It was an amazing week in November for Ariel’s Othellos drama students from Burgess Hill, Crawley and East Grinstead and their Buddies who assist them with drama.
Not only did all students take to the stage at Chequer Mead, East Grinstead, for their annual showcase, but the Othellos Buddies were awarded the Best Volunteer Group at the West Sussex County Times Community Awards, which took place on November 16 at Horsham’s Capitol.
At the showcase on November 22 the audience were treated to a diverse range of performances, which allowed the students to show their prowess in the disciplines of acting, singing and dance.
A drama piece based on Little Red Riding Hood was both imaginative and engaging, with a comedic feel throughout.
Singing is something the Othellos students love and musical theatre pieces included the well-known ‘Ease on Down the Road’ from the Wiz.
Dance highlights started with the show opener ‘Dance With Me Tonight, which featured the whole cast of 131 students and their buddies.
The complex ‘Dance Off’ demonstrated a wide range of street dance styles using a large ensemble of students, while ‘Elastic Heart’ was an atmospheric number performed by a smaller group.
Nearly stealing the show was four-legged star Olly – a Labradoodle who demonstrated how Othello students had been learning how to train and interact with him.
Ariel director and founder Nicci Hopson said: “Our Othellos buddy system is an incredible way to enable our special needs students to access all forms of performance work in a fun, inclusive and creative way.
“Without these young volunteers, who give up their time every week we could not obtain the high standard of work we do at Ariel. We are all extremely proud to receive this award and we hope that this awareness will bring us new students and help us to expand our Othellos, so we can provide this experience to other children and young adults across Sussex.”
A new Othellos class for students aged 16+ starts on January 7 at the Kings Centre, Burgess Hill. For details contact Ariel on 01444 250407.
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