A professional venue, sound and lighting has allowed students from Fr John Therry Catholic Primary Balmain to shine on stage as they treated family and friends to A Night at the Movies.
The school’s annual creative and performing arts showcase, held at the Enmore Theatre on September 16, kept with a cinematic theme. Each Kindergarten to Year 2 class performed a song from popular children’s films including Shrek and Toy Story 2, while students in Years 3 to 6 staged The Little Mermaid Junior.
It is the second year the school has chosen to hold the student performance at the venue, which allows the previously separate infant and primary performances to be held on a single night. This year more than 800 tickets were sold to grandparents, parents and friends.
Assistant Principal Anne Rees said parent feedback on the new showcase set up was positive, as they saw the benefits for their children including a growth in confidence and the chance to experience the dance, drama and music they had learnt throughout the year in a professional setting.
“It’s a great experience for the children and one they would not normally get,” Mrs Rees said. “We take children to stadiums for sporting events, and this is also what they should be doing for creative arts – going somewhere that is suitable for their performances.
“A lot of primary schools don’t have the venue, or lighting, or the sound equipment needed for a great performance. This highlights the creative arts section of the curriculum. The parents get to see the great team spirit with which we all work to together, and are grateful for what it gives students.”
Year 6 students Sammi Parker, Jessica Larkin, and Eloise Struthers remembered their lines in less than two months of rehearsals to sing and act their way through strong supporting roles.
Sammi was Pilot, the boat captain that takes Prince Eric to land.
“My character starts at the beginning with a song and later has some more dialogue,” she said.“At the end Ursula, the evil character, tries to take Ariel but myself and Prince Eric come in and try to stop her.”
Jessica played the part of Carlotta, headmistress of the prince’s castle. She said there were some differences between the play and the Disney film.
“Carlotta is like a maid but she’s kind of the boss after Prince Eric, so she’ll make sure everything is going smoothly, and she’s Ariels only real friend that she has when on land,” Jessica said. “It [the play] has a few tweaks and things that are different.
“In the movie Ursula becomes pretty and the Prince falls for her, but in this Ursula comes as herself onto land to take Ariel back because it has been three days.
“There is also a contest for Prince Eric to find Ariel’s voice,” Eloise added. As one of Ariel’s mersisters, she sings in the scenes where Ariel misses her solo in an underwater kingdom performance, and another when the sisters discover she has been acting strange because she is in love. Eloise said she enjoyed working on the bigger stage.
“There is a lot more space and you have a chance to use more props and have better props, better sound, better lighting, and a bigger audience.
“The place we used before was a high school gym hall and the seats were all flat, whereas here everyone in the audience can see more because they’re tiered. Everyone can see their kids shine, which is really good.”