The Class Menagerie: Applecross Senior High plan in running for award

Samantha Burt, Ella O'Leany, Daniel de Lima and Lizzy Stenning from year 10 drama.
Samantha Burt, Ella O'Leany, Daniel de Lima and Lizzy Stenning from year 10 drama.

AN Applecross Senior High School play that re-imagines the playground as a jungle is in the running for the Act-Belong-Commit YOH Fest drama title.

Created by a Year 10 class, the performance responds to the health theme ‘resilience’ and examines the wide variety of cliques, or animals, that students encounter in the modern schoolyard.

MORE: Applecross Senior High School named best poetic high school in the country

Drama and dance teacher Angela Zaknich said the play’s title, The Class Menagerie, was a play on words.

“The students latched on to the idea of the playground as a jungle with the various different groups represented by different animals,” she said.

“They used improvisation to explore different scenes revolving around things like bullying in groups and peer pressure.

“Finally they devised a character called Dr Anthony Morphism, who guides the audience through a day in the life of a student in the school as they encounter the different animals and deal with the group dynamics in search of resilience.”

Earlier this year, Applecross SHS performed the 20-minute piece in front of a live audience, with judges ranking the play among the top eight in WA.

YOH Fest chief executive Rhys Williams said this year’s entries had been the best he had seen in the project’s 19 years.

“These performances are offering a real insight into the issues our young people are facing in our communities and by listening to them and watching these performances, we can begin to make change,” he said.

“Most importantly, YOH Fest is about sharing these stories to help build understanding, so we’re encouraging family and friends to come and show their support.”

The YOH Fest Grand Final takes place at the Mandurah Performing Arts Centre on October 28 and 29.