Synergy fills The Tempest

25 Feb
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At the moment that I hear loud clapping from the audience, I feel the warm hand of Olga in my left hand and on my right I feel the energy of JeanClaude. As a student theatre ensemble we take our hands up and bow. A flashback occurs in my mind. About two hours ago, the red theatre curtains were still closed, before The Tempest would begin. But at this point our first show was over and an enormous wonderful feeling full of energy filled me. The synergy was tangible between the actors, our director, the audience, the tech people in the wings and all the other students involved. Our cooperation and teamwork made this whole show happen—that is what I realize at this particular moment.

Since November 2013, the first year theatre class had been working on The Tempest, the last play by Shakespeare. As member of the class, I was involved in the process from the beginning until the show at the 21st and 22nd of February. At first, an acquaintance with Shakespeare took place. This world-famous playwright wrote, between 1564 and 1616, 154 sonnets, 38 plays and lots of other writings. We watched the movie to get the main story and to decrease the struggles with the Shakespeareian language. After the division of the roles, rehearsals began. Besides enjoying Christmas with my family, was Winter Break for a time of learning lines. Increasing my level of English was easy, since new English  vocabulary came to me with every line.

As my fellow theatre students and I came back on campus at the beginning of January, we dived into the story of the wizard Prospero. Next to acting we also took production roles on our shoulders. With the production roles, we used every quality of all the ensemble members, and we learned how to organize a theatre show as a whole. Together with my friend Ulrikke, I organized the publicity of the show. We did everything to get our audience together, including designing a poster and organizing a Living Statue publicity stunt. Since I had done a Living Statue piece before, I gave a presentation about this type of street theatre, in which I talked about inter alia Tablau Vivant. It was my way of making the audience curious. Other students on campus saw Shakespeare coming to life with all those characters in beautiful surroundings, including the castle and the mountains. For her production role, Kristen searched for all the music and sound elements we used in the play. More and more art students got involved as the shape became clear. The students of the IB dance classes took care of the dancing and the movements on stage, while the students of the IB visual art painted the backdrop and other decorative elements. The tech crew got called on for the lighting, the music, and the sound. Stage management helped with changing the stage between scenes. One speech got recorded in the recording studio of UWC-USA and students from the filmmaking CAS took photos and film. In those ways, this production of The Tempest became a really interdisciplinary production.

Good cooperation is more than relevant in this situation, in which lots of people in different areas are needed in order to make the show happen. Communication between all these areas is very important. Through Facebook and e-mail we contacted each other in high frequency. But above all, the late visits in each others rooms made this production strong.

Speaking about the different areas involved in the production: Scientifically proven is that a workplace is necessarily composed of individuals. But these individuals need to work together in positive ways to perform to its full potential. So, good cooperation is required for the release of synergy. Synergy is the interaction of multiple elements in a system to produce an effect different from or greater than the sum of their individual effects. It also works in the other way; Creative teamwork maximizes individuals’ strengths and minimizes their weaknesses, leading to a workplace that is efficient, dynamic and productive. So, if the cooperation is good, the skills of the individuals get better.

All in all, through their reactions the audience lets us know that the synergy worked in our group. After the show we walked into the audience, where friends and fellow students ran up to us to hug us. I love the feeling of connectedness between all people involved, including audience. Wonderful it feels to know that tomorrow there will be another show… But first a party to celebrate.


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