What’s With the Shoes?

Shoes are the theme and symbol for 2021 of the Drama Department at Trinity. How prosaic! Shoes!

The great English actor Laurence Olivier once claimed, “Once I had the shoes, I had the character”. In that case, Imelda Marcos, former first lady of Philippines dictator, Ferdinand, must have had 6000 characters in her head as she had this number of shoes. Our purpose is more educationally driven, inspired by the quote, “You never really understand someone or their perspective until you walk a mile in their shoes”. Atticus Finch from Harper Lee’s “To Kill a Mockingbird” puts it more viscerally, “to walk around in their skin”.

Either way, skin or shoes, we’re about promoting empathy. The Australian Curriculum calls it Personal and Social Capability. NESA strongly encourages empathetic understanding tasks in the teaching of History. Christians have empathy defined for them in the story of the Good Samaritan, to walk a mile and more in your enemy’s shoes.

In a world increasingly defined by individualism, fractured communities, controversies about understanding “the other”- most recently around consent – empathy has never been a more imperative item on the education agenda.

In Drama, empathy is achieved through inhabiting another character, using that most concrete of teachers, experience. This year, boys will walk through Mozart’s shoes, an assassin’s shoes, a character with no shoes – the list goes on. The aim is to develop empathetic young men – one step at a time.

Continuing our character profiles of the cast from the upcoming production of “One Man Two Guvnors” our next one is…

Stanley Stubbers

Stanley plays one of the lovers in “One Man Two Guvnors”. He represents all that was great in the English Public School Education system from last century – quick of fist, devoid of empathy and an abiding sense of entitlement and fair play, with no intelligence to see the contradiction between the two. He refers to the Beatles as “a popular beat combo”. The prototype upper class twit made popular by Monty Python. No more to be said.

That’s him on the left, about to hit the waiter for six!

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