Drama Students Learn from Artist-in-Residence Noa Rotem

This term, the Drama classrooms and co-curricular spaces have been illuminated by the expert presence of long-serving Artist-in-Residence, Noa Rotem. Noa is a director, performer and teacher trained in Physical Theatre. She has worked extensively in Australia, Hong Kong, Israel, France, the Philippines and America as a freelance artist and with companies such as The Human Theatre, The Danger Ensemble, Little Dove Theatre Art and Anne Bogart’s SITI Company (NYC).

Noa is a graduate of the Soma School of Body-Mind Centering (Paris), the University of Sydney and the Actor’s College. She is also a founding member of the WeMove ensemble, based in Northern New South Wales.

The School’s long-standing relationship with Noa commenced in 2008 when she was based in Israel. Her yearly visits to Australia for training workshops allowed BGGS to invite Noa into our classrooms. The enrichment for students and the joy of working with such an artist lead to a longer residency, and soon enough, Noa was travelling across the oceans exclusively to work with Girls Grammar.

Now based in Australia, Noa has worked with the School as Artist-in-Residence and as our guest director for the 2019 Senior Drama Production, Medea. We are privileged to continue this residency, and this term, Noa’s physical theatre training has enriched our Year 8 and 10 curriculum programs and the Drama Studio Co-curricular Program.

Year 8 girls studied stimulus images to devise choreographed movement sequences that express a theatrical ‘other world’. Noa provided workshops to complement the teacher-led activities to foster confidence in physical expression, while Year 10 students engaged in intense physical actor training for three weeks. This training develops students’ endurance and stamina alongside a sense of playfulness and impulsivity of movement. A composition process then sees students apply these skills to the devising of a Greek choral piece. Students are challenged and extended through this process, and the joy of creating is fostered through Noa’s warm directorial approach.

The residency extended to the Drama Studio Co-curricular Program, where Noa facilitated a five-week Physical Theatre Masterclass, The Body in Performance. Participants thrived on the challenges Noa set each week, helping them achieve incremental goals and emulating a professional rehearsal standard. The mainstream Drama Studio activity also benefited from Noa’s co-facilitation, a performance that the cast will present in an in-house showing in Week 9.

Noa brings a wealth of experience, creativity and professionalism and has enriched BGGS Drama students’ learning opportunities. We look forward to a continued relationship with this wonderful artist in the future.

Head of Drama, Mrs Katrina Riveros and Coordinator of Drama Productions, Mr Ben Dervish-Ali