Schools on Stage

Stewart Bell Takes a Final Bow at Haileybury

When Stewart Bell, Haileybury’s outgoing Director of Performing Arts, arrived at the school in 1981, he never imagined that — 40 years later — he’d still be there.

In December, Mr Bell will leave the school where he has built an impressive Performing Arts curriculum, helped some well-known students towards a career in the arts industry – and where he met his wife, Philippa.

Disney’s Freaky Friday The Musical (One Act Version)

By Bridget Carpenter, Tom Kitt and Brian Yorkey, from the novel by Mary Rodgers. Directed by Celeste Koukoulis. Cecil Andrews College, Seville Grove, WA. Aug 6-8, 2021

Cecil Andrews College’s whole school production of Freaky Friday is a vibrant and exciting production that deserves its warm reception.


By Thomas Meehan, Charles Strouse and Martin Charnin. Mercedes’ College. Directed by Kathleen Cocks. The Regal Theatre, Subiaco, WA. Jul 30-Aug 1, 2021

Mercedes’ College’s Annie is a big, beautiful production, bursting with joy, energy and enthusiasm. Top notch production values, expert stagecraft, and excellent teamwork - this was an outstanding return to the Regal for Mercedes, who sadly lost their 2020 production due to shut-down and restrictions.

Legally Blonde

By Laurence O’Keefe, Nell Benjamin and Heather Hach. Directed by Sharon Kiely. Joy Shepherd Performing Arts Centre, St Hilda’s Anglican School for Girls, Mosman Park, WA, June 17-19, 2021

Mamma Mia!

Music and Lyrics by Benny Andersson and Björn Ulvaeus. Book by Catherine Johnson. directed by Zoe Parker. Centre for Performing Arts, All Saints College, Bull Creek, WA. Apr 21 - 24, 2021

All Saints College’s Hothouse Company presented this popular musical to capacity audiences, in a season sadly interrupted by Perth’s latest COVID lockdown. A highly energetic, keen and focused young company, this was an innovative production that was very well received.

NIDA Creative Schools Programs

The National Institute of Dramatic Art (NIDA) offers performing arts educational activities to support learning for both school students and schoolteachers. This includes specialist training, access to industry professionals, guest artists and resources.

Reflective of NIDA’s world-renowned approach to education and training, developed over 60 years, the programs are carefully designed to provide engaging skills development to enhance the early childhood, primary and secondary syllabuses.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

By Alan Menken, Howard Ashman, Tim Rice and Linda Woolverton. Iona Presentation College. Directed by Joshua Brant. Regal Theatre, Hay St, Subiaco. Mar 25-28, 2021

After a year-long wait Iona Presentation College’s production finally hit the stage at the Regal Theatre, and this warm, well-presented production was absolutely worth the wait.

Disney’s Beauty and the Beast

Music by Alan Menken. Lyrics by Howard Ashman and Tim Rice. Book by Linda Woolverton. The Reddam House High School. Directed by Dean Hattingh. NIDA Parade Theatre. March 24 and 25, 2021

Beauty and the Beast is a musical where you cannot shirk on the set or costumes, and this performance was a feast for the eyes from beginning to end.

Shows for Schools in 2021

School productions are back on stage in 2021, with major companies launching their incursion and excursion programs.

Complete Works Goes Global

Stage Whispers asked Andrew Blackman, founder of Melbourne based theatre company Complete Works, about all things theatre, going digital and surviving the pandemic.

Complete Works has been delivering live incursions to schools around Victoria for 21 years. Challenged by the changing demand and delivery that last year’s lockdown introduced, the company created online resources to support remote learning, allowing it to reach interstate and international schools for the first time.