ASPIRE 2019 Junior Theatre Makers

Now in its third year, Junior Theatre Makers is a program designed to offer all interested students from Years 5 to 9 the opportunity to learn more about creating theatre in a fun environment.

This year, three groups created, practiced and performed a short theatre piece whilst developing skills in performance, devised theatre and working collaboratively. One group was based at St Pius X High School, Adamstown, one based at St Paul’s Catholic College, Booragul and the third group consisted of former ASPIRE cast members who worked with this year’s ASPIRE intern, Ned Keogh.

Each group created their own piece of theatre-based around the theme ‘Better Isn’t Easy’ and looked at issues such as bullying, video game addiction and what would happen if they suddenly became adults.

The performance evening at the Civic Playhouse in Newcastle was sold out and an appreciative audience very much enjoyed the three performances that were staged by the 38 young performers.

The West Lakes ensemble, tutored by Jennifer Roach, performed Breathe Like a Tree.

So, it’s school as usual, but something is just not right. A couple of students are not happy about the way they have been treated; other students are bullying them. The drama teacher takes the students on an interesting journey of building resilience and strength through drama lessons, as they explore the art of being and breathing like a tree.

The cast for the West Lakes ensemble included Kirrily Boslem, Gabrielle Brady, Liana Handlin, Jed King, Ethan Laucht, Isabelle Mould, Kate Nicholson, Molly O’Keefe, Molly Sibbald, Ella Swadling and Anna Westcott.

The Newcastle ensemble, tutored by Jay Wood and assisted by Kaylah Broadhead, performed their drama piece entitled Kidult.

It’s the last day of term and many people are excited about the two weeks off. However, the idea of going back to school is too much for one student, who notices bad behaviour between the students at school. Her birthday wish sends the students into a version of the future outside of school, where they all discover that maybe there is more to learn while they are young.

The cast for the Newcastle ensemble included Liam Bailey, Indie Bambach, Megan Dowling, Katie Feeney, Anais Fraai, Noa Fraai, Rayne Graham, Charlie Jackson, Mardi James, Lucia Pols, Simon Robinson, Daniel Smith, Brendan Walker and Bianca Windeatt.

The ASPIRE cast ensemble performed Escape from the Digital Dimension.

A group of students are sent to a rehabilitation clinic deep in the bush in order to help them overcome their crippling addictions. However, when the teachers don’t show and there’s no one there except three teenagers, they must work out who to talk to, who to trust and how to survive until the next morning.

The cast for ASPIRE ensemble included Henry Barnett, Daniel Chapman, Emilie Coyte, Patrick Howlett, Nash Hughes, Amy Mather, Joshua Mather, Analeigh McKibbin, Emma McNamara, Hannah Murnain, Caitlin Power and Lucas Stace.

A big shout out to Riley Walpole who was in charge of lighting and sound for the night.

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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.