CRAM (Creative Arts and Media) pupils from three secondary schools, Parkside, Coleridge and Chesterton Community College, used the cemetery as a stimulus to write theatrical monologues which were performed at The Junction as part of the Hotbed festival.
The pupils worked on four different creative options: media, music, drama and dance:
Media Option – Live Fast, Die Young
The Media Unit offered the chance to create a public information film designed to prevent the unnecessary deaths of teenagers. The students looked at the conventions of these films and scripted, performed, filmed and edited their own. The projects focused on the variety of issues leading young people to accidental death or suicide. They were filmed on location at Mill Road Cemetery and surrounding areas.
Music Option – Music and Mortality
The Music Unit offered the opportunity to explore performance and creativity using a range of compositional devices and playing techniques. Old and new instruments (acoustic and electric, including synthesizers, etc) were used (live and recorded) to evoke the mood and mystery surrounding death and the afterlife in a zany and ‘out-of-the-box’ way. The students also explored sound and lighting and became part of a technical stage crew.
Drama Option – Graveside Monologues
The Drama Unit offered a chance to experiment with performance through the devising process, exploring old and contemporary graveside characters while discovering local performance venues, working on location at The Junction and Mill Road Cemetery. The students explored script writing as well as performance (see the ‘Writing for performance overview’ to download, below right).
Dance Option – Dancing with Death
The Dance Unit offered the chance to learn a set dance that explored styles such as Contemporary, Modern and Street Dance. The students choreographed their own dance phrases to explore issues surrounding graveyards such as graffiti, violence and mortality. They also created their own original costume design for the performance.