Collaborative Wider School Community Project

Dandenong High School – Deakin University – Fusion Theatre

Deakin University has a strong partnership with our school and has opened up students to many valuable opportunities. I was contacted by one of the Drama educators, Jo Raphael, from Deakin University, to get some dance students together for a Collaborative Project. This project involved current dance and drama education students from Deakin University, as well as some of our Year 9 and Year 10 dance students to work with Fusion Theatre – a theatre group made up of people with learning disabilities.

During Term Three, on Wednesday 4th September, Jo along with the Deakin University students came to our school to meet the students involved. It was an opportunity to discuss any apprehensions the students were feeling in what was a very different experience for them. It was also an opportunity to play around with various movement exercises that the students would participate in with the Fusion Theatre members.

The dance students and myself then went along to two workshops with Fusion Theatre at the Community Arts Centre in Dandenong on Wednesday 11th & 18th of September. It was an absolute pleasure to see relationships formed between our students and the Fusion Theatre members, working together in a creative way, where the differences in abilities ceased to exist. On the last workshop students had been so touched by the overall experience that there were some tears of sadness to leave. We ended with group performances, demonstrating how far everyone had come in such a short period of time. This relationship is definitely something we are looking at continuing in the years ahead.

As a result, one of the Deakin University students used all of the recorded footage to create a movie about the experience. You can watch this below.

Rita Costabile

Performing Arts Subject Leader