Somerset Times

Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival 2017

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 8, Term Three, 2017

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It’s a wrap! Throughout the past three weeks over 150 hours of collective rehearsal time has come together as Somerset College performed in the annual Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival.

First up, our junior cast presented Bus Stop, a play by Pauline Harris at Hillcrest Christian College on Friday 5 August. A focus of the Drama program at Somerset College is to allow for experiential learning opportunities for our students. This is evident in the GCSSDF as we offer Year 11 students the opportunity to direct the junior and intermediate plays. The junior play was expertly directed by Olivia Hammond and Amy Luke-Paredi, under the mentorship of Ms Jenny George.

This energetic Year 7 and 8 cast consisting of Eva Wingrove, Brigette Newing, Calvin Walther, Thomas Kilmartin, Noah Jay, Charlize Hinze, Ella Kirk, Leigh Amores, Sarah Norton and Sofie Smith brought to life the struggle of protagonist Cathy as she navigated her way through the challenges associated with being a teenager. This realist piece explored the theme of belonging, and made the audience consider how one decision can have the power to alter the course of your entire life.

A huge congratulations to our cast for the mature way they handled this piece. A special mention goes to the following students for receiving adjudication awards:

Eva Wingrove - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Brigette Newing - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Noah Jay - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Olivia Hammond and Amy Luke- Paredi - Highly commended for Direction

In Week 2 of the GCSSDF our senior cast headed off to All Saints Anglican School on Saturday 12 August to perform Sprout, a play by Jessica Bellamy. Our dedicated Year 11 and 12 ensemble consisted of: Rosie Bensley, Joshua White, Celeste Walsh, Lucas Stokes, Tom Nowakowski, Courtney Randall, Joshua Redfern, Olivia Hodge, Sarah Beaumont and Aarsh Nagpal.

Mrs D’Arcy had the pleasure of directing this ensemble, but it truly was a collaborative effort. The cast took the audience on a journey into a Dystopian Australia, a land where the resources are drying up, the environment is harsh and people cling to the lost art of language, to evoke their memories and find a glimmer of hope or ‘green’ in their existence.

Congratulations to the senior cast for their bravery on stage when exploring poetry, kookaburras, pregnancy hormones and cane toads. A special mention goes to the following students for receiving adjudication awards:

Rosie Bensley - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Tom Nowakowski - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

The ensemble also received two staging awards -

  • Highly Commended, for elegance of design and staging

  • A Magic Moment Award for the ‘climbing through branches’ movement sequence

The final week of the GCSSDF saw our Year 9 and 10 intermediate cast travel to Saint Stephens on Friday 18 August. Sebastian Angliss-Li and Anna Harris took on the epic task of directing the talented cast, under the mentorship of Ms Greta Morley. Sebastian and Anna selected the Shake & Stir adaptation of the George Orwell classic novel, _Animal Farm _as the intermediate script. After auditioning over 30 students the final cast consisted of Bella Harris, Ella Hammond, Desmond Chuah, Ziggy Enoch, Michael Savic, Lilly McCoomb, Emma Lekich, Vivi Baker, Kevin Song and Tanisha Chadha.

The electric energy on stage and tight ensemble work was captivating as the audience witnessed the pigs assuming control of Manor Farm and putting the principles of ‘Animalism’ into practise.

Congratulations to all members of the intermediate cast for receiving the following adjudication awards:

Ella Hammond - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting Outstanding Actor Award (on the Saturday night adjudication)

Bella Harris - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Desmond Chuah - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Ziggy Enoch - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Michael Savic - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Lilly McCoomb - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Vivi Baker - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Kevin Song - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Emma Lekich - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Tanisha Chadha - Highly Commended, for excellence in acting

Somerset College received the Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival Intermediate Division Runner Up Shield for Animal Farm. Congratulations to the directors and cast on your incredible achievement.

It is rare for an adjudicator to give an entire cast Highly Commended awards for their acting ability and it is a credit to their skill, commitment as well as the creative vision of their directors, Sebastian Angliss-Li and Anna Harris.

Participating in the GCSSDF is a team effort and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our wonderful mentors, Jenny George and Greta Morley, for guiding our student directors throughout all parts of the creative process. Thank you to Sue Roberts and Melinda Green for their unwavering support throughout the GCSSDF. Thank you to all the students, staff and parents who attended the evening performances to show support for our young actors. Thank you to all Somerset College students who auditioned to be a part of the GCSSDF, to our directors and the 30 students who made up our final three casts. We hope to see you all again in 2018.

Finally I would like to thank Hillcrest Christian College, All Saint Anglican College and Saint Stephens College for their generosity in hosting the Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival in 2017.

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