THE KUCOM YOUTH DRAMA GROUP
Established in January 2019, the Kucom Youth Drama Group meets every Wednesday, from 6:30 to 7:30 at Kucom Theatre, 1 Snow Wright Court, Andergrove. Wednesday was chosen because during productions Tuesday, Thursday and Sundays are the traditional rehearsal days, and Saturday is often used for working bees. Wednesdays are the least affected by holidays in a term, and the later time should suit those who need to travel to get there.
Students should wear clothes that will allow them to move freely and participate in all activities. Something similar to what is required for a sports uniform for school would be good.
Students must wear closed-in shoes. This is just a safety precaution in case hazards might exist (the theatre will have many changes to the stage and audience set up through the year as productions bump in and out. A routine check for any hazards left behind will be made at the start of any class when changes are noted). Some activities will be done in socks or bare feet but only after we have declared the working space safe.
Students will require a notebook and writing instruments. They will be asked to take notes of things they need to tell parents or topics they may be asked to research between classes. They also will be given handouts from time to time that will need to be kept somewhere safe. Any notebook or folder the student is comfortable working with will do.
Students will require a thick towel or yoga mat at least for the first 5 lessons. We will be starting classes with relaxation activities, similar to what is done in yoga classes. Relaxation is an important preparation ‘tool’ for an actor, can be used as an introduction to voice training, and is an excellent all round life skill.
Eisteddfod: while the Drama Group is not specifically for training individual students to enter the Eisteddfod, in the second term each student will select individual poems and character pieces to help us work on voice control and characterisation. The student and parent/guardian may want to use those items to enter the Eisteddfod and might have to do so during Term 2 when entries close. We will be looking at a class group item for term 3 which we could enter in the Eisteddfod.
Eventually, students will require more ‘formal’ stage clothes when we put on performances. They will be asked to participate in club nights and any other suitable opportunities that might come up through the year. For the moment all they need is a black tee shirt, track pants or leotard, black socks and black slippers. These clothes are particularly suited to mime performances which we will be looking at in Term 1. Anything more elaborate will be sorted out as we go along and will depend on the performance we are preparing for.
If you know of anyone who has:
offcuts of materials, particularly primary colours and bits of gold and silver (they can make excellent costumes in class improvisations)
various hats that might suit character improvisations
old toys that might be used as props during improvisations
we would appreciate anything you could provide.
Group Drama Class for students in years 7 - 12
6:30 – 7:30pm at Kucom Theatre
Cost is $50 per term.
For enrolment details, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org
KUCOM YOUTH DRAMA CLASS TEACHER
Joe Clutterbuck, B.Sc. (Hons), B.Ed, ATCL
Joe first got involved with drama while at university in the very early '70s while still at home in Canada. University drama students ran summer programs to further develop their own courses which provided opportunities for science students like him to get involved. He graduated from Brock University in Canada in 1973 with an Honours degree in Biology and continued on to Queens University where he completed a Bachelor of Education degree specialising in Science. An opportunity to come to Australia in 1974 and teach provided not only travel but also a chance to become involved with the Emerald Arts Council productions for several years. 1979 saw a transfer to Mackay North State High School, where he remained a teacher until his retirement in 2008.
Once in Mackay, involvement with the then Kudos Theatre in the plays Inherit the Wind (1980) and The Man from Muckinupin (1982) provided Joe the opportunity to meet and marry his wife Anne. He was involved in the Committee in the early days when it was decided to convert the old clubhouse in Shakespeare Street into a performance venue, and actually proposed to his wife during the run of Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! (1983), one of the early successes in this new venue. Joe became involved in most aspects of theatre as Kudos merged with Mackay Community Theatre to become Kucom. These included acting, stage lighting (with a special course provided by Elisa Shepherd through TAFE back in the '80s), and set construction, among other jobs.
1981 Joe began directing musicals at Mackay North State High School working with Mrs Kathryn George as the music director: Bye Bye Birdie, Calamity Jane, The Wiz to open the North High Community Hall in 1984 (the year his eldest son Ben was born), and a spectacular production of Grease (said by some attending reviewers to rival the then current NY production) were among the 10 or so musicals that were very successfully produced. Also in 1984 Joe achieved an ATCL* (teacher of drama) through MacGregor’s Speech and Drama School (a local Mackay drama school) and taught Theatre and Drama at the high school for a number of years, and at Theatre Arts Mackay until 2000. While at Mackay North he also trained students to work backstage and use the theatre lighting. He returned to acting in 2006 in Kucom’s The Memory of Water and helped out with lighting and sound for The Carer (2008) and many plays since then.
In 2012, Joe took on the role of President of Kucom following the sudden death of former President, Sue Stock, earlier that year. While in that position he oversaw the acquisition of the lease on the land in Snow Wright Court. He stepped back a bit when it came to designing the building and putting it up, but got involved again with the Committee as they worked towards outfitting the theatre space and making the new Kucom Theatre something all of Mackay can be proud of. He has recently been re-elected President of Kucom for 2020.
Since retiring from the Department of Education, while continuing to do relief teaching, Joe has cut back quite a bit on the early days even though relief teachers are in high demand. He has remained a registered teacher and holds a Positive Exemption Card (Blue Card) #727412/2.
Now that the new theatre is up and running, Kucom has introduced Drama Classes for high school students in an effort to revive the Youth Theatre program so that young people and their parents can be involved in the ‘New Kucom’, as it develops further into a true community theatre that encourages all performance art opportunities whenever they arise.
*ATCL: Associate, Trinity College, London