This week in the drama room…

Here is a snapshot of the exciting things that happened in the drama classroom throughout the week!

MYP Classes

Grade 8: The Improv Olympics champions were announced! Congratulations to the winners on their standout performances! It was a close race, with other competitors not far behind. The Grade 8 classes also began their second unit Movement is Magic, which focuses on physical theatre. Check out the improv champs:

Grade 9: Students have just started working on their original melodrama plays to be performed in the coming weeks. They have been challenged to create a piece that tells a modern-day story using melodrama style and technique. Here are some shots of script writing and rehearsal in action:


Pocket Performance Rehearsal: The StageCats are back at it again! Their final pocket performance of the year is set for June 14th at 1:00 and 4:00. This mini show’s program includes a 20-minute medley from the musical Rent and a short scene by Bradley Hayward, Status Update: A Symphony. Some experienced StageCats will be taking on leadership roles directing and choreographing for this performance, so be sure to check it out. Admission is free!

Glee: StageCats Glee is prepping a super fun 90s pop medley for this year’s Summer Concert. Be ready to hear some old favorites like Hit Me Baby (One More Time), Wannabe and U Can’t Touch This! We have some awesome student choreographers and directors for this medley as well.

September Show Workshopping/ Devising: For StageCats’ September 2017 show, we have decided to try something totally new! This original script will be a collaborative piece between teachers and students created from group discussions, improvisations and workshops.



It is only 15 days until the opening of CISB StageCats’ production of We Will Rock You! Students have been working tirelessly over the past few months to bring this exciting show to life. With 26 show-stopping musical numbers such as We are the Champions, Bohemian Rhapsody,  and Another One Bites the Dust, this show is sure to wow audiences if all ages!

We Will Rock You is certainly the most challenging show the StageCats have ever taken on, but the 50 students involved are ready to rise to the challenge on April 21st at 7pm and April 22nd at 2pm and 7pm. If you love Queen, love seeing epic soloists belt it out onstage, love clapping along to high-energy choral and dance numbers, or just want to see what fun surprises we have up our sleeves, then this show is for you! Tickets are 30 RMB for students and 50 RMB for adults and can be purchased in the CISB lobby. If you have any questions, feel free to e-mail or The StageCats are ready to rock! Hope to see you in the audience. 🙂

Check out our hashtag: #StageCatsWillRockYou

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Trimester 3 :)

It’s officially the third trimester of the 16-17 school year at CISB! That means 5 new classes are starting Theatre Arts. This week, we’ve been warming up to theatre class by playing lots of high-energy drama games. This is a great way to begin, as it helps build confidence and allows students to feel comfortable and safe in the classroom/ performance space. Next week we will begin our first units The Original Drama Queens (melodrama) and Yes, And… (improvisation). So far students are showing lots of enthusiasm and positivity in class. It will be exciting to see what they bring to the stage in our MYP units!

StageCats Field Trip

The StageCats took a break from rehearsing for their upcoming show We Will Rock You to attend Dulwich College’s production The Red Shoes yesterday eveningThis one-act show, based on a poem by Anna Maria Murphy, dealt with very dark themes and required the actors to work together as an ensemble to create the world and ideas expressed by the author. One of the StageCats’ favorite aspects of the show was the live 5-piece band made up entirely of students! All in all, the night was a fantastic opportunity for students to see a different style of production and to recognize the hard work of other young actors in Beijing. We look forward to welcoming Dulwich College students here on Friday, April 21st for the We Will Rock You dress rehearsal. 🙂

ISTA Drama Festival

Last weekend, 6 CISB StageCats attended a drama festival hosted by the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA). Because this is CISB’s first year as a member school, this was our first festival! Over the course of three days, students took part in ensembles, participated in workshops and went on an out-and-about trip. All of these events culminated in a final performance in which students shared their work with other ensembles, parents and friends. The theme of the festival was community, particularly how the meaning of community has changed in the age of WeChat and social media.

Day 1: Students gathered for opening Peking Opera performances and met their ensemble leaders. After the initial introductions, students went to Chaoyang Park to take part in traditional games and take photos that would be used as inspiration in rehearsal. In the afternoon, students worked with their ensembles and learned a whole group song. The day ended with a student social – lots of food and dancing!

Day 2: Students worked in their ensembles and also had the opportunity to take part in two workshops. Some of the workshops included Kung Fu, Chinese Drumming, Peking Opera, Bunraku Puppetry and Storytelling. This was a great way for students to explore different aspects of performance and theatre.

Day 3: Much of the day was spent preparing for the final performances. Students finalized their ensemble pieces and then worked as a full group to stitch the pieces together into one cohesive performance. The final sharing went very well; students showed their engagement with the theme through movement, tableaus, short scenarios and more! There were lots of parents in the audience. Even a few CISB students who did not attend the festival came out to support their fellow StageCats!

Overall, the ISTA festival was a very positive experience for all involved. CISB students and teachers are very grateful to the organizers and artists for putting on such a fantastic event. Not only did students have the chance to improve their drama skills, but they also explored a new style of creating theatre on a topic that is so relevant to all of us. We are very happy with our first festival and look forward to attending (and, in the future, hosting) many festivals to come. Thank you ISTA!

Behind the Mask – IDU

Last Thursday, Grade 7 students performed monologues for their Interdisciplinary Unit Behind the Mask. This performance was the culmination of many weeks of hard work in both English class and Drama class.

For this assessment, each student explored the inner and outer persona of his/ her chosen character by writing a monologue from the character’s perspective (from texts Antigone, Iqbal, or Smile). After writing their masterpieces, students rehearsed their monologues in Drama class, focusing on mask skills such as exaggeration, slow/ clean movement, isolation, and audience contact.

The monologue performances were a great success! Students performed for their fellow classmates, teachers and parents. Performing solo is not an easy task, and we are beyond proud of the courage and poise students showed on stage. We are also impressed that the Grade 7s tackled such a complex, challenging assignment. Great work everyone! 🙂

Check out some of the monologues below:

Commedia Workshop with Mike Pasternak

CISB was very lucky to welcome Mike Pasternak from the International Schools Theatre Association (ISTA) to the school on February 22. He is an experienced theatre practitioner and educator who works with students of all ages.

Mike conducted a full-day Commedia dell’Arte workshop with Grade 10 Theatre Arts and drama enrichment students. Students learned the history of Commedia, acted out the various Commedia characters and took part in fast-paced, physical drama exercises. Perhaps the most exciting part of the workshop was the opportunity to work with Commedia masks! We are very proud of the students for taking on such a complex and challenging theatre form. A big thanks goes out to Mike Pasternak and ISTA!