In a rare opportunity seldom offered to high school students, Tace Chapman and Amelia Claridge, Year 12 Music and Drama students at Long Bay College, had the chance to see their creative vision become a reality last week. Their very own show, ‘Aberration’, hit the College stage. The girls were given creative license and responsibility to direct their peers in the large-scale College production featuring over 30 students.
“We’re the first Year 12 students to write, direct and stage an original production for the College,” says Amelia who was delighted to team up with her creative partner and friend, Tace, on the project. Tace, equally thrilled, enthuses, “I’ve been inspired to do this since Intermediate when I noticed Long Bay College gives seniors [students] the opportunity to direct a show. It’s pretty amazing to have all the ideas in your imagination come alive on stage. I’m so proud to say I’ve directed my own show!”
The girls began work on the script in Year 10, though Aberration has gone through several permutations since then. “It’s been a long process,” laughs Amelia. “Aberration is very different from where we started and now has completely different characters, but that’s the joy of the creative process.” The show’s final narrative has been described as part Wizard of Oz, Frankenstein and Brave New World. “I like reading so I referenced multiple books and movies throughout the play. There are lots of hidden meanings,” says Tace.
The girls have enjoyed mentoring and supporting students at all year levels through the production process, which they’ve found to be extremely rewarding. The experience has also helped the pair hone their organisational, leadership and communication skills.
Long Bay College has a tradition of excellence in the Performing Arts and encourages students to tap into their creativity. Principal, Mr CJ Healey says, “We are delighted to offer students creative, leadership opportunities. If students are passionate about achieving a goal, we’ll do everything we can to support them to accomplish it.”
The College’s Production Producer, Miss Adrienne Bishop says, “The girls started work on this piece at a young age and have remained committed to doing everything they can to make their dream come true. They’ve worked extremely hard and created a wonderful story. They have amazing talent but they have also demonstrated outstanding leadership and resilience in bringing Aberration to the stage.”
Sleep deprivation and curtailed social lives have been sacrifices the girls have both been willing to make to create the show. They are proud that despite the show’s challenges and demands, their friendship has remained intact. It’s about keeping your eye on the end goal they say, agreeing, “You just have to do what is best for the show.”
The girls describe themselves as “career-driven with a passion to succeed”. Amelia says she is a ‘theatre-nerd’ and hopes to one day attend an international drama school and pursue a career in the theatre. Tace has a deep love of history and dreams of becoming a Museum Curator. Given their drive and ambition to bring about their own original theatre show, one can imagine their future plans will play out just as they intend.
A very big congratulations goes to the entire cast and crew for a very professional production, performed over four nights. The entire show was student led from script to lighting, set design, costumes and make-up. It was fantastic to watch some amazing acting talent on display, with students showing commitment to their characters from the get go to the very final moments. A very big thank you to the show’s producer, Miss Adrienne Bishop for her hours of dedication and effort on behalf of the production.