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Play explores changes for new high school pupils

Pupils who have just started secondary school learnt about some of the pressures and social issues they might be facing – and how to deal with them – courtesy of a play produced by Glyndŵr University.

Second year students from the university’s Theatre, TV and Performance degree devised, wrote and performed a play called Changes for Year 7 pupils from Wrexham secondary schools.

Part of the degree programme’s theatre in the community initiative, the play was designed to educate vulnerable youngsters about some  of the peer pressures and issues they might be facing as they approach their teenage years. These included bullying, smoking and relationships.

After acting out the play, based on a typical day at a high school, the students held a workshop which allowed the school pupils to think about how characters in the play could have acted differently to avoid distressing situations or getting into trouble.

The student actors then re-ran scenes and scenarios based on the pupils’ suggestions, resulting in more positive outcomes for the characters involved.

Elen Mai Nefydd, senior lecturer in theatre and performance, said she hoped this type of applied theatre would help school pupils deal with issues they might be facing more confidently – as well as providing her own students with a great opportunity to take theatre into the community.

Elen Mai said: “The theme of the play was change in relation to the transition from primary to secondary school. Students were given a brief to create a 30-minute performance based on this, followed by a workshop and handbook for the pupils and teachers to take back to school with them.

“This project is another excellent example of the work which we do with the community, to add to initiatives we have been running with the fire service and, for many years, the Royal College of General Practitioners in helping to train GPs in the Wrexham area.”

The workshops were organised in conjunction with the widening access team at Glyndŵr University.

For more information about the Theatre, TV and Performance degree at Glyndŵr University visit www.glyndwr.ac.uk following the links for undergraduate courses.

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