river say?.
Saturated with a heightened awareness of the area, we returned to the school to begin the creative process.
How might we transform enlightened thoughts around what we saw, onto the stage?
The ensemble groups met approximately 4 hours each day.
My focus within the team is sound and light. Though leading an ensemble whose focus was not solely technology. At times I felt like a fish out-of-water. Drama teacher processes not being my forte, but working with groups of students – no worries. Liane and Rob led a few of the sessions with me so that we could also get the technical requirements clarified, developed and set up.
Sound and light systems being recently upgraded to digital. Avolite Quartz lighting desk and Allen & Heath Qu 32 audio mixer.
Light units varied: Par Can, Fresnel, Profile, LED & 2 Moving Head units across 4 slow cabled bars. A Mayer sound system installed with limited Mic’s oddly configured.
We also had 3 low output (3K lumen) portable projectors and a fixed theatre unit. Connectivity optimistically trying for Apple TV units.
All in all a system that is capable of massive things…
Two students in my ensemble put their hands up for sound (Hannah B) and light (Philippe) control. They worked like Trojans, also controlling the technology requirements for the other three ensembles. The culminating final sharing event with 150+ audience morphing their behaviour into a creative, focused and enthusiastic path. I am impressed and pleased with how this event has impacted these two.
The remainder of the group developed great sequences with fabric puppets representing the old meeting iPad puppets right representing the new. The two combined presenting a message from the river for the future.
Put the technology down and look after our world.
I had a blast… We’re about to take off. I must put this iPad Pro away.
I’m proud 🙂