The College’s Performing Arts department has been busily working on the Fame Junior production; turning what was meant to be a live theatre performance into a movie experience which will be made available to the College community later this year.
Rehearsals for Fame Junior, our whole school musical for 2020, shut down in the middle of March this year, two weeks before we opened, it was heart breaking for all involved.
Like every other Performing Arts event around the world; we were in limbo. It was difficult to make a plan or to even know if or when we would have a show. It became a waiting game, as we worried and prayed for those who were suffering so much more through this pandemic.
In the interim, the team of creatives at Swan discussed alternative scenarios. Importantly, I wanted to honour the students for the work they had done. The lead cast are made up of senior students and it has been a difficult Year 12 for them. I wanted Fame, if we could manage it, to be a positive memory for their final year of school. It was easy to cancel it, but we decided to work really hard to recreate a new version albeit without an audience.
Obviously, we had to wait until the restrictions eased to make a final decision, as soon as they were, we got cracking! We began re-rehearing our show a few weeks ago. Remembering blocking, lines and songs wasn’t easy but the cast have been superstars!
In this new version we’ve also called upon the brilliance of our staff to recreate Fame Junior as a movie of the staged show. We are so lucky to have both Andrew Matthews and Owen Beck, respected industry filmmakers on staff. Also, super lucky that William Vasiu and Andrew Raymond are part of our talented music staff with the technical expertise to prerecord the students’ tracks.
I think we’ve all learned something important through this experience. We wanted to finish what we started for the students, and in doing so teach them the value of keeping a commitment, despite how hard things can sometimes be. The blessing here is far greater than performance experience, it’s about resilience and integrity.
The joy of all this is that the students will have not only a great memory of the process, but a visual keepsake of all the hard work, learning and fun.
Director - Fenceline Theatre Company