First rehearsal of this year’s Secondary Production, “This Too Shall Pass”

Posted by Carla Acepcion

On Wednesday 22nd of August, an amazing total of over 60 students came together for our first rehearsal of this year’s Secondary production, “This Too Shall Pass”. We are very excited to have so many students across years 7-13 participating. Signed up as cast and crew, all the students started on stage, getting to know the space and learning to work together as an exciting beginning to a great project



Unlike previous years, “This Too Shall Pass” will be a totally original,

student-devised production centred around the idea of what it means and feels like to be a teenager.

Already, a few songs and script ideas have been submitted which we’re excited to listen to and read.

This rehearsal focussed on working as an ensemble and awareness of self, others and space. We then looked at the specifics of tempo, duration, grid work, repetition and imitation.

We look forward to seeing what direction the production will take!

SAVE THE DATE: October 30th, 31st and November 1st at 7pm.



Helen Barnett of Trestle Theatre Co. leads Trestle Mask Workshop at DC

Posted by Carla Acepcion

On Thursday 7 June, DC was exceptionally lucky to be able to host Helen Barnett, a workshop leader and actor from Trestle Theatre company, UK. Trestle has been a leading theatre company since the 80’s, specialising in mask work performances and even producing their own range of masks. Almost every Drama department around the world owns a box of these magical masks, and we are no exception. ESF Drama staff had the opportunity to train with Helen for a day, in a staff professional development day, and to complete our curriculum unit on mask work, Helen ran workshops with all the students in Year 8.

The students worked on identifying the emotions of the mask, creating characters physically, clocking the audience, and even attempted counter-mask (where you can change the perception of the emotion on the mask through using your body)! The students had a great time and learned much to take back into our unit of inquiry.

Many thanks to Helen, who was a fun and engaging workshop leader.


Year 11s Work with Jockey Club Sarah Roe School for First Ever Theatre-in-Education Unit

Posted by Carla Acepcion

Traditionally at the end of Year 11, students have worked on performing a play in the last term of the school year. However, we felt that this was too insular and that the students would benefit more from practising theatre directly in the community we are a part of.

Theatre-in-Education (TIE) is a term coined in the 60’s and typically includes a theatre company performing in an educational setting (i.e. a school) for youth, including interactive and performative moments. TIE seeks to educate young people on issues that are relevant to both them and their communities, for example; bullying, environmental preservation, and peer conflict resolution.

So, this year we incorporated a new unit, with our Year 11 Drama class entirely focussed on TIE.

In collaboration with colleagues at Jockey Club Sarah Roe School (JCSRS) we built a new unit of learning which focusses on our DC students creating, performing and supporting original theatre works specifically designed for a young special needs audience, set into the current JCSRS learning unit of inquiry. The unit was focussed on the environment and had themes of ‘reduce, reuse and recycle’, and our responsibility to help the planet.

Our year 11 students researched the relevant issues, explored similar materials for the allocated age groups and then, in groups, created a short play with accompanying activity to support the learning.


On the 5th of June, our two Year 11 Drama classes culminated the TIE unit with a trip to JCSRS to perform nine pieces of theatre and run their activities with across the age groups of 5-19. As our ESF sister school, the students at JCSRS all have complex learning needs, and yet all love Drama as much as our students do! Our students did a great job, and learned so much from the process. Their empathy, friendliness and teaching skills were heartwarming to watch, and the students at JCSRS all loved the performances and interaction with our students.

In response to the feedback received from the students, Holly Mannings, the arts coordinator at JCSRS, and I have decided this was a great unit of collaboration, and the community engagement aspect was truly valuable for both sets of students. While the performances and activities were great, these were in groups, so while students were not on stage, there was little for them to do other than watch each other. Holly and I are already thinking of ways we can make more efficient use of the time we spend at JCSRS during the day, by having our DC students spend more time with specific classes, experience the Sensory Integration Room, and perhaps assist in the Living skills room or in the cafe run by their students. But for a first run, we are very pleased with the outcome of this unit – and as always I couldn’t be prouder of my year 11 Drama students!


– Danielle Veilleux


















Lower Secondary Production 2018: ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ by Alan Ayckbourn.

Posted by Carla Acepcion

On the 3rd of May, the Lower secondary production was performed three times in one day, to a lively and engaged audience. Our first audience during the official dress rehearsal were year 4 primary students, who cheered and laughed along with Ernie’s imaginings, while the afternoon and evening performances were to students, parents and staff attending, who were almost as enthusiastic as the youngest of year 4!

Audiences smiled at the grandmother being rescued by the helicopter, whooped the knockout count  of the boxer defeated by 68-year-old Aunty May, and gripped the edge of their seats as Mr Fraser rescued the librarian with the broken leg from the top of a mountain, and everyone tapped their feet to the glorious music of the infectious marching band that marched out of the doctor’s office.

What wonderful performances the cast and crew put on! Although they made it look easy, there was a total of more than 18 contact hours with students in rehearsal and production meetings, and doubtless many more hours of line learning and setting up required out of these times. Parents have supported us throughout the process, and without their tireless encouragement for the students, we couldn’t have done it.  


All students involved were from years 7–9, and several students were performing or holding production roles for the first time, and they took their responsibilities very seriously. As a result, the stage crew helped all to run smoothly, the lights and sound created the perfect atmosphere and the students on stage performed superbly and really owned their work. The play is truly that of the students and we, as a Drama department, are so proud of them all.


We hope to see all students carry these great collaborative skills on into future productions!

Well done, with hearts from your Director,

Mrs V


From the audience:


I would like to say that it was an absolute delight to see the children really enjoying and relishing the freedom theprocess – I don’t think that you can ask for more than that as a parent. Thanks to all for putting in the hours to bring these kids together and looking forward to the next production. A great achievement!


We truly enjoyed the show yesterday!!! Well done for the teachers, crew and kids! I am Luiza’s mom and I must say she had a great time! But what stroke me is that all of them were really truly enjoying the moment and that created an engagement in the audience that was noticeable.

Thank you so much for an excellent show! We watched it twice and I agree with you when you say that the kids thoroughly enjoyed every second of it. Thank you for igniting and nurturing a passion for Drama in Caleb…he was in his element!

Just wanting to say a big thank-you for the show earlier this month. It really had a lot of punch! I loved the interactive nature and there was action here there everywhere – so thank-you and I know everyone appreciates the work of the DC teachers – working back late on projects such as this.




What I liked most about the production was seeing everything fall into place, from us performing on stage, to us doing it in the round, I also really liked how everything changed from us just reading the script, to acting them out – Kayden Lau, Ensemble


What I most liked about the production was how everyone (crew and cast) worked so well together and everyone enjoyed acting in this production, all of the practice time really did pay off for the performance. I felt like everyone was so supportive of one and other and everyone was so proud, even our parents, and we all put so much effort into this play. I enjoyed it and I think everyone did. – Isabelle Mexted


The thing I liked most about the production is getting to see what it is like backstage because this is the first time that I have been in a school play and also getting to make new friends because we get to talk to new people from different years.

– Becky Edwards



Celebrating Last Term’s Achievements: A Glimpse into Our Lively Department

Posted by Carla Acepcion

Welcome back! Spring break is over and today marks the beginning of term 3 – how time flies! This term is not a long one, but we look forward to the many performances, workshops and events we have coming up with it. But first, here’s a recap of our last term:

All year 7 students enjoyed a 2-hour workshop with Faust, focussed on stage fighting at the start of March. Matt and Ronja from Faust International Youth theatre company, joined us for two full days of teaching the students slapping, punching, choking and hair pulling, all for a fun way to explore stage fighting their next violent performances! The kids were superbly behaved, listened attentively and were highly engaged in a safe and fun way. They were so good at fighting realistically that we gave them stern warnings not to scare their teachers and parents with these moves around school or at home!

















We hosted two evenings of Year 9 Duologue performances where all year 9 Drama students worked in pairs on an excerpt of a published play text; they memorised their lines, developed their characters and staged the piece themselves with lights, sound and set. Congratulations to all years ( students on an excellent debut to public performances -you all did a superb job!! The evenings went smoothly with some great acting, smooth transitions and fabulous engagement from all. We’re so proud to see how far you’ve come this year!

















Year 10 Drama students have been studying Frantic Assembly, a UK theatre company known for their physical language and moving human pieces of strong, emotional theatre. Students created their own theatre based on this style, incorporating chair duets, standing duets, and monologues into their personal creations. These were performed to an invited audience over the space of two evening performances and all left with a feeling of amazement at the students’ creativity and professional development. Well done to all Year 10 students on their penultimate performance of the year.















Our wonderful Year 13 Diploma Theatre students performed their final component of the course, the Solo performances. Formed with research into a theatre practitioner, students show how they can apply a theatre practice to either a published play or a piece of their own creation. We had amazing performances to a live audience, based on Artaud, La Page, Wilson and Craig, with foci on set, lighting, projections and emotional response. A huge congratulations for the completion of the course -they have the final paperwork to submit, but their work here is done! We wish them all the best in their bright and shining futures!

The Hong Kong Arts Festival is an amazing opportunity to see a range of great professional performances by theatre companies from all over the globe. This year we teamed up with Young Friends organization to be able to offer students the chance to see a minimum of two performances for a ridiculously reduced price. All of year 10 went to see a rehearsal of Whipped Cream by the American Theatre Ballet, while all year 11 students went to see National Theatre’s award-winning production of The Curious Incident of The Dog in the Night-time, after they had a workshop at school on the play, led by a Young Friends leader. All students had the opportunity to join in with a further four theatre trips; Bosch Dreams, two viewings of The Pursuit of Happiness, and The Suppliant Women.































ISTA stands for the International Schools Theatre Association, a global educational theatre company with strong links to the IB, and they have recently established a base in Hong Kong. Last weekend they celebrated 40 years of school festivals, and Hong Kong Academy hosted 80 students from 9 schools in Hong Kong for their 2-day festival titled ‘Come Together’. We had 6 DC students participate, from both primary and secondary, and in the space of a day and a half they created an incredible, fully formed production for an audience. This experience never fails to amaze me -the students start working with kids they’ve never met before, and led by ensemble leaders they create the most visual and physical work that, under the guidance of an Artistic director, is formed into a dynamic performance with lights, sound, projections, and even a live band accompaniment! Well done to these students who dedicate their entire weekend to this festival -you did a fantastic job, and you are true artists in the making! I know for a fact you each loved this festival and will be sure to join future events – I look forward to going with you!
























So these are all the main events we have seen happen this eventful March, but all have happened alongside the continuation of the regular events, like classes and Lower secondary production rehearsals twice a week. The production is coming along nicely – as a Director my aim to is to give the students involved as much ownership over this play as I can -and their ideas have continued to pour in, demonstrating how innovative and creative these wonderful students are. This is going to be a great show! I would like to offer family and friends the opportunity to walk into any of our rehearsals to see how we work. You are always welcome -only please realise you are letting yourself into spoiler alerts!! In any case, we look forward to welcoming you to one of the shows held on the 3rd of May. We know you’ll think it’s ‘incredible’!

All of the events in the Theatre and Drama studios lead to a lot of mess, so this term we are starting up our brand new after-school club of ‘Stage managers galore’. Every Tuesday a dedicated group of volunteers come to tidy and manage the rooms, props, costumes and spaces we use for Drama. Thank you to those who signed up! The students who show dedication and commitment to DC secondary theatre have the greatest chance of becoming a DC Drama captain in the future. Each year we have one student from year 11 chosen to work with the captain from year 12 to run our events. Drama captains manage the spaces, run lights and sound at evening and daytime performances, support the Secondary school productions, and led a whole host of events. We are very grateful for the dedicated work of our current captains; Leticia and Csende – Thank you!!!!

This term we welcome a workshop for Y8 students by the world-renowned UK theatre company, Trestle. This company makes and performs with masks, and as well as a teacher workshop, DC is inviting the actors to lead a workshop for our year 8 students, coinciding perfectly with their unit of learning on Masks.

Year 11 are launching a brand new Drama unit this year. Replacing the performance of a full-length play, this unit will be deeply embedded in our community of ESF schools. Our year 11 students are creating their own pieces of theatre, supported by an activity, to bring to Jockey Club Sarah Roe school as Theatre in Education. JCSRS is our ESF sister school for differently abled children, who have special learning needs. Our students have studied Sarah Roe’s unit plan of ‘We are the World’ and they have designed theatre pieces which complement the inquiry of their target audiences, even creating an activity to play with their audience to support the performance of their play. Students will be taken to JCSRS on the 5th of June, and I am sure both our students and JCSRS students will enjoy and benefit greatly from this unit of learning. I am really looking forward to these pieces!

Thanks to all the commitment and enthusiasm of all our Drama kids – you are helping to grow this department and making us shine brightly as the stars we all are! We look forward to sharing with you again soon!

Drama Captain’s Column #3: Csende Balogh on House Drama

Posted by Carla Acepcion

House Drama

On the 6th of February, Secondary students were given a chance to participate in House Drama, a competition in which students from years 7 to 13 were challenged to quickly create a short piece and perform it. The students were split into two groups and were provided with an object that would have to be the focus of their piece. The performers were also required to include three tableaux and two spoken thoughts. With only nine minutes to create the piece, both groups worked quickly and ended up creating two very contrasting performances. Many of the Houses had to be mixed to create even teams, but it was eventually decided that Purple House had won.

by Csende Balogh

DC Drama Students Participate in ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime’ Workshop

Posted by Carla Acepcion

The annual Hong Kong Arts festival provides our community with the opportunity to see some great theatrical productions.

This year, our DC Drama students from years 10, 11, 12 and 13 will have the chance to attend five productions at the festival, through our new partnership with Young Friends of the Hong Kong Arts Festival. This is a local organisation which promotes theatre experiences for schools and young people in Hong Kong, offering various programmes and events such as ‘Meet the Artist’ opportunities, open rehearsals, backstage tours and masterclasses to encourage and nurture students’ appreciation and passion for the arts. This partnership means we have reduced rates for tickets, and, aside from seeing some great performances, our students will also attend a rehearsal for a production; giving them a chance to see how professional troupes prepare, as well as a workshop in connection with one of the productions.

On the 14th of March, we will be taking all out year 11, 12 and 13 Drama students to a performance of the play, ‘The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime’. Winner of five Tony Awards® and seven Oliviers including Best Play, Best Design, and Best Director this thrilling production from Britain’s National Theatre has been hailed by The Times as “a phenomenal combination of storytelling and spectacle.

“15-year-old Christopher Boone has an extraordinary brain, exceptional at maths while ill-equipped to interpret everyday life. He has never ventured alone beyond the end of his road, he detests being touched and he distrusts strangers. When Christopher falls under suspicion of killing his neighbour’s dog, his detective work to identify the true culprit takes him on a frightening journey that turns his world upside down. The Curious Incident is a story about all of us, a story about difference, about seeing the world in a surprising and revealing way.”

Hong Kong Arts Festival Programme Information

To prepare for this production, our Year 11 and 12 students received a workshop focussed on the play, led by Emily from Young Friends of the Hong Kong Arts Festival, on the 5th of February. In two groups, our students explored the theme of marginalisation and how differences between people should be celebrated, not merely tolerated, based on interactions with the main character from the play. They worked through various devising activities and games; Emily did some fantastic Teacher-in-role acting, and the students worked on improvising a range of responses to the character of Christopher. Through a workshop of only one hour, each student from both groups transformed their initial negative responses into a deeper understanding and true empathy for the character, which was mesmerising to watch.

This workshop will give our students a far greater understanding of the play when we go to see it on the 14th of March, and definitely more empathy for the main character. Not only is this useful for appreciating the production, but this also sets our students up beautifully for their next unit in year 11, where they will design and create a piece of theatre especially for students at the Jockey Club Sarah Roe School; our ESF sister school for students with severe learning needs, many of whom also live their lives through the lens of Autism,  just like our main character Christopher.


A snippet from Monday; Year 11s and 12s received a workshop on "The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime"

Posted by ESF Discovery College Theatre on 2018年2月7日

Another snippet from the workshop on 'The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Nighttime' last Monday, 5th Feb. So great to see how caring and compassionate our Year 11s and 12s are!

Posted by ESF Discovery College Theatre on 2018年2月12日

Drama Captain’s Column #2: Csende Balogh on Year 8 Drama

Posted by Csende Balogh

Year 8 Drama

Following a unit on Espionage in which they explored the creation of suspense and tension, the Year 8s currently have a short unit on different acting techniques. Basic techniques such as the use of voice, using the space, movement, walking the room, tableaux, and creating ensemble and confidence are being practised, with the terms used for stage geography also being recapped. After this current unit, the Year 8’s will be starting a unit titled “Starting Points”. During this unit, the students will be studying the many ways that theatre is created when devising. This can be with verbal and physical offers, object theatre (using objects to create a theatrical piece or characters), spontaneous improvisation, or a simple script that must then be developed further to create a story. It may also involve the use of stimuli, such as music, pictures, or poetry. By the end of the unit, the students will be performing their own devised scenes to an audience.


by Csende Balogh

Dewi Hughes leads Year 10s in a workshop on ‘Using Your Voice Effectively’

Posted by Carla Acepcion

On January 25th, we had Dewi Hughes visit us to lead three Year 10 Drama classes through a workshop on ‘Using Your Voice Effectively’: running a marathon demands physical fitness, and if you earn your living through speaking, you need to be vocally fit. In this workshop students explored fun and easy routes to vocal fitness. Students learned how to speak over background noise without strain, and found out how their voices could attract the attention of the listener. Students also learnedpractical exercises to give their voices stamina, to meet the challenges of the professional voice user.  

Dewi graduated with an English Literature BA (UCL) in 1991. He has been working in and around theatre ever since, appearing in many productions in London, on tour and at Edinburgh fringe. He graduated from Central School in 1994 with an MA in Voice Studies, since when he has worked in many drama schools, including LAMDA and Drama Centre, and is currently Head Of Voice at Drama Studio London.

Year 10 Workshop: 'Using Your Voice Effectively' by Dewi Hughes

Yesterday, Dewi Hughes led our Year 10 drama classes in a workshop on 'Using Your Voice Effectively', a skill applicable to anyone!

Posted by ESF Discovery College Theatre on 2018年1月25日


We would love to hear from you! If you would like to submit a review or other content please email:

Danielle Veilleux, Head of Drama:
Paul McCracken, Drama Teacher:
Carla Acepcion, Performing Arts

Auditions: ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’

Posted by Carla Acepcion

Calling all Year 7 – 9 DC students! Auditions for this year’s lower secondary production, ‘Ernie’s Incredible Illucinations’ by Alan Ayckbourn will take place on Wednesday, February 7th after school. Auditions are only open to students in Y7 – 9, but students participating in the technical crew may be in higher years.


Calling: Year 7 – 9
Date: February 7th 2018
Time: 3:30PM – 4:30PM
Venue: Discovery College Theatre

Click here to sign up for auditions or to join the technical crew.

If you have any questions, please email Ms. V at





We would love to hear from you! If you would like to submit a review or other content please email:

Danielle Veilleux, Head of Drama:
Paul McCracken, Drama Teacher:
Carla Acepcion, Performing Arts