Airborne ASPIRE swoops again

"This is it; it's my turn. It has to be." 

Munch the magpie is desperate to be leader of the flock, but it seems as if everyone else is always selected ahead of her. So, when members of the flock start to disappear, will Munch have what it takes to save her friends? 

Featuring a host of colourful characters of both the avian and human variety, ASPIRE's 2020 production The Pecking Order explores the concept of leadership and encourages the audience to embrace uniqueness. It is an original show, scripted with input from students, which will appeal to the young, and young at heart as it taps into what twitchers have long observed and often pondered; the ability of flocks of birds to change formation and direction at lightning speed. 

The story masterfully unfolds as you take in the highs and lows of kookaburras, magpies, cockatoos, budgies, peacocks, lorikeets, owls, ducks, and minor birds sorting out their “pecking order”. In the end, once the ingenuity of our feathered friends becomes unearthed, it may lead you to question why we aren't looking to the natural world more for instruction on how to navigate these often politically turbulent times. 

ASPIRE has a strong track record for receiving industry accolades, a testament to the high-energy theatrical performances displayed at the majestic Civic Theatre. The Pecking Order, although delivered in a pre-recorded format this year due to COVID restrictions, will be no exception. In that vein, as creative director of ASPIRE, my most sincere admiration goes out to this years’ cast and crew which includes more than 150 students from schools across the region who are involved with everything from composing music and designing sets and costumes, to singing, dancing and acting on stage. The ripple effect of the pandemic triggered a six-month delay to the execution of the production, as well as most workshops and rehearsals moving online. However, this has not deterred their spirit. Instead, their aptitude, creativity and reliance have shone. So, be prepared to hold onto your seats as students from schools across the region take flight. 

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Anna Kerrigan Image
Anna Kerrigan

Anna is the Artistic Director of ASPIRE, an audition-based drama, dance, music and creative and performing arts program produced by the Catholic Schools Office of Maitland-Newcastle.

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