Schools on Stage

All Shook Up - Redlands, New South Wales.

Redlands is one of Australia’s most dynamic and exciting independent schools, with an enrolment of over 1550 students. The music of classic rock star Elvis Presley and the plot of William Shakespeare’s Twelfth Night were brought to life in front of a full house by Redlands students who dazzled on stage in the Australasian premiere of All Shook Up. There was an atmosphere of anticipation and excitement as the cast performed the Broadway hit on the Australian stage for the first time on Wednesday.

Breaking Up is Hard to Do. Boonah State High School, Queensland

Boonah High is a rural high school in the heart of the Fassifern, forty minutes from Ipswich, with an enrolment of 620 students from years eight through to twelve. Art and drama are offered in all year levels, with both art and drama offered as Senior Authority subjects. Boonah High has a very successful instrumental music program including a school concert band. “We chose the show, Breaking up is Hard to Do,” says teacher director Roxanne Scott, “because of the music and three strong female roles.

The Producers. Mazenod College. WA.

Mazenod College is a Catholic Boys Secondary school (Years 8 - 12) in Lesmurdie, in the Perth hills. It has 600 students, 100 of whom are boarders. Mazenod’s musicals are a little unusual in that they are School Community productions, involving not only students, but Old Boys, staff and interested community members, who work in all aspects of the show including cast, band and crew. This wider approach to musicals allows Mazenod to present more difficult productions.

Footloose - Rosewood State High School

Rosewood State High School has built up a strong reputation when it comes to the performing arts but all expectations were surpassed with this year’s musical Footloose. With over 60 student cast, crew and band members and a very dedicated team of staff, the very colourful 80’s were back for three sold out shows.

South Pacific

Emmaus College is a Catholic co-educational college in Rockhampton, Queensland, from years 8 to 12. The school has a thriving interest in the Performing Arts and annually performs a full-scale musical. In 2008 we embarked on our 24th successive Musical, South Pacific, with up to 150 students involved, on stage, backstage and in the pit. I believe the reason our musicals attract such large voluntary numbers is because of the huge sense of community they build and the tradition on which we stage our shows.

Little Stars

Maverick Musicals’ 2008 top seller (it even beat the perennial favourite, Man of Steel) is a rock and roll musical aimed at junior and intermediate groups. It follows the behind-the-scenes story of five finalists competing in the national TV hit, a singing competition seeking the next ... Little Star! Crooked judges, hyperactive presenters and a live studio audience – it's a perfect parody of the Idol TV format. The musical offers directors the flexibility to include as many singing, dancing and comedy acts as they want to in the competition scenes.

Grease

The Radford College (ACT) production of Grease demonstrated how imaginative direction and a talented cast can keep an old favourite fresh, playing to sell-out crowds. From the “typewriter font” program, to the wonderful use of period TV advertisements as between scene fillers, the Radford production had a delightfully “retro” feel. The imaginative set created a specific T-bird zone on one side, with a wall of car parts and accessories, and a Pink Ladies zone on the other side, with a multi-purpose area in between.

Mega-Nunsense Premiere Made Sense for All-Girl School

Finding a musical for an all girls’ school can be a big challenge.

The Performing Arts staff at Diocesan School for Girls in Auckland wanted great dramatic and musical opportunities, and it had to be engaging for the cast and audiences. We saw a local music theatre group’s production of Nunsense, and thought it could be the show for our senior students, though the five person cast was a limitation.

Further research with Dominie revealed a mega-musical version of Nunsense was now available.