Faculty of Performing Arts Update
Congratulations to the cast, crew and production team of the brilliant Senior School Play, The Crucible. It was a mature and thought-provoking piece of theatre that showcased the skills of our Senior School actors in challenging roles and allowed our student design teams to engage with creative and transformative ideas. The hysteria and desperation of the 1692 Salem witch trials was captured by hauntingly intense performances, which were all the more commendable considering the complexity of Arthur Miller’s script. We knew we had the cast to make something very special after the first round of auditions all the way back in November last year. Every cast member worked diligently and professionally during our Friday afternoon and Sunday rehearsals, honing their acting skills and crafting complex characters and relationships. The student audio-visual technicians, production designers, make-up artists, set painters and stage management team came on board later in Term 1, 2019 and excelled in providing a clear sense of place, time and mood for the production. Thank you to the wonderfully committed and selfless group of students and staff who contributed to this year’s Senior School Play, all of whom were able to make the whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Mary Poppins JR
Further congratulations must go to the team from Barbreck who staged an exceptional production of Disney’s Mary Poppins JR. Under the watchful eye and careful guidance of director Mrs Melissa Dods, ably assisted by Chris Barratt and Miss Kirrilly Wootton, all Years 5 and 6 students performed with unbridled joy and enthusiasm across both performances to adoring audiences. The energy of the cast was first rate, the product of many months of hard work. The costuming, stage settings and lighting enhanced the colourful and magical world of Cherry Tree Lane. I certainly look forward to working with the talented theatrical ‘triple-threats’ when they move up to the Senior School. Well done to the Barbreck staff who were able to mount a very creative and inclusive production.
Hot on the heels of these productions comes the highly anticipated auditions for the Years 7 and 8 Musical, Cinderella. It is a colourful and lively show based on the classic Disney film, with music and lyrics by Rogers and Hammerstein.
In preparation for these auditions, plenty of eager Years 7 and 8 students attended our ‘audition workshop’ held during one of the regular Drama Club meetings at lunchtime on a Tuesday. Other staff working on the show, Mr Dylan Licastro and Ms Liv Cher, gave ‘mock auditions’ in front of an audition panel to illustrate how the audition process works and outlined where to find all of the audition information and backing tracks on the MyPortal page. The students were very appreciative of seeing the advice-in-action, as it was both beneficial and entertaining.
The audition process involves preparing selected excerpts of songs from the show and one of the acting sides as well as attending a group dance call. Thereafter, the production team invite a group of students for a callback audition in order to help us decide upon our final cast list. Rehearsals begin next term and we are looking forward to getting started.
For students not so keen on performing on stage, there are plenty of other opportunities to be involved in the production. The Drama Club will be working on developing costume and makeup designs over the coming weeks, set painting during lunchtimes in Term 3, as well as sound and lighting operation and stage management skills to learn and develop during Term 4.
The Year 9 Drama students performed their self-devised class play to a small yet appreciative audience on Wednesday 5 June. Their stimulus for this term’s collaborative effort was ‘Get Real’, which led to many class discussions and dramatic improvisations around social expectations and filters, engineering social media images and stories, fake news, white lies, political pandering and asking the question ‘why can’t we just be ourselves?’ The selection of scenes that they performed were well-scripted, thoughtful and highly entertaining.
Melbourne Theatre Company Ambassadors
Each year since 2010, a group of Year 11 theatre-lovers have been selected as Melbourne Theatre Company (MTC) Ambassadors, embarking on a year-long extension program that offers insight into the world of professional theatre. Each month they attend an MTC production, meet with artists and staff, and share their experiences of theatre with like-minded peers. If any Year 10 students are interested in applying for this program in 2020, please see Mr James Brown to discuss the process and benefits. Our 2018 Drama Captain, Demi Markakis (’18), spoke very highly of her experience as a 2017 MTC Ambassador.