Nexus Primary Production: Behind the Scenes of “Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits”

By: Catharine Steele, Year 2 Teacher and Director

From Auditions to Applause

Last August, Nexus was buzzing with excitement as auditions for the 2023/24 Primary Production took the stage. Fueled by the success of the previous year’s show, our learners eagerly jumped at the chance to return to the spotlight. Guided by the transformative PYP and IB curriculum, we embarked on a journey to empower our learners, granting them the agency to shape their dramatic experience.


During the audition process, our Year 5 and 6 learners were invited to showcase their talents, various scripts were provided and the year levels mixed. They were asked to read the scene and were all allocated a character to focus on. The groups were then able to practise together, if they wanted, before coming to the allocated audition time. Once all the auditions for that day had concluded the learners looked at all the different script options and democratically voted on their favourites. We gathered all the votes and a unanimous crowd favourite emerged – “Ali Baba and the Bongo Bandits.” The production had been chosen and it was officially time to set sail on this Arabian adventure.

Dedication Beyond the Spotlight

The auditions saw over 80 learners stepping into the spotlight, with a final ensemble of 50 committing to the production. More learners also took on crucial roles behind the scenes designing props and moving the set between scenes, showcasing the inclusive spirit that defines our community.


The dedication and commitment displayed by our learners were nothing short of spectacular. Each cast member went above and beyond, many attending two days of weekly after-school rehearsals, not to mention squeezing in singing and dance practices during their lunch breaks. The entire journey unfolded over four months, including an all-day Saturday rehearsal that showcased the commitment of our learners. I was truly impressed by the dedication of our learners – their passion ignited the stage.

Revealing Hidden Talents

From a teacher’s perspective, preparing for “Ali Baba” wasn’t just about lines and cues; it was a way to discover each learner’s unique personality. The production acted as a stage where hidden talents emerged, allowing us to extend pastoral support and weave deeper connections with our learners.


Our fantastic art department and teachers brought the set and props to life in a dedicated CCA alongside our learners. Two of our Nexus parents worked together to bring Humphrey, our dancing camel, to life! The music and drama department provided a symphony of technical support, showcasing the epitome of genuine community collaboration.

Lights, Camera, Pizzazz, and Excitement

The nights of the production were nothing short of enchanting. The Nexus Community Group transformed our Atrium into a bustling bazaar full of Arabic decorations. Guests were served Middle Eastern delights and mint tea, brewed from mint that was freshly harvested from the Nexus garden.

In the world of theatre, the journey is as significant as the final piece. Our learners not only highlighted talents but also embraced the joy of literature and performance. The PYP IB principles of agency and collaboration took centre stage, fostering a love for written works through the magic of drama. 


Let’s raise the curtain and applaud the incredible efforts of our Nexus learners. We can’t wait to see what you bring to the stage next year! 

Catharine Steele, Year 2 Teacher and Director

Catharine Steele, Year 2 Teacher and Director

Catharine has a deep love for singing and performing and believes these qualities can help build an engaging environment. As an educator, she is dedicated to shaping a classroom characterised by inclusivity, where learners are encouraged to showcase their unique qualities and feel comfortable being risk takers and lifelong learners.


Nexus International School (Singapore) © All rights reserved.

CPE Registration No. 201009668C, 21 March 2023 to 20 March 2027

All information is correct at time of upload and is subject to change.