Schools on Stage

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton.Mandurah Baptist College. Directed by Kyle Retallack, Musical Direction by Nerida Middendorp. Lakes Theatre, Lakelands, WA. March 16-24, 2018

Mandurah Baptist College’s production is a large scale, feel-good show with lots of community involvement and showcases some excellent performers.

Performed in MBC’s own Lakes Theatre, a 1200 seat venue that most schools would envy, the production uses a nine piece music ensemble made up of both students and staff.

2017 Schools Spectacular

Retired Performing Arts Teacher Carol Wimmer enjoyed the awe-inspiring extravaganza of music and movement, light and colour from the 2017 Schools Spectacular, showcasing the talent and diversity of the teachers and students from NSW public schools.

The Schools Spectacular is a wonderful, awe-inspiring extravaganza of music and movement, light and colour, imagination and creativity. It’s also a very special celebration of the talent and diversity of the teachers and students from NSW public schools.

Choosing and Budgeting a School Musical

Mark McDowell from Yourshow Pty Ltd has some handy hints.

Budgets for school musicals are usually set in stone, i.e. “the same as last year”. The bean counters will tell you the maximum you can spend and that is that.

International Junior Theatre Celebration

Saturday 21st Oct, 2017 – Aotea Centre, Auckland. Saturday 28th Oct, 2017 – Civic Theatre, Newcastle.

OzTheatrics and AMICI Trust, in collaboration with international partner iTheatrics and sponsor Music Theatre International, Australasia, will present the second annual Junior Theatre Celebration in October.


Book by Thomas Meehan. Music by Charles Strouse. Lyrics by Martin Charnin. Directed by Fiona Mahl. Canberra Girls Grammar School. September 14 – 16, 2017.

This is a fun production of what is now a classic musical, and it is perfect for many students to participate in. It is greatly to the credit of Canberra Girls Grammar School that not only are many students performing on stage, they are also in the orchestra led by the musical director Natalie Guile.


By Jim Jacobs and Warren Casey. Cecil Andrews College. Directed by Celeste Underhill. Cecil Andrews Performing Arts Theatre. Sep 14-17, 2017

Cecil Andrews College presented Grease (the schools version) in their performing arts centre. The students, who are part of the Specialist Performing Arts Program, performed with dedication and enthusiasm.

There was a great atmosphere at this production, with its wonderfully decorated foyer and warm and inviting front of house.

2017 Schools Spectacular Sets New Participation Record

Now in its 34th year, the popular live-and-televised extravaganza that is Schools Spectacular will star over 5,700 students including a choir of 2,700 voices, 2,400 dancers; a 100-piece symphony orchestra; world-class stage band, 44 solo singers and 145-featured dancers from public schools across NSW.

Last year marked an iconic chapter in Schools Spectacular history when their annual arena production broke the Guinness World Record for the Largest Variety Concert in the world at its new home QUDOS Bank Arena, Sydney Olympic Park. 

The Little Mermaid

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman & Glenn Slater. Book by Doug Wright. Mercedes College. Directed by Kathleen Cocks. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco WA. July 28-30, 2017

Mercedes College took their annual school production to the Regal Theatre for the first time, delivering a show with amazing production values, performances that belied the ages of the performers and amazing precision.

The Addams Family

Music and Lyrics by Andrew Lippa. Book by Marshall Brickman and Rick Elice. Scotch College. The Fisher Chapel - Scotch College (SA).  28th July to 5th August, 2017

When asked to review a school production I am usually prepared to make allowances for the young performers’ capabilities and the available resources to mount full productions. In the case of The Addams Family I needn’t have worried though, the production was extremely polished.

Little Shop of Horrors

Book and Lyrics: Howard Ashman, Music: Alan Mencken. Directed by Beth Parkinson. Mazenod College, Lesmurdie, WA. July 15-22, 2017

Mazenod College’s Little Shop of Horrors is presented in one of those cavernous gym-a-toriums found in many schools, and notorious for being cold, with poor sightlines, having little atmosphere and poor acoustics. Mazenod’s production manages to transform this space with oodles of care, decorations that even spread to the restrooms and lovely attention to detail.