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Reflections of a Drama Scholar

A Chigwell sixth-former has written, directed, and acted in her own play, drawing from her own experiences.


'My name is Siyani Sheth. I’m 17 and a drama scholar at Chigwell School. I’ve written a play called ‘The Expulsion of Exulansis’ based on my struggles with mental illness from 15 years old. I wrote this play to raise awareness about things young people go through that aren’t necessarily visible, and to raise money for Young Minds.

I wrote, casted, directed, and acted in this play. It was definitely a big task, with not a huge amount of time to pull it all together! I worked with a cast of 20 people who were all older than me, and so directing them all and making executive decisions was something I had to learn how to do.

The play, before it even premiered, already raised more awareness than I could’ve hoped. I did lots of interviews and podcasts, but the one I’m most proud of is being on BBC London. Being able to spread the message and awareness about teenage mental health struggles on such a big scale was surreal, and I’m so honoured I was able to be the person to do it.'