AMAZING FUNFAIR | Saturday 8 October Family Fun for Everyone
Oct 21, 2021

The Scene Project

Every Friday afternoon (notwithstanding lockdowns...and holidays), the students of A1 Drama Club come together to play games, develop fictional characters, meet new people...real ones...have some fun and, through the process, maybe learn a little something about themselves and the world in which they live.

In every session, the level of support and encouragement in the room is high - the students feel safe to express themselves, explore their creativity, take creative risks and in doing so, make new friends or solidify old ones.

A1 Drama Club’s major undertaking for 2021 was Queensland Theatre’s The Scene Project, a statewide program encouraging drama students throughout the state to engage in the creative process of performance, from rehearsal through to presentation. Participating schools are provided with a full-length, original script by a professional playwright (in this case, We Are The Mutable by Matthew Whittet) and use it as a stimulus for a 15-minute performance. The performance can be anything - a selection of existing scenes from the play, existing characters in new situations or a completely new work based on the themes or ideas evident in the original work. Each school can approach the project as they see fit - some complete the project with their curriculum classes, others run it as an extracurricular activity.

At Rivermount, the A1 Drama Club students were keen to participate and the proverbial keys to the project were offered to College Captain Holly Hudson. As a current member of Queensland Theatre’s Young Artists Ensemble, Holly was the perfect fit to lead the group - she has deeply-held beliefs about the value and importance of drama to reveal, shape and challenge our view of the world, she is motivated by the prospect of creative and challenging work and she loves working with people, particularly her peers.

Fast forward to the scheduled outcome day, an opportunity for different schools to come together and show each other what they have been working on before viewing Queensland Theatre’s professional touring production of the original full-length play, and things are not looking good. On the back of a government directed lockdown of 11 South East Queensland local government areas due to a Covid-19 cluster that developed in a school...it’s fair to say that the prospects of completing the project in its intended form were precarious.

Fortunately, thanks to the hard work of Queensland Theatre’s Director of Education, Youth and Regional Engagement, Emma Funnell, and having spent many Friday afternoons over several months preparing for this day, A1 Drama Club’s ensemble cast arrived at Rivermount on a cool Gold Coast Show public holiday morning to travel to Queensland Theatre’s main venue, the Bille Brown Theatre, for the rescheduled Scene Project outcome day.

The performance was well received - even the Queensland Theatre technical staff were laughing along with the audience at the well-crafted moments of satirical comedy created by Holly and her cast of enthusiastic and skilful performers.

Having exemplified the mission of the project through their involvement, it is clear from the student reflections gathered at the conclusion of the project that they valued the range of experiences offered by their engagement and participation in the process. The validating experiences of:

- developing and sharing work you have poured your heart into and having it not just be well-received, but serve as a prompt for further reflection.

- meeting people from other schools, other communities.

- finding and working with confidence on stage that isn’t necessarily there or on display in day-to-day life, but perhaps could be having been discovered.

If this sounds like the kind of experience you would like for yourself or your child, have a chat with one of the students below or get in touch with drama@rivermount.qld.edu.au. The Scene Project is over, but we’ll be continuing to run sessions throughout Term 4 for students in Year 7 to Year 12. Friday afternoons from 3:30pm for an hour. Room A1 - it’s in the name.

Cast (alphabetical order): Myshah Ali (development cast), Olivia Armstrong, Maya Barclay Ford, Sienna Barney, Ava Bastian, Alyssa Bowyer, Ethan Chapman-Posthuma, Maddison Coutts, Holly Hudson (Writer/Director), Sabreena Jackson, Bethany Kelso, Summer Palanca, Emma Radford, Shaylah Roberts, Ariella Smith, Cadence Smith, Kirilee Smith, Aleya Stork and Bianca Young.

I’m very proud of the outcome...And the growth that I saw of the entire cast as people, connecting with each other...but also as artists and actors on the stage. You definitely saw a growth of people coming out of their shells....I am very proud and impressed by the calibre of work produced...in such a short amount of time.

Holly Hudson, Writer/Director