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  1. Newbie
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    The meaning of "school play"

    Hi there,

    I am preparing for the IELTS exam and I am a bit unsure about a question which is sometimes used in the speaking session (at least according to my preparation books.) The question is: "Have you ever been in a school play?" What does the expression school play mean? I already looked it up in the free dictionary and in the Merriam Webster dictionary, but I didn't get any results.

    I think a school play is similar to a play in a theatre, but it is performed at school. However, I was also thinking that the expression could mean to play games at school. Maybe it just means that children play together at school in a playground and it does not have to do anything with theatre. Can it have both meanings? Which one is the appropriate?

    Best regards,

  2. Junior Member
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    Re: The meaning of "school play"

    Your first thought is the right one. It's taking part in a theatre performance at school. The school play is a common activity in British schools.

    Quite often for younger children it is a nativity or christmas theme but for older children it can be anything. My sons' school puts on a wide variety of plays from musicals such as 'Grease' to Shakespeare.

    All the actors are schoolchildren and the children do the lighting, costumes etc with some help from the drama teachers.

  3. Barb_D's Avatar
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    Re: The meaning of "school play"

    Many children have their first (and last) great dramatic performance as, say, a duck or a tree in their school play in elementary school. I believe I was "Santa's Elf #3" in my first great performance and my line was something like "Imagine trying to use spearmint to repair a candy cane!" or something like that.

    My dramatic line in high school I remember more clearly. I said "Or Geroge! And Phyllis!" (I moved into the pit orchestra after that. It was more fun.)
    I'm not a teacher, but I write for a living. Please don't ask me about 2nd conditionals, but I'm a safe bet for what reads well in (American) English.

  4. Ouisch's Avatar
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    Re: The meaning of "school play"

    I remember my first school was set in a garden and some kids played trees, some played birds, some were flowers.... Me, I was a slug.

    These aren't school kids, but the quality of this show is similar to that of your average school play.

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