Congratulations to our Annual Showcase performers, 2018!

Saturday 3 November was a big day for the Viva Voice community as our students gathered for the Annual Showcase at Actors Centre in Leichhardt. This was the forth showcase, and by far the biggest one yet with over 95 students participating. Our Creative Director, Amy Hume, reflects on the magical evening.

The showcase is an opportunity to bring together students from Voice and Acting™ and Drama classes, as well as students who receive private coaching throughout the year, and celebrate their growth and achievements.

Senior students arrived from 3pm to begin rehearsals and start transforming the theatre to make it our own. Our fabulous team of teachers coordinated rehearsals in the theatre, set the students up backstage, sorted out the AV requirements and tech cues, and got everything ready for the big performance at 6:30pm.

The show itself…

Students in Voice and Acting™ classes presented individual poems and prose readings. Some of these students also performed group pieces with their class.

Monday’s K – 2 Voice and Acting™ class were a highlight with their humorous poem “Mr Somebody” by Annette Kosseris. This class only began in Term 3 so it was not only their first showcase, it was their first time performing in front of an audience!

Other group performances included a hilarious vampire sketch, a scene from “Away” by Michael Gow, and a humorous sketch about being saved by the bell.

Our Drama students were a massive hit as always.

We loved watching the youngest students from Tuesday P – Yr 1 Drama performing “Giggly Gertie” and Saturday’s P – Yr 2 class performing the short play “Monkey Puzzle” based on the book by Julia Donaldson and Axel Scheffler.

Tuesday Yr 2 – 3 Drama had the audience in stitches with the hot dog saga they presented, and everyone loved Saturday Yr 3 – 5 Drama’s self-devised play “Journey Through a Black Hole”. It’s so impressive what the students come up with when they unleash their imagination and create their own stories!

Our buddy Shakespeare made a few notable appearances too!

The students from Tuesday Yr 5 – 6 Drama brought their study of Macbeth to the stage with scenes from different moments in the play including the witches and Lady Macbeth’s sleep walking. They were careful not to say the name of the play inside the theatre because we all know the dangers of the Macbeth curse!

It’s always a treat when Year 11 and 12 students are able to be part of the showcase because the younger students look up to them so much and absolutely love their performances.

Many students presented material from their AMEB Speech and Drama exams which ranged from self-devised info-commercial’s for an imagined TV audience, introducing a guest speaker they’ve been longing to meet (imagine if Robin Hood had actually come onto stage after Lachlan’s intro!), analysing the communication style of a speaker they admire, or sharing an extract from article they studied.

We were also lucky to have encore performances of pieces that saw students win awards at school competitions and eisteddfods throughout the year, including Mims’ poem “Food” by Shel Silverstein, Ren’s poem “School” by Michelle Magorian, and Alyssa’s performances of “Clarice Bean” by Lauren Child and “Jabberwocky” by Lewis Carrol.

What makes it all worth it

A lot of effort goes into preparing students for performances like this – choosing pieces, writing speeches, organising costumes, learning lines, and hours spent driving children to and from their lessons. When we see the students so excited and graceful on stage, we’re reminded why its so worthwhile.

These students are learning essential skills that will stay with them through life.

A number of students performed for the first time ever at the 2018 showcase. Some only just started class.

All the students who performed attend Viva Voice for different reasons. Some love the limelight, others shy away from it. Their teachers – Isabel, Kelly, Trish, Kristen and Jasmin – have a great way of connecting with the students and bringing the best out of each them.

A few formalities

At the showcase we acknowledged and congratulated the hard work of some of the senior students who completed their Certificates in Voice and Communication this year. As these students are in Years 11 and 12 they’re eligible to receive bonus ATAR points in recognition of studying for the Certificates at this point in their schooling.

Congratulations on this huge achievement goes to Rory, Brendan, Paddy, Anthony and Salina. We also congratulate Cate and Phoebe who have received this award since the showcase.

Viva Voice Spirit Awards 

This year the teachers and I wanted to find a way to recognise students who continually step outside their comfort zone, even if it’s the hardest thing for them to do.

We created the Spirit Award to acknowledge the huge growth a student demonstrates by taking up opportunities as they come, even when it feels scary or challenging.

We considered a number of students who’ve been at the studio for at least a year and have two junior and two senior recipients of our first ever Viva Voice Spirit Awards:

Junior Viva Voice Spirit Award recipients: Jayden and Henry

Senior Viva Voice Spirit Award recipients: Belle and Michael

Joan Hume OAM Memorial Award

On the evening I also announced a special new award in memory of my aunt, Joan Hume OAM.

Joan was an incredible woman who became a quadriplegic after a car accident at the age of 23. Prior to being injured, Joan was a carefree high school teacher whose sharp intellect and intense love of literature could’ve led her to Cambridge or Oxford. After her injury, Joan became an advocate for disability rights in Australia. It’s thanks to Joan and the movements she spearheaded that we now have disabled parking places, disabled toilets in shopping centres, and lifts at train stations – things that these days, seem standard.

Joan was able to be a fierce and loyal advocate because she wasn’t afraid to speak up. She’d studied speech and drama through her high school years and was a proud member of the drama society at uni. Her voice was warm, charged, engaging and full of conviction.

In her memory, I created the Joan Hume OAM Memorial Award. This award is for a student who demonstrates commitment to speech and drama, and to using their voice for advocacy and leadership.

The first ever recipient of the award embodies all that it stands for – she’s a wonderful role model for younger students through her involvement in the community and her leadership roles at school.

Congratulations to the 2018 recipient of the Joan Hume OAM Memorial Award – Rafqa Touma.

A word of thanks

Thanks to all the parents, friends and family members who joined us for the 2018 Annual Showcase.

We’re incredibly proud of all the students and loved having the opportunity to acknowledge their growth and achievements.

If you have any feedback about the evening, please get in touch with us. We look forward to working with the students to create a bigger, brighter and tighter showcase next year for our 5th Anniversary!