Year 11 Emmaus College students Abigail Chapman, Jenna Vassella and Cobin Gooding prepare for the Bard Awards
Year 11 Emmaus College students Abigail Chapman, Jenna Vassella and Cobin Gooding prepare for the Bard Awards

Inspired by Shakespeare, Emmaus actors explore inner goth

EMMAUS College performing arts students are putting the final touches to a number of magical and ghoulish pieces, in the lead up to this weekend’s Bard Awards.

Due to overwhelming interest, the two-day festival has moved from the Walter Reid Cultural Centre to the Pilbeam Theatre.

Emmaus’ Year 12 class will present its unique interpretation of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, a fast paced and highly visual piece which recently earned it a place in the Queensland Shakespeare Festival.

It is only the second time a regional team had made it to the finals.

Year 11 Emmaus College students Abigail Chapman, Cobin Gooding and Jenna Vassella prepare for the Bard Awards
Year 11 Emmaus College students Abigail Chapman, Cobin Gooding and Jenna Vassella prepare for the Bard Awards

Meanwhile Year 11 students have chosen a work in keeping with their Australian Gothic curriculum, titled Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset.

“It’s set in the early 1900s of colonial Australia and it’s very dark,” Abigail Chapman said.

“It’s about a woman in the forest whose only family remaining are her twin daughters, Fortitude and Hope.”

Jenna Vassella, who plays one of the twins, was among local students who spent last Sunday in acting workshops with three experts in preparation for the Bard Awards.

“I really liked the workshop about auditions because it was very helpful to learn how to control my nerves during auditions,” she said.

Cobin Gooding said it was an interesting challenge to get into character for a play about the supernatural.

“It’s about putting yourself outside the box and creating a new atmosphere,” he said.

Year 11 Emmaus College student Cobin Gooding prepares for the Bard Awards
Year 11 Emmaus College student Cobin Gooding prepares for the Bard Awards

“The Gothic genre talks about the sublime and the supernatural and I think everyone’s going to be entranced by the plays on offer this weekend.”

Teacher Lynda Dowling said the students were excited to be working towards two upcoming festivals after a long time in lockdown.

“They have missed out on visiting workshops and interactions with professional artists,” she said.

“I think the Bard Awards are a fantastic initiative and I hope other regions will follow suit.”

Other Emmaus student performances during the Bard Award program include:

  • Year 7: Law and Order: Fairy Tale Unit and Cell Phone Zombies
  • Year 8: The Stones by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou
  • Year 9: Girl Who Cried Wolf by Angela Betzein
  • Year 10: What Do You Want To Be Remembered For (based on the play Wisdom)
  • Year 11: White Earth, Ruby Moon, Wolf Lullaby and Constance Drinkwater and the Final Days of Somerset.
  • Year 12: The Tempest (recontextualised)

For more information and ticketing go to https://www.seeitlive.com.au/Get-Involved/BardAwards2020



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