True Dare Kiss or Promise

Semester 1 of 2017-2018 

See what an 8 week program looks like at the ISTA Academy Shanghai 

Week One is the first session of Semester 1 2017-2018 got underway in the weekend.

We have 19 students from 6 schools across Shanghai attending this semester.


After a great first session of 'Ice Breakers', warm up and trust excercises, the students were given their Stimulus for the Semesters work "Things we Know to be True". 


With this and some exploration created by Mr Rui, the ideas for our creation began, and were flowing.


See some of the pictures from week 1 here.


Week 2 was again full of excitement and the students got to explore things to do with space, awareness of the stage and movement within this space.

They learned how to incorporate safe and effective lifting techniques in their theatre. It is also a great way to further gain each other's trust and feel comfortable around each other. 

With the help of all of our ISTA Shanghai practitioners, they are getting a taste of all forms covered in the course Drama, Music, Theatre Tech and Movement.

Here are a few pictures from week 2.


Week 3 has already come and gone, and we are really starting to see a group evolve into a great team.

On Saturday the group separated into the four main disciplines,




-Theatre Tech

They were given a stimulus subject and split into the four groups, given an hour and a half and rejoined one another in the theatre to share what they have come up with.

After each performance, song, movement and theatre tech display they got to share ideas with one another about what the performance meant, things that appealed to them and ways they could incorporate things from one anothers display into things they did themselves.

It has been great seeing this group grow.

Here are a few pictures from week 3


Week 4 has been and gone already and we have made a ton of progress with the team and they are continually growing together.

As always warm ups are important to get everyone up and warm.

We broke into groups again this session and with more stimulus on our topic they created more pieces that are the foundations to build on for our final performance on December 9.


The only exception is they got together earlier so that they could be incorporate themselves in one another pieces and learn how to build these pieces together.

A lot of great things evolving from the team and they continue to come up with a lot of great ideas.

Here are a few pictures from week 4


After a week off for rest for the students and our practitioners having personal development courses, we hit the ground running for Week 5.


We now have a title for our culminating performance.


           True Dare Kiss or Promise 


As we near closer to our performance date December 9 @ 2pm things are really ramping up with devising material.

Given nothing but a chair each, they were put in pairs and had 15 minutes to come up with a movement sequence which they performed.

Using movement in getting on to the stage and then clearing the stage for the next act to get on and do their piece being the key.

Next was a group exercise where they were given a bed and freedom to create their own stories from dreams that they had.

The groups created some great pieces from their stories of dreams which included movement within the limited space on the bed, improvised text that they devised from their own ideas as well as the use of sound, lighting and the gauze set up.

The creativity of this group is growing by the day and are looking forward to getting back into it for this week 6.

With the title now in place these last 2 weeks have been about exploring the title and coming up with ideas for content for the performance.

Truths, Dares, Kisses and Promises and what they all meant to everyone.

Exploring a truth or something that you have believed to be true but actually isn't, or telling the truth after initially telling a lie.

Doing a dare or a movement that could be a little dangerous.

A kiss, whether it be a kiss goodnight from Mum and Dad or your first kiss with someone you like.

And Promises, what a promise actually is. is it a promise to do the dishes before you have a shower or a promise to not hurt someone.

All of these things were explored in week 6 and 7 as a way to stimulate the young minds to come up with pieces of drama, songs , movements within drama or even a lighting effect or projection.

We are now in the final week of the 8 week course and it has been amazing to watch the students grow together, they are looking forward too not only the final session but also put all of their learning to work in the final performance at 2pm in the Orsini theatre at WISS Shanghai.

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And that is a wrap.

The last of our 8 weeks led us into the culminating performance which saw our Academy put on the show True, Dare, Kiss or Promise? for around 100 of the students family, friends, and guests including our local ISTA Shanghai patron Mr Michael Lueveno, and WISS director Mr Greg Brunton.

The last morning was combination of putting together the things we have learned in the last 7 saturdays, creating a structure for the performance and putting in the final touches to polish it off, and also still devising.

Once the morning was over the team had a break, then it was back into the theatre for a very quick run through of everything, then it was showtime.

In true ISTA Shanghai style the performance was actually the first time that the students had run through all of what they have learned and what a show they put together. So along with the audience we got to see the show in its entirety for the first time together

We are so very proud of all that the students have accomplished in their time with us this semester. The way they not only grew but grew together and the way they did not hold themselves back in any way to let everything out was very rewarding to witness. The whole show was a reflection of them, with only guidance from our practitioners and slight tweaks here and there, this show was totally theirs, the movements, the songs, the theatre tech and the drama pieces were all thought of and written by the students as a collective.

With that all said it is time to wrap up the semester one course and freshen up over the Christmas and New Year break with family and friends and get ready to crack into the next one in early March next year.

I hope you have enjoyed following our journey this semester and please keep an eye on the website for all thats happening in the ISTA Performing Arts Academy Shanghai.

Until next time we would like to wish you all the best.