QACI would like to congratulate the Year 12 theatre students on a very well managed Muse Theatre Festival under the current COVID-19 government restrictions that we have in place for performances to the direct QACI community. Whilst performances were restricted in capacity, there was a diverse mix of theatre presented by the 8 theatre ensemble groups, each performing with enhanced QACI enthusiasm and vigour.
Etta Jones a current QUT Intern with QACI was able to spend some time with the theatre students during their busy rehearsals in the week leading up to their performances. Not only did she gain an understanding of theatre and what is required to develop a show, she was able to speak with theatre students to understand their underlying passion for the discipline of theatre.
Year 12 Theatre Students: Clancey Brooker, Sascha Vosper, Malena Ayazian, Lucy FulcherDunn, Grace Laan, Alexandra Richardson and Tessa Atkinson
For the Year 12 MUSE theatre performances, the freedom to use theatre as a catalyst for change within a range of social and political contexts has been explored. Throughout the past three years at QACI, students have grown together with their ensemble, where they have immersed themselves in the different styles and techniques used in theatre. The ability to create and develop performances without limitation has fuelled students to use their imaginations and build upon their knowledge of how to influence an audience.
In Students Clancey Brooker, Sascha Vosper, Malena Ayazian, Lucy FulcherDunn and Grace Laan's piece, the ignorant and selfish nature of human beings was explored. This was presented through the use of a bunker in the performance, where five girls living inside are led to believe that the outside is dangerous, and thus it is never discussed or questioned. Due to the need for younger adults to have their ideas heard and validated in the political world, the students felt this was an important idea to share. In the performance, the concept of blind ignorance and privilege was explored in order to challenge the common mindset, "If it doesn't affect me it doesn't matter". This core message fuelled the performance encouraging audience members to learn for themselves and to question mindsets that have been shaped by other's opinions.
In students Alexandra Richardson and Tessa Atkinson's MUSE performance, the mistreatment of older residents in retirement homes was explored. Theatre encourages discovery through experimentation, and this ideal encouraged both Alexandra and Tessa to challenge themselves into portraying meaning and emotion outside of their own experiences. Both characters in the show are painfully missing the past, as in the present, their paranoia and insufficient physical abilities are the only characteristics that define them to other people. The disregard for older people in society is a topic that is regularly pushed to the sidelines among other injustices throughout the world, however it is an experience that everyone deals with in one way or another. Though a small and very specific topic, the key message of their show highlights the importance of understanding and friendship inspiring audience members to talk to their older family members more frequently.
For these students, studying theatre in a space where they were treated like young adults allowed for a mutual respect towards people, places and ideas. The requirement for students to rig their lights, build their sets, write their scripts, and ultimately manage performances enforced the hard work and perseverance required throughout the subject. The highly collaborative environment paired with the full support given by other staff members provided students with the confidence to ask questions and feel self-assured. Throughout the subject, a strong work ethic and an all-encapsulating understanding of the discipline of theatre was progressively refined to give students the confidence to think for themselves and value their imaginative ideas in future endeavours.