The Gold Coast Secondary Schools’ Drama Festival celebrated 50 years in 2022. To add to the celebrations, each play entry had to include ‘Easter Eggs’, allowing the audience to spy the creative ways that schools could include the following within their work; Gold (Junior section), 50 (Intermediate section) and 1973 (Senior section).

As always, the creativity and passion for performing displayed across all entries was inspiring. Drama Festival is an important opportunity for future artists to write, direct, perform and forge connections with likeminded students from across the Gold Coast.

Week 1 of the festival was held at Robina State High School. The Somerset Junior Play was Compass, written by Jessica Bellamy. Directed by Rishi Veeramachaneni and Niamh Rogers, designed by Amelia Wilson, and mentored by Mrs Sarah Hossy and Mr Patrick George.

Our youngest actors successfully built the tension as they shared the story of a Year 7 camp steering off course. Congratulations to the entire Junior play cast for their engaging storytelling. Additionally, we would like to congratulate the following students for their achievements.

  • Sophie Colahan - Outstanding Actor Award
  • Arya Denzongpa-Bathols – GCSSDF Dramatic Performance Perpetual Trophy
  • Niamh Rogers and Rishi Veeramachaneni – The Moore Carter Medal of Creativity, awarded for directing

Week 2 of the festival was held at St Andrews Lutheran College. The Somerset Intermediate Play was Miss Lucy, written and directed by Heidi Hoffman and Ava McCarthy, and mentored by Mrs Anna D’Arcy.

Our cast of Year 9 and 10 actors successfully balanced comedy with horror, as they explored the vampire genre in this highly physical new work.

Congratulations to the Intermediate cast and directors for achieving the following results:

  • GCSSDF Best Devised Play Perpetual Trophy
  • GCSSDF Runner Up Shield

Week 3 of the festival was held at Somerset College. The Somerset Senior Play was Sandy: The only horse to return to Australia from the first world war, written by Janet Brown and directed by Ms Josephine Flynn.  

The cast of 6 Year 12 students found the nuance within each moment of Sandy’s journey. Ms Flynn and the students attended a horse handling course in Bonogin as part of their rehearsal process. This experience allowed for authenticity and believability as they rose to the challenge of miming the interactions with Sandy on stage.

Congratulations to the Senior cast and director for achieving the following results:

  • Daniel Harvey – Outstanding Actor Award
  • Innovative Play Perpetual Trophy
  • GCSSDF Runner Up Shield 

Many thanks to all involved in the 2022 GCSSDF season. This includes the GCSSDF committee, venue hosts, cast members, directors, staff and particularly the support of parents. We thank you for seeing the value within this unique festival and look forward to doing it all again in 2023.

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