April 1, 2021
The Production for this year, My Fair Lady is in full swing, with cast and orchestra now getting to the point where it is starting to look like a show.
We wasted no time at the start of the year getting into rehearsals. As this production is quite long, with very complex pieces and scenes. Under the direction of Ms Helen McLean, the cast have been working their way through the first act of the show, blocking their movements on the stage and working on the all-important chemistry between characters. One of the most amazing aspects of the Production is the inclusion of Year 7 through to Year 11, and the students are beginning to forge new friendships and grow together as a cast. An added complexity to My Fair Lady is the cockney and upper-class English accents. Not only do our students have to master how to speak with these accents, but it must carry through the singing as well. Hearing some of the scenes with the accents has been astounding, with the cast already transporting us back in time to the early nineteenth century.
We have welcomed a new choreographer this year, Miss Rachael Jones. In addition to both acting and singing, our cast has also had the challenge of learning traditional dances from the early 1900s. They have taken to this with great enthusiasm and have been enjoying every step of piecing together the choreography.
Under the musical direction of Mr Brody Toombs and the vocal direction of Mrs Erin Rowe, the cast and orchestra have been gradually learning the pieces throughout the first act. With challenging key signatures and a score that is littered with accidentals, the orchestra has been attacking each piece with focus and rigour. Our cast has been tackling the tough harmony parts and long melodic phrases. The constant change throughout the pieces has proven challenging however, the enthusiasm from the students has made working through this a very rewarding experience for all involved.
As part of our Co-Curricular Club offering on Tuesday, Mrs Sandra Esposito has been leading an enthusiastic group of budding artists in designing sets and props. This will evolve as we get closer to the Production into assisting in the construction and painting of sets to help transport our audience into the wonderful world of My Fair Lady.
Considering we are now almost halfway through our preparation; the growth of the students is something to behold. From a situation where Year Groups were separated and singing could only be done by five people to now having larger group numbers to rehearse and some of the restrictions on singing lifted, it has opened the voices of our cast and allowed them to grow closer together. While the end performance is our short term goal, the Production allows students to flourish in ways that are different to the classroom, and forges friendships between students in all year groups, cast, orchestra, tech crew, props team, hair and makeup crew alike. To make the Production a success, students must be able to react to musical and dramatical situations within split seconds. In order to do this successfully, the time they spend together, not just in rehearsals is critical. As new friendships form, it is wonderful to walk through the playground and see students from Production mixing with each other, enjoying a meal and good times together.
Production is not just beneficial to student friendships but helps develop critical skills that students can take into the classroom and life in general. The Production allows students to think and express themselves creatively, learn how to extend themselves outside of their comfort zone, understand how to perform, control performance anxiety and most of all, have fun! Having the benefit of seeing many Production casts, the evolution of individual students throughout their Production journey is incredible.
We look forward to presenting the show in June 2021 and hope that you can come along and enjoy My Fair Lady with us!