Head of Drama and Producer of “Guys and Dolls”, Alison Jinga
It’s two weeks since St Clare’s and Waverley College’s debut performance of Guys and Dolls at NIDA. The standard of both the girls and boys in their performance, music, singing and production was incredible. All staff and students involved from both schools should be very proud of the work they have put in over eight months, the sacrifices they made and the very high quality of work produced.
We had over 125 students from Years 7 to Year 12 involved in the production as cast, crew or musicians. We “bumped-in” to NIDA on the 6th of May. This was an exciting time for everyone as we had just two days to re-block the dramatic action from the Waverley College PAC Theatre stage to a larger, wider stage in the NIDA Parade Theatre. All the elements had to come together quickly including using props, wearing costumes, practising quick costume changes, being under the lights, singing in time with a live band, working with a stage crew who are dealing with all the set and scene changes as well as being aware of the fly bars and being safe backstage.
It was wonderful witnessing the support our schools showed our young people in pursuing what they love, in this case the Arts, the Entertainment Industry and specifically, Musical Theatre. Being involved in a large-scale event such as this musical is often the catalyst for our students to realise that they want to pursue a career path in the Entertainment Industry. Many alumni from both Waverley and St Clare’s have followed their dreams beyond school to become stage managers, event managers professional musicians, instrumentalists, sound engineers, professional actors, professional singers and working in television.
The students both on and off the stage have worked tirelessly on Tuesday and Wednesday afternoons as well as Sundays so that they could be prepared for their part. They have done this whilst actively engaging with academic study, other sporting and school commitments and they have all liberated their potential.
Thank you to the wonderful team of teachers who have worked relentlessly on this show, special mention to Peter Lamb, Vanessa Hurley, Chris Balkizas, Anne Fahy and Chris Blenkinsopp without whom this show would not have been possible. I am incredibly lucky to work with such an outstanding group of passionate, creative people. Special mention also goes to Keiran Kossenburg for her administrative assistance on this epic show.