Mater Dei College student perform play examining domestic violence issues

Erin Robinson, Claudia Siciliano, Shanae Castagna, Laura Ferron and Nicole Faro rehearsing.
Erin Robinson, Claudia Siciliano, Shanae Castagna, Laura Ferron and Nicole Faro rehearsing.

MATER Dei College Year 10 drama students are set to perform The Suitcase Is Full this month to examine issues around power and abuse in relationships.

The students have tackled head-on the topical issue of domestic and relationship violence and follows a 10-week program led by Constable Care Child Safety Foundation’s youth arm, Theatrical Response Group (TRG).

The TRG team worked with students over a term, recognising the benefits of open dialogue and communication as an effective strategy to resolve youth problems, including social isolation, bullying and complex relationship abuse.

Facilitator Scott Corbett encouraged the students to discuss some of the key issues and challenges facing them and then they worked together to develop the performance.

“We’ve found that teachers are astounded by the openness and willingness of the students to discuss the challenging situations they often face, be it bullying and domestic violence or alcohol and drug abuse,” Mr Corbett said. “The students really enjoyed the whole process and are looking forward to performing for their friends and families.”

College drama teacher Maree Grayden said it was a relevant, worthwhile opportunity for life-long learning.

“When faced with a similar series of events, these students will have a new set of experiences and lines of dialogue they may put into play in a real life situation, to ensure a more positive and responsible choice in relation to teenage drinking,” she said.

The show, at 7pm in the school’s drama studio on September 24, was funded by WA Police and the City of Joondalup. For more about TRG, call 9272 0013 or danielle@ constablecare.org.au.