Conservative Performance Request Form
Is the culture at your school extra conservative?
We want to make the show just right for you!
IMPORTANT: HUMOUR & TABOOS
We sometimes integrate jokes and humour that are a little taboo to make the children feel at ease and have jokes they understand and find funny – align with them at their own level, essentially. This maximises engagement and rapport, and ensures we have their attention for later in the show when we present the main message in terms of values education. Please discuss with us before the show if we might offend with this content so we can adapt to your culture.
Occasionally actors must go off-script for adlibs as all audiences are unique, so by knowing beforehand if you’re a conservative school, we can ensure adlibs are also kept within suitable boundaries. Pre-scripted humour includes very tame innuendo (eg. “you’re hot”), teacher inclusion/interaction (children love this), teasing/highlighting the villainy of the bad guy (what every kid dreams they had the courage to do, so they find it funny), the villain exhibiting bullying type behavior and name calling of ‘good’ characters (eg. ‘stupid’ or ‘idiot’), and some naughty kid level jokes similar to Andy Griffith’s “Bad Book” (fart/vomit/burp, that kinda thing) that has been seen as a great way to get kids to read – we use similar strategies.
IT IS IMPERATIVE THAT YOU TELL US BEFORE THE SHOW as we will not appreciate negative feedback if you don’t tell us about your culture! Also – no need to worry too much – everything in the standard / scripted version of the show is G-Rated, it’s perfectly appropriate and fine for all schools in Australia, and is aligned with all facets of our diverse Australian culture and this generation of children, with inclusivity and diversity and the embracement of all cultures part of the shows already. For instance, we never swear in the shows or encourage negative stereotypes or anything like that, and we aim to represent every facet of Australian culture. Everything in the show is done with specific thought and intention for a specific and beneficial outcome, so you can trust us and know that nothing in the show will offend within that context of Australian culture. However – please just tell us if you are an exception/conservative school and we will mark you as such on our database and alter the show accordingly every year. If you have previously made this request, you are already marked as a ‘conservative’ performance on our database, along with the notes you filled in previously, so you do not have to fill out the form every year for every show, unless something has changed or you just want to make sure we have all current information about your culture and school community. Thank you!
Conflict is part of life, and it’s part of good storytelling! Whether it’s an internal or external opponent, overcoming hardships in life, something Alpha teaches students how to deal with effectively, is going to involve CONFLICT. All clashing of truth & error, love & fear, will result in conflict. It’s not the absense of conflict that is important, but how we handle it. So because of this, we portray different types of conflict on stage – theatre being a safe place to explore conflict and how we respond to it. We can’t avoid it in life, so we shouldn’t avoid it on stage. When it comes to external opponents (eg. the villain) the hero of the story will often face the choice to use violence or a weapon of some sort. We usually have some sort of sword fight, along with the lesson that must be learned. We also sometimes change the meaning of the weapon to be something empowering or important in our real life. Sometimes it’s appropriate to the time period or the original fairytale/book/myth, so we want to honour the story appropriately as well as tell an engaging story that’s true to the spirit of the original.
Depending on your culture, some audiences will be VERY entertained/engaged and perhaps even over-excited by these scenes in our show. This is ok – this is why these scenes are in the show, to create a memorable experience, the excitement of a ‘real sword fight using real swords’, just like any good form of entertainment. However, it’s important to note that we do NOT encourage or endorse any sort of audience interaction that condones violence, including the common school yard chant of ‘FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT’ or any other sort of yelling or screaming encouraging the use of violence. We highly encourage you to discuss this tendency with your students BEFORE the show and, especially if you agree with us that encouraging violence is inappropriate, show them that these sorts of chants are not to be done during the show. We try as hard as we can to channel the desire to chant into something more positive (such as chanting the name of the hero) but we sometimes do not succeed.
If you find that your audience is getting too rowdy or chanting/encouraging or revelling in the violence, it’s important to try to either deal with this before and/or after the show – or you may even need to intervene during the show. Alpha’s show does NOT endorse violence, we merely present real-life type scenarios on stage (in a fantasy setting) and then try to show the correct/loving way of dealing with conflict. For instance, we usually have the hero ‘back down’ or choose not to fight/finish off the villain etc, or learn a lesson through the conflict that is relevant to the story and the character development/message. AS WITH TABOO HUMOUR, WE WILL NOT APPRECIATE NEGATIVE FEEDBACK THAT ALPHA ‘ENCOURAGES FIGHTING/VIOLENCE’ or that we ENCOURAGED CHANTING ‘FIGHT FIGHT FIGHT’. WE DO NOT. IF YOU REQUIRE CERTAIN BEHAVIOURS FROM YOUR STUDENTS, PLEASE HELP THEM TO UNDERSTAND THOSE EXPECTATIONS BEFORE THE SHOW AND HAVE A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE IMPORTANT ROLE CONFLICT PLAYS IN STORYTELLING, AND THAT IT IS NOT REAL! Also help them understand prior to the show that what we present on stage is DEFINITELY not an invitation to mimic or re-enact the conflict out in the playground or to glorify violence or conflict. If you watch the whole show, especially the ‘closed eye’/‘emotional process’ (EP) message portion, you will see how we transform negativity, violence and conflict, through storytelling and personal development techniques, into a powerful lesson that can be used in real-life conflicts. You should use these teachings that we present in post-show discussion so they learn positive conflict resolution techniques. Let us know before the show so we specifically address these issues in our Question Time.
If your culture is especially sensitive to conflict (eg. there has been a real-life violent incident in your school/community) or you are concerned that your students will not have the capacity to analyse and evaluate the conflict resolution steps and methods we present on stage and will instead just get carried away and over-excited by what they just see as ‘violence’ and nothing more, discuss with us before hand and we will look at how we can minimise physical conflict on stage and mitigate this issue for you. Note that many of the stage combat on stage is integral to the plot, so we usually cannot cut it out as changing stage combat on a per show basis is actually very dangerous, but we can minimise the response to it and being aware is certainly helpful. As above, we want to make the show JUST RIGHT for your school and group of children!