On Tuesday the 7th of February, a group of eager HSC drama students made their way down to Sydney for the OnStage excursion. Our first destination was the Sydney Theater Company, we went there to watch archival footage of ‘Mother Courage and Her Children’ a production that we are studying this year. Watching this assisted with understanding themes and dramatic techniques within our script and it was very intriguing to watch the director’s interpretation of elements such as lighting, space, and symbolism.
After viewing and taking notes on “Mother Courage” we headed to our accommodation before setting out to the Seymour Center to watch the first Program for OnStage. It’s fair to say that both Program 1 and 2 of OnStage blew everyone away, groups and individual performances were of such a high quality and the diversity within the performances was astounding, from absurdism to comedy to musicals. One of the pieces that stood out to me was ‘Mytopia’ by the Performing Arts School. Their use of props, space and rhythm kept me engaged and at the end of it I had goosebumps! The main thing that I took away from both nights at OnStage was the importance of group cooperation, characterisation and techniques.
During our time in Sydney we also participated in a forum for ‘The Testament of Mary’ with director Imara Savage. She gave us tips when learning our monologue and various exercises to do with pace and volume. After the forum we got the opportunity to watch the performance. I took note of the amazing costume and lighting within this piece, it really inspired us students. Next, we made their way to a physical workshop at Belvoir Theatre where we ran through exercises of physicalization. The aim was to be able to express theatrically to both the audience and your own group.
On our final day we attended a forum on Australian Drama where we had playwrights, Michael Gow and Angela Betzien, Sydney Theatre Company employees and people from the Board of Studies take us through the context and timeline of Australian Drama, one of our topics this year. Overall the trip was definitely worthwhile, it left me with news skills and a burning desire to give my absolute all in every aspect of my HSC Drama course.
HSC Drama Scholar