Somerset Times

Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival 2018

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Somerset Times Edition

Week 9, Term Three, 2018

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Five student directors, 52 actors, three staff mentors, six weeks of rehearsal. This can only mean one thing…it is time for the Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival!

In Week 1 of the GCSSDF, our junior cast presented The Trolleys, a play by Sara West at Trinity Lutheran College, Friday 6 August. Bria Phillips and Lilly Thompson expertly directed the junior play, under the mentorship of Ms Jenny George.

This impressive Year 7 and 8 cast consisting of Brigette Newing, Niamh Rogers, Louis Ladbrook, Ava McCarthy, Thomas Kilmartin, Rishi Veeramachaneni, Lulu Harris, Heidi Hoffman, Eliza Strong, Yuvi Chauhan, Hamish Folliott, Sophie Ward-Harvey, Hannah Zubair and Megan Cattell excelled with strong ensemble skills, striking production elements and powerful performances.

The following students received adjudicator awards on the Friday evening Performance:

  • Brigette Newing, for excellence in acting

  • Louis Ladbrook, for excellence in acting

  • Niamh Rogers, for excellence in acting

  • The Trolleys, Brigette Newing, Louis Ladbrook, Ava McCarthy, Thomas Kilmartin, Rishi Veeramachaneni and Lulu Harris, excellence for ensemble skills

  • Bria Phillips and Lilly Thompson, for excellence of direction

Congratulations to our student directors and young cast for winning the Best Dramatic Production award and the Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival Junior Division Runner Up Shield.

Congratulations must also go to Brigitte Newing and Louis Ladbrook for winning Outstanding Actor awards on the final adjudication evening.


In Week 2 of the GCSSDF our senior cast performed at Trinity Lutheran College, Thursday 12 August, presenting Thoughts Not Meant for After Streetlights, a play by Ziggy Enoch. Drawing from conventions of expressionist and absurdist theatre, the senior play was methodically directed by Ziggy Enoch (also the playwright) and Thomas McKenna, under the mentorship of Mrs Anna D’Arcy.

Our dedicated Year 11 and 12 ensemble consisted of Abby Roach, Adam Gornitsky, Alex Furrows, Annika Puhalla, Rebecca Zielinski, Ella Wood, Sebastian Angliss-Li, Lucas Stokes, Julius Wright, Anna Harris, Vivi Baker, Sam Reeve, Michael Savic, Jack Moore, Ashleigh Shannon, Bella Harris, Kristen Crasto, Bria Phillips, Lilly Thompson, Ella Banic and Maya Hobley.

Congratulations to the senior cast for their commitment, physical control and intuitive ensemble skills as they worked to bring the directorial vision to life on stage.

The following students received adjudicator awards on the Friday evening Performance:

  • Abby Roach, excellence in acting

  • Adam Gornitsky, excellence in acting

  • The Children, Anna Harris, Bella Harris, Ashleigh Shannon, Kristen Crasto, Bria Phillips and Lilly Thompson, excellence for ensemble skills

  • Ziggy Enoch, excellence in scriptwriting

Congratulations to our student directors and senior cast for winning the Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival Innovation award on the final adjudication evening.


The final week of the GCSSDF saw our Year 9 and 10 intermediate cast travel to St Andrews Lutheran College, Saturday 25 August. Bella Harris took on the epic task of developing a Year 11 Drama ritual theatre assessment piece into a play, An Bean Sídhe, as well as directing the talented cast, under the mentorship of Ms Greta Morley.

Our strong cast consisted of Jack Griffiths, Helena Hagan, Soumia Lamont, Ella Hammond, Eva Wingrove, Dom Bensley, Calvin Walther, Lilly McCoomb, Peter Harris, Hannah Kennedy, Anna Boone, Emma Lekich, Thomas Liu, Georgina Powell, Sarah Norton, Ella Kirk and Jack Luke-Paredi.

The eerie atmosphere created on stage, transported the audience between contemporary Australia and Malahide Ireland in the 1800s, as they explored the myth of the Banshee.

The following students received adjudicator awards on the Saturday evening performance:

  • Dom Bensley, excellence in acting

  • Helena Hagan, excellence in acting

  • Jack Griffiths, excellence in acting

  • Soumia Lamont, excellence in acting

  • Eva Wingrove, excellence in acting

  • Lilly McCoomb, excellence in acting

Somerset College received the Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival Intermediate Division Runner Up Shield for Anh Bean Sídhe, and the Best Devised Performance award. Congratulations to the director and cast on your incredible achievement.

Congratulations also must go to Jack Griffiths for winning an Outstanding Actor award on the final adjudication evening.


The GCSSDF truly is a team effort and I would like to take this opportunity to thank our staff mentors, for guiding our student directors throughout all parts of the creative process. Thank you to Mrs Sue Roberts, Ms Melinda Green and Ms Josephine Flynn for their incredible support throughout the GCSSDF. Thank you to all the students, staff and parents who assisted with and/or 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, as always, we were in awe of the talent that exists within our college, and the dedication and passion of our directors and the 57 students who made up our final three casts.

Gold Coast Secondary School Drama Festival would not exist without venues to showcase student work and the volunteers who work tirelessly to ensure the festival runs smoothly. Thank you to Trinity Lutheran College, Coomera Anglican College and St Andrews Lutheran College for their generosity in hosting the 2018 festival and allowing our students this valuable opportunity.

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