QF school’s first musical production aimed at developing students’ life skills
Students at Qatar Foundation have had the opportunity to explore and enhance their talents through music, dance, and acting, as their school staged its first-ever musical – a performance of Aladdin.
Following the time-honored storyline and the musical flavor of the popular Middle Eastern folk tale, the production was developed by Qatar Academy Sidra (QAS), part of Qatar Foundation’s Pre-University Education. And as well as being a fun experience for its young stars, it was designed to help them develop skills that will be vital for their future, including self-confidence, communication, imagination, critical thinking, problem solving, and self-discipline.
Explaining the reasons behind the production of Aladdin, Caroline Renaud, MYP Performing Arts Teacher and Head of the Arts Department at QAS, said: “This event was intended to be a community-builder for our school.
Being an International Baccalaureate school, putting on a musical allows students to work together in line with the values of this educational program
“Being an International Baccalaureate school, putting on a musical allows students to work together in line with the values of this educational program. There are so many skills that they have developed - for example, they have learned how to become better-balanced individuals, as they faced the challenge of balancing their school work and family life while also preparing for this show.”
Renaud explained how a lot of hard work and planning went into hosting the event, saying: “At the start of this year, we chose Aladdin as our production, and at the beginning of the current school year in August, we had a two-week audition to select the students, before starting rehearsals in September.
“We depended entirely on our own internal expertise, not only in terms of musical direction, but also in all other aspects of the show. With costume-designing, we had support from Doha Players, beside making our own purchases from Souq Waqif”.
Around 30 students from grades 6-12 were involved in creating the show, and Renaud said: “We ensured we enabled both younger and older students to collaborate, to help and learn from each other, and this also gave them an opportunity to build relationships with new people.
“It also required support from the parents, because students had to stay after school hours for training and practices. The teachers were also highly supportive, given how busy their students’ schedule was.”
Grade 6 student Bayan Al Kharisha played the role of Princess Jasmine in the show, and said: “It was really fun. I enjoyed working on it over four months with the team, l learned many things, and I was very excited for the big show itself.”
What inspired me to take part in this show is that it was a chance that I might not have again, and I had to take this opportunity
Omar Wanas, also a grade 6 student, had the lead part of Aladdin, and said it was a memorable experience. “What inspired me to take part in this show is that it was a chance that I might not have again, and I had to take this opportunity,” he said.
The QAS production was open to all member of the Qatar Foundation community, and the school is now planning to hold similar shows annually.