On Feb 9, several elective (9/10) drama and Pathways drama students went to OnStage - a production showcasing the selected best works from last year’s HSC examinations. These selected performances were not just entertaining but showed us what to aim for if taking drama to the HSC level.
The first performance PvP, by an ensemble from Taree High School, opened the day with an entertaining and amusing production showing the rivalry between a typical local area government school and its neighbouring selective private school. The performers used humour and pop culture to engage the (young) audience - successfully - along with the well-presented and entertaining dialogue and physicality of their performance. This was followed by ‘Frankenstein’, a nonverbal monologue interpreted from novel Frankenstein, and a series of other performances diverse in theme, vocals, physicality and emotional meaning.
All the performances - despite their diversity of content and energy - had one thing in common. They all engaged their audiences in a manner that made you forget that these had been developed by high school students to meet criteria - in the best acts, the students forgot they were even watching to judge by criteria. They all used the elements of drama so uniquely, creatively and effectively that they were not only given full marks for their pieces, they maintained a level of relevance to contemporary pop culture and issues while still being enjoyable to watch for wide audience.
Ari says, “I enjoyed seeing the diversity of ideas that people had come up with. I personally didn’t have a favourite - they were all so different. I learnt that drama isn’t about reading dialogue from a script, and that many different elements can be incorporated into a good piece.”
Sinead says, “The performances were so engaging and entertaining! I particularly enjoyed a few, but the thing that amazed me the most was the level of theatrics that these students - not much older than myself - could bring to a piece without straightforward dialogue and storytelling. It was a great day.”