Putting the band back together

The Civic Playhouse was at capacity on Tuesday 17 December, and an audience keen to be entertained were not disappointed. ASPIRE’s Senior Theatre Makers presented their original play Split, which they had created with me and ASPIRE’s intern Ned Keogh.

The Senior Theatre Makers program takes place over Term 4 and the group are challenged to create an original piece of theatre. After much brainstorming and discussion, it emerged the group were keen that above all the play was to be funny and a light-hearted end to the year.

From this the story developed of a Year 6 band that reunites in Year 11. The play looked at how much people change over the high school years of their life as well as thinking about collaboration and re-inventing oneself. But above all it was funny, with a lot of hilarious characters whose need to be lead vocalist, or get their ideas across, were portrayed with warmth and joy. The audience laughed as they watched the antics of the group before seeing a flashback to Year 6 from the perspectives of some of the different characters with each recollection getting more and more absurd.

It's no secret that ASPIRE’s mantra is very much about young people creating their own work; making sure they have the skills and the platform to tell stories that are important to them and reflect their experiences. Split did just that, and the real joy for me was watching the development of the piece, marvelling as something turned from the kernel of an idea into a 45-minute production.

I must again congratulate the cast on a fabulous performance, each of them portrayed their characters so wonderfully. I also thank Riley Walpole who provided lights and sound and was supported by Ella Harris and Logan Ellis from St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton.

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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.