Principal Update – rehearsal, team work and collaboration
“There are three things that have divided this country. Conscription. Whitlam. And Lindy Chamberlain.”
This week, I congratulate our Senior School students involved in our recent theatre production: Letters to Lindy and applaud the work of our Performing Arts staff, Mr James Brown and Mr Dylan Licastro. Over the course of this year, St Catherine’s students have delighted in returning to the stage with brilliant performances in the Year 8 and 9 Play, Two Weeks with the Queen and the recent Concerto Concert. This term, our Barbreck students are embracing rehearsals for the Wizard of Oz to be performed in Term 3 and preparations are underway for the evening of Jazz in June.
Letters to Lindy, written by contemporary Australian playwright, Alana Valentine, explored the public’s fractured relationship with Lindy Chamberlain-Creighton. The script follows Lindy sorting through over 20,000 letters received in the years immediately following the disappearance of her daughter, Azaria. Undoubtedly, each performance by our students required a level of poise, maturity and resilience to the confronting themes that were presented to them as they unpacked the authentic story that gripped Australia in the 1980s. At the heart of the play is Lindy’s explanation of why she kept the letters, now real artefacts that are catalogued in the National Library.
“For those who lived through this chapter in Australian history, I hope this production brings you a renewed empathy for the people you can see on stage and reaffirms your desire to support those who are mistreated. When we distil this story to its essence, the same image remains – a portrait of the wisdom and strength of a grieving mother.” James Brown
In addition to the poignant performances on stage, the VCE Theatres Studies students played an essential role in creating the sound, lighting, media, costume and worked as the Backstage Crew. The selection of this play by Head of Performing Arts, Mr Brown, indeed, enabled opportunity for the students to undertake an intimate study of the history of one of Australia’s more infamous stories that was considered to divide the nation. Studying the times, places and cultures of scripts, as well as the power of language, enables all Drama and Theatre classes at School to imaginatively and creatively plan, develop and present productions. For many in the audience last week, Letters to Lindy evoked a strong, often emotional response, and unquestionably reflected the strength of the program at School today.
For the many, many hours of rehearsal, team work and collaboration required to present such a polished and professional theatre and musical performances, our students are deserving of strong audience numbers, in fact, a packed house! As such, I encourage family members to note the dates below in your diaries.
An Evening of Jazz – Tuesday 2 June
Years 5 & 6 Musical – The Wizard of Oz – Wednesday 18 August & Thursday 19 August
125th Gala Concert for Years 5-12 at the Melbourne Recital Centre – Tuesday 31 August
Confirmation Course, St John’s, Toorak
The Reverend Keiron Jones, Assistant Curate, St John the Evangelist, Toorak will be running a Confirmation course for any teenager or adult who would like to continue their Christian faith journey in the Anglican Church. Please find the link to the Confirmation program and Confirmation Service, which will be conducted by St John’s regional Bishop, The Right Reverend Genieve Blackwell on Sunday 1 August at 10.00am.