The show goes on

Thirteen budding thespians, who attend schools in the Catholic Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle, took centre stage at the Playhouse in Newcastle last night to present their original play "I Hope: Thoughts on a Pandemic".

The performance was part of ASPIRE's 2020 line-up and took inspiration from the lockdown period earlier this year, bought on by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The script, developed by the cast, was based on interviews they conducted with people close to them and presented verbatim. It touched on everything from home-learning to the quest to get toilet paper; endless baking and having older relatives move into the family home; missing out on sports, to employment and unemployment; social isolation and social distancing; tiktok careers and health sector fears; world leaders to covid- testing, as well as mental health.

Due to COVID-19 numbers of guests permitted in the Playhouse were restricted. However, many more tuned in to watch a live-stream of the performance.

ASPIRE'S artistic director, Anna Kerrigan, says that the pandemic has taught students a great deal about innovation and performance.

"The ASPIRE cast have watched us continually adapting our creative and performing arts program this year due to COVID restrictions," she says, "it would have been easier just to say 'we're not going ahead."

"However, by not giving up, and seeking out new ways of sharing our work, we're creating new creative experiences which can then inform future projects and potentially allow a bigger audience to connect with our performances."

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Lizzie Watkin Image
Lizzie Watkin

Lizzie is Team Leader Content for the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.