Spine Road High School pupils took what they’ve learnt in class to the stage, performing their Cycle of life production at the Smart Living Drama Festival at the Baxter Theatre recently, walking off with prizes for their work.
Known before as the YES Drama Festival, one of the youth development initiatives of the City of Cape Town’s Youth Environmental School (YES) programme, the festival is in its eighth year.
The theme for this year was water conservation.
Twelve schools across the city participated in the festival, which took place on Friday September 2, and Spine Road High were not only place second, but received the Judges Award, and was nominated for the best costume at the festival.
The schools which participated were Rocklands High, Aloe High, Belhar High, Chris Hani Arts and Culture High in Khayelitsha, Durbanville Children’s Home, Isilimela High, Lathi-Tha School of Skills in Khayelitsha, Malibu High, Simon’s Town High, Tembelihle High in Langa and Settlers High.
Eddie Andrews, mayoral committee member for tourism, events and economic development, said the plays presented at the festival explored water issues and practical actions which are needed if we are to conserve water.
“Pupils were asked to demonstrate active citizenship – showing how they would approach a challenge and find a solution, how to be active role-players, especially by engaging in more effective long-term sustainability actions. They have also been asked to consider how they share in the global effort of resource conservation,” he said.
Mr Andrews said the standard of this year’s festival was definitely much higher than previous years.
“What helped the learners better understand and prepare was the individual attention to detail provided at workshops hosted at the schools, in addition to the regular workshops at the Baxter Theatre,” he said.
Grade 11 Spine Road High pupil La’eeqah Martin said their play focused on the water cycle and how it is disrupted by pollution.
“We are very happy that we featured in the festival and achieved the goal of spreading the message of taking care and saving our environment.
“The play was written by two pupils at school and our teachers were very supportive in helping us during rehearsals. As young people we need to create awareness about our environment because it promotes sustainable development,” she said.
Another Grade 11 pupil Najmah Mohamed Ali said environmental education helps people understand the consequences of human activities in our country and around the world.
“Our play looked at how people pollute our environment. If we look at Mitchell’s Plain, people dump and abuse our natural resources. This is affecting our eco-system,” she said.
Spine Road High teacher Kharriemah Floris said she is very proud of the 12 pupils who participated.
She said they worked on the play for six months, and came in on a Saturday once a month for rehearsals.
“They were focused and dedicated. They worked hard on the play and even made their own costumes. Last year we did not feature in the festival, and this year they placed second. It is important for our youth to engage and participate in these festivals because they can now spread the message to their friends, families and community,” she said.