Dramatic Adventures – Vala program

Aeon Academy’s Vala Dramatic Adventures program is a unique mode of learning and play. It gives young people the chance to ‘live out’ different lives, times, and places by playing characters in an collaborative, improvised story. These “dramatic adventures” blend oral storytelling, improvised theatre, roleplaying, tabletop games, and live-action physical games to immerse participants in other worlds – whether historical, literary, mythological, or fantastical – and their stories.

The program draws inspiration from many places, but is a wholly original creation that has been exploring the educational benefits of imaginary play for nearly 15 years.

These holidays, we’ll be presenting the following exciting and dramatic adventures:

Week 1 (30th September- 4th October)

Monday, September 30th: Nine Tripod Cauldrons

The terrible tyrant King Jie of Xia rules over Ancient China with an iron fist, starving the people while he and his court party in luxury in the terrible Tilt Palace. Fulfill your heroic destiny and join a group of heroes infiltrating the Tilt Palace to find the magical Nine Tripod Cauldrons hidden away there. With the power of those ancient artefacts, maybe King Jie can finally be defeated…

Sneak into the Tilt Palace, disguise yourselves as servants, meet old friends and new enemies in the court of King Jie, hide from the palace guard, and keep your eyes open for the clues that will lead you to the legendary treasures.

Will you find all Nine Tripod Cauldrons, or fail at this final test?

Tuesday, October 1st: The Irish Rebellion

In the early days of the Australian colony, the thick bush around Sydney Town hid bands of bushrangers living free from guards and chains. Light the spark of revolution and join a group of bushrangers fighting a desperate battle to present British expansion into their outback home. And they aren’t fighting alone…

Recruit the Irish convicts in Sydney Town to your cause, lay your revolutionary plans, steal weapons and supplies, spy on the British troops, risk capture and imprisonment, face temptation to betray the cause, and take up arms in a full-scale battle against the might of Sydney Town.

Will you survive the fire and blood of revolution, or perish in the fight?

Wednesday, October 2nd: The Battle of Eleven Armies

The Dragon Lord is overthrown! Sovereigns sit on seven thrones! The ancient halls of the kingdom under the mountain are filled with life and laughter once more. But enemies march on the mountain, and in the distance a dragon roars. Take up sword and shield and join a band of dwarvish heroes as they prepare to defend their newly-won home.

Pluck up your courage, outfit yourself with magic weapons and armour, harness your magical powers, take counsel with your advisors, deal with a ferocious dragon, protect the ancient kingdom of the dwarves, and see if you can negotiate with your enemies and prevent bloodshed.

Will you have peace, or will you have war?

Thursday, October 3rd: Escape from Maracaibo

Piracy and freedom flourish in the beautiful islands of the tropical Caribbean while Spain and England fight over who rules the seven seas. Set sail with Captain Henry Morgan, “King” of the Brethren of the Coast, and join a crew of piratical buccaneers on a daring raid that will see you all rich as kings if it doesn’t get you killed!

Frantically escape an explosive trap, set sail for plunder and glory, fight for the best position aboard your ship (and the greatest share of profit), fill your ships with gold and treasure, escape the forces out to bring you to justice, and learn the story of the real pirates of the Caribbean.

Will you escape from Maracaibo with your riches, or will it be your watery grave?

Friday, October 4th: The Grail Within Reach

Pack your sword and shield and reply via owl post to your invitation to attend Vala School of Knightcraft and Chivalry for the start of a new year. Old and new students alike come together to to master the arts of the Knights Templar and keep their honour under the tyrannical regime of the new Headmaster and his Enforcers.

Mysteriously arrived in the past world of King Arthur, the intrepid students of Temple Castle take great leaps and bounds towards true Knighthood (and the power to deal with the evil new headmaster’s regime) as their quest for the Holy Grail reaches an unexpected conclusion.

Week 2 (7th – 11th October)

Monday, October 7th: PUBLIC HOLIDAY

Service closed. No adventure running.

Tuesday, October 8th: Fall of Tenochtitlan

The once-mighty Aztec Empire, former ruler of all Mexico, is crumbling before the might of Spanish foreigners, the betrayal of their allies, and diseases brought from over the sea. Take up arms to fight against destruction and join a hand-picked group of leaders doing everything in their power to preserve the Empire, its capital, and the heritage and pride of the Aztec people.

Recruit volunteers to the fight, sally forth to sabotage the enemy blockade, pray to the gods for rescue, fight back the Spanish on the walls, rescue civilians from the destruction, cut down as many enemies as you can, and do your new Emperor proud.

Can you save anything from the destruction, or will you perish in vain?

Wednesday, October 9th: King Solomon’s Mines

What better way to explore history than by joining the Time Bandits, dwarfish servants of the Supreme Being (and stars of their own film!) who were fired for pulling practical jokes during the creation of the Universe? Unfold your Maps to All-of-Time-and-Space as you get lost in the pages of the famous novel King Solomon’s Mines.

Explore deepest, darkest Africa to find the legendary diamond mines of King Solomon. Pass yourselves off as gods using all the strange artefacts and trinkets you’ve stolen from throughout history. Match wits with the famous literary hero Alan Quartermain and King Twala, the wicked ruler of Kukundaland.

Will you plunder King Solomon’s Mines, or be boiled alive?

Thursday, October 10th: The King of the Greenwood

Explore the true history behind the legend of Robin Hood and the freedom and peril of living outside the law in early medieval England. Celebrate the warmth and sun of summer and join a band of outlaws and their families making a new life in the safety of the woods with their mentor Robin Hood.

Welcome your friends and families to a free life in the forest, steal from the rich and wicked, share with your community, welcome in midsummer with feasting and merriment, face the furious reprisal of the local guard, struggle to save your mentor, and decide where to rebuild and find a future for yourselves.

Will the King of the Greenwood survive, or will the legend of Robin Hood come to an end?

Friday, October 11th: Rise of the Students

Pack your sword and shield and reply via owl post to your invitation to attend Vala School of Knightcraft and Chivalry for the start of a new year. Old and new students alike come together to to master the arts of the Knights Templar and keep their honour under the tyrannical regime of the new Headmaster and his Enforcers.

Armed with experience and training from Sir Harold and inspired by their experiences in the legendary Arthurian past, the students of Temple Castle return home to overthrow Headmaster D’Evil and put an end to his schemes.