Students at Brocklehurst Middle School are busy putting the finishing touches on their upcoming production — a show that’s close to the performers’ hearts, considering they helped write it.
“It’s a collaborative creative work that we wrote ourselves,” said Tara Fairbrother, drama teacher and director of the production.
“The kids kind of act a little bit, and then other kids go and write the lines that they improvise, and then we improvise a little bit each day.”
And then, Fairbrother said, the script takes shape over time.
The show is called Tempus! which means “time” in Latin, and is about a man who tries to fix his life by travelling back in time to change a fateful decision that he made in middle school.
“But every single time he goes back, when he goes back to the future, it’s kind of different, and it’s not something that he really wanted,” Fairbrother said.
“So, then he has to keep trying to get it right.”
It might be a non-traditional approach to school theatre, but it’s an opportunity the students have come to appreciate.
After producing a show in a similar fashion two years ago, some students were disappointed by last year’s more traditional show.
“It’s kind of something that’s uniquely Brock right now, but the kids love it,” Fairbrother said.
“It’s more they’re driven to do it than my decision, so they’re really into it.”
Fairbrother has been teaching at Brock for three years after working at a high school, but she says the middle schoolers are doing work well beyond their years.
“When I get out together with my high school colleagues, they’re all, oh, eight and nines can’t do that,” she said.
“And I’m like, well, my eight and nines can.”
And that not only includes the work that the audience will see on stage, but all of the vital backstage work, too.
“They do all the changes, they’re back there by themselves,” she said.
“They do everything on their own. And it’s seven, eight, nine.”
The show, which they have been working on since October, will be on stage at Brocklehurst Middle School from May 8 to May 10 at 7 p.m. Tickets are $10 for adults and $7 for students and seniors and are available from the office or at the door.