Could you write, compose, choreograph, practice and stage a production in only 5 mornings? The children of three2Six did!
From 22 – 26 April MindBurst Workshop working together with Minimax Performing Arts facilitated 150 refugee children to develop and stage their own musical theatre production from scratch. High school volunteers, practicing musicians and 4 volunteers from Australia, assisted them.
MindBurst had met with the children two weeks before the programme to workshop the storyline. Half the children wanted a story about refugees facing challenge sin Johannesburg. The other half wanted a story about superheroes. After much delicate negotiation we decided to merge both ideas into one. Having the storyline before we started the programme helped us to identify potential moments for songs. With the exception of one Michael Jackson song that the children would not let go of, they wrote and choreographed all the songs themselves, with minimal assistance. In between some of the group performances the lead actors performed short dramatic scenes that wove all the performances together into one adventure. This was their proud creation.
We were especially grateful to Minimax Performing Arts for their patience and enthusiasm. They usually come to workshops with a pre-prepared musical that the school has agreed to. This was the first time they worked with children to do everything from scratch.
You can call us dogs. You can drive us to the streets. You can beat us. You can refuse us opportunities. But we will stand up and show you who we really are.
We don’t need your permission to be the best we can be.
We want to say to all South Africans. We are here to stay. We come with open hearts. We are wiling to learn and willing to work. We love this country and just like you we want to make it a better place for everybody.
– An extract from the script to a musical theatre production developed by refugee children between the ages of 6 and 13, participating in the Three2Six Education Project holiday programme in 2014