Hundreds of local kids have explored and expanded their theatrical skills during weekly drama classes led by Fleur Hockey who began teaching at Cockburn Youth Centre when it opened a decade ago.
Fleur, now a performing arts specialist working at Perth primary schools, said her Friday classes at the centre were one of the highlights of her week that she couldn’t bear to give up.
She began with three students in 2008 but last term had 28, and a waiting list of 10.
“We have just re-structured the drama program because our numbers have grown so much in the last year, we needed to have two classes instead of one,” Fleur said.
“Over the 10 years, we have changed by becoming more and more ambitious. Our Drama Incubator class focuses on building foundational drama skills.
“The Advanced Academy concentrates on extending participants’ drama skills and letting them take more control over the drama they create.
“Both classes work on an original production for the first half of the year. The second half of the year is spent creating short films for our movie premiere and annual awards night.”
Fleur said one of the main reasons she still taught weekly at the centre was its friendly and dedicated staff and the enthusiastic students.
“The staff are always willing to help me out with my latest crazy idea, and the passionate and talented participants are the heart and soul of the program,” she said.
“The young people involved in the centre’s drama program are a unique and talented bunch. They have opinions, talent and artistic visions, that sometimes astound me! The work they create is thought-provoking and entertaining.
“For me, the biggest success story of the program is the bond that the young people involved have.
“Our program keeps growing, because the young people keep wanting to be involved and invite others to join us. Getting to see this growth is what teachers dream of.”
Fleur has a Bachelor of Contemporary Performance (First Class Honours) from the School of Contemporary Arts at Edith Cowan University.
She established her own company Home-grown Theatre in 2008 and worked as a teaching artist all over Australia for eight years before returning to university to re-train as a primary school teacher.
On Thursday, 20 September, the youth centre will celebrate its 10th birthday with a free 2008-themed party for local youth 6-9pm at its 25 Wentworth Parade base in Success.
To find out more about Fleur’s successful drama program, call the Centre on 08 9411 3888.