Middle Schoolers Participate in International Theatre Festival

During the last week of April, a group of 10 grade 6 and 7 students participated in a theatre festival in Amsterdam. The festival was organised by the International Schools Theatre Association and hosted by the Amsterdam International Community School. Students from international schools in Belgium, Germany, Denmark, Switzerland, Sweden, as well as the Netherlands, collaborated to explore how communities can come together to overcome adversity and how we can work with and help each other to make a difference.

All workshops were given by theatre professionals and the festival was based around a famous traditional Dutch story ‘The Little Hero of Haarlem” (Hansje Brinker), in which a little boy saves the country from a flood. The story shows that even the ‘little’ heroes are important. The festival included a historical sightseeing trip to Haarlem with a walking tour, a canal boat tour and a storyteller to guide their way.⁠ The three days culminated in a performance to showcase the work that had been done in each ensemble. Besides having a lot of fun, students gained new knowledge about theatre, practised drama and collaboration skills and made many new friends.

Grade 7 student Sally reflected on how this experience made her a risk taker: “Before going to ISTA, l was really nervous. l honestly didn’t want to go because I was scared to meet new people. I told myself to be a risk-taker, to just relax and see what happens. On the first day, l got to know different students from different schools around Europe and I began to feel a bit more at ease. On the second day, we took the bus to go to Haarlem and l made new friends and had a lot of fun! On the last day, l didn’t want the experience to end and I felt sad saying goodbye to my new friends. l had good and fun memories while l was at ISTA and l would definitely go again if l have a chance. The people around me were all brave and risk-takers and this made me take more social risks because the people surrounding me influenced how l acted. It was truly a great experience!”