A Uniting Church coeducational independent day and boarding school on Kaurna Country, Adelaide, South Australia

Early Learning to Year 12

Head of Drama - Edition 11 - 2019

Westminster Drama has had an exciting year so far. Year 11 and 12 students enjoyed attending a range of productions during the Adelaide Festival of Arts and Adelaide Fringe Festival, experiences organised to enable them to write astute critical theatre reviews. Students attended shows across a broad range of theatrical styles which opened many students’ eyes to the range of possibilities beyond their experiences of theatre. These experiences also influenced and aided the development of our SACE Stage 2 students’ performances, ably supported by a number of Year 11 Drama students, in their production for examination, What Rhinoceros?, an absurdist piece of theatre exploring the current rise of Far Right extremism across Europe. The performances were outstanding across the board and proved our students are capable of working with very complex and mature themes.

Semester 1 also saw a resurgence of interest across all year levels in Theatre Sports managed and run by Matt Ahearn (’12), a valued member of the Drama culture and community at Westminster School for almost a decade. The Drama Studio resounds with laughter every Thursday after school as students become more adept at skills in comic improvisation, skills which require students to think on their feet within the rules of over thirty specific "games". Theatre Sports offers students the ultimate training in intellectual and creative gymnastics as they create scenes often resulting in tears of laughter from their peers. Theatre Sports continues every Thursday afternoon, and I am currently in discussion with the Drama Department at Pembroke School with the view to hold an inaugural Theatre Sports “Intercol” later in the year.

Head of History and Geography, Kat Elliot, who also happens to be a very capable trained actor, is doing a wonderful job working with the Year 10 students to broaden their understanding of Drama generally, and the Stanislavski System in particular, while Kendra Pratt ( ‘09), also an extremely capable performer, is working with Year 8 and 9 classes to the same end.

This week, these classes embarked on their three week Stage Combat course under the watchful guidance of Sifu Ruth Fallon from the Martial Arts Stunt Krew, who is well known in the theatre world and who works frequently in LA.

Semester 2 sees the Year 11 SACE Stage 1 Production rapidly approaching and with the class exploring and rehearsing the thought provoking satirical comedy, Free or Fated?.

Join contestants in a robust competition to win life’s greatest prizes on the world’s longest running game show, Free or Fated? broadcast live on the Cosmos Network, under the watchful eye of hosts, Philo and Iris.

The recent Rehearsal Retreat at Nunyara Conference Centre saw the cast exploring some of the great themes of life explored by the play in a tongue in cheek manner.

Matt Ahearn ( ’12), Dana Cropley (’15) and Daniel Cropley ( ’18), all valued members of the Westminster Drama community, assisted at the Retreat, along with Drama Captain, Lia Devetzidis and Year 12 student Chloe Short. Up and coming Fashion Designer Amy Bower ( ’18) will be assisting with costume design.

Tickets will be available soon via TryBooking or Donna Dunbar in the Performing Arts Office.

Students in Years 8 to 10 will be pleased to read that the Junior Play, title to be announced, will be auditioning soon after Intercol. Go the Gons!

And, finally, the Westminster Drama Department congratulates Daniel Cropley for his acceptance to the prestigious Stella Adler Acting Studio in New York. Daniel is embarking on a three year full-time course at this renowned school, founded by Stella Adler who studied under the great Constantin Stanislavski. We also congratulate Luca Sardelis ('18) for her superb work on the SBS mini-series, "The Hunting", along with Daniel Cropley who undertook a small role, and Blaed Farnden, Rohan Whitford and India Smart for their work as extras. Old Scholar James Khou (’14) was a member of the film crew.

John Doherty
Head of Drama