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We recently had the New York branch of the Pure Creative Arts company come to perform their production of the Rating Game. It was a little touch and go as we were the first school they were performing in and they had literally landed at Gatwick airport at 2am that very same morning. The team of actors, dancers and singers drove up from Gatwick and arrived just in time for the first of three performances. Phew!

A synopsis of the show is as follows (taken from their website): Our newest production focuses on the theme of identity. The question of ‘Who am I?’ is crucial in the development of teenagers and so often they are looking to define themselves by what they see in the media, peer pressures, or other damaging stereotypes. By addressing this issue with young people – helping them ask the right questions – we can begin to see a shift in the trajectory of their lives.

In the midst of a fledgling romance that begins on their daily commute to school on the subway, Cate and Xavier find themselves flung into a rating game where the guys grade the girls out of 10. The rating provokes questions in each character which make them delve into the perception of perfection. What does it mean to be face-toface with our true selves? “Will he still like me?”, “Will she still want me?”, “Will I even like who I am?” We are able to dive into the minds and hearts of these characters and process alongside them. All of these questions are addressed using an innovative blend of spoken word, rap, song, dance and film. In the midst of the game, the subway car that they are in comes under a security threat, locking the passengers between platforms. This new twist puts the whole game into a different perspective, forcing each character to truly look at themselves and their identity. Will they cling to a life of seeming control or is it worth the adventure of discovering their true selves?

Our Year 7, 8 and 9 students were fantastic and really enjoyed the performances. Some of the feedback from our students was as follows: “The songs and words by Kate were very emotional and represented the struggles they faced trying to find their true identity.” “I was amazed and they were mesmerising to watch. You could tell they had put effort into their routines.” “Thanks for coming all the way from New York to perform at our school.”

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