An end-of-year celebration like never before!

Last weekend we gathered as an online community to celebrate the incredible efforts and achievements of students this year, and reflect on the wild ride of 2020 at Viva Voice!

It was special to gather as a community via Zoom. Whilst restrictions are lifting and large gatherings are being allowed, given the unpredictable nature of this year and the many protocols we needed to consider with holding a showcase at the theatre, we opted for doing things differently this time around.

It really has been a year like no other! Throughout the most extraordinary challenges, Viva students stayed engaged and committed and it deserves almighty acknowledgement. We were able to transition 95% of students to online classes, and even had new ones start with us during lockdown.

Most students who weren’t able to participate in online classes are now back in weekly lessons at the studio. Holiday workshops have never been more popular, perhaps because Australians find ourselves unable to move freely around the globe as much as we often do!

The motto this year has been ‘community, continuity, connection’.

When the going got tough, we wanted Viva students to still have classes to look forward to, a community to feel a part of, and a creative outlet for all that built-up energy.

It was able to happen thanks to the incredible teaching team – Gemma, Heaven, Jasmin, Shelley and Trish – who have gone above and beyond this year. Nadda has kept the ship sailing smoothly even in turbulent waters. A massive shout out to Trish, our Teaching Coordinator, who ensured a smooth transition online, back-to-studio and everything in between.

Even once face-to-face classes resumed, we kept adapting. Students have been able to join their class online if they or a family member were unwell. This proved to be a win for students who moved away from Sydney but still attend their same class every week via Zoom! Well done to these students doing so well with online learning!

The students who perhaps had the biggest challenge this year were HSC students. They continued preparation for their Individual Projects with Shelley, our HSC Drama coach, and all received over 90% in their Trials. Special congratulations go to Anna who was nominated for Onstage!

We wish every student could have performed at our online Celebration Day but Zoom events have to work differently. The afternoon featured updates from teachers, live performances from Stella, Jessie and Roisin, and a series of highlight reels from 2020.

Check out some of the videos below!

This year we saw Drama students participate in our online eisteddfod and in Term 3 they created advertisements for the Recital which were a hoot. A highlight from the eisteddfod was their voice over reels, and we’ve edited some of them together here!

One of the things to come out of lockdown was our collaboration Fable Street speech and drama institute in Mumbai, India. Some of our Voice & Acting students got to know Fable Street students through a series of video exchanges. Here are some of the best moments!

Annual Awards

Every student comes to Viva for different reasons – they might be shy, have different learning styles, or have a love of performing and being in the spotlight. They all deserve recognition for their own accomplishments and achievements, especially in 2020, and will all receive Certificates in classes at the end of term. At Celebration Day, we acknowledged some special award winners.

Spirit Awards

These awards recognise students who continually step outside their comfort zone, even if it’s the hardest thing for them to do. The winners have been at Viva at least a year and we acknowledge the huge growth they have demonstrated.

Senior Spirit Awards: Thomas T, Christopher G

Junior Spirit Awards: Ricky T, Olive M

Outstanding Performers

Awarded to students whose talent and skill has shines through in all their performances – including their live Zoom performances on Celebration Day!

Junior Outstanding Performer: Stella S

Senior Outstanding Performer: Jessie T

Five Year Achievement Awards

In a tradition that started with Viva’s 5th birthday last year, this award recognises students who’ve been attending classes consistently for five years. It’s a particularly special award, because performing and presenting skills aren’t ones that develop overnight, they are honed overtime. This year we see some of our Drama students receive this award as these classes have now been running for five years!

Five Year Achievement Awards: Aidan C, Ashley S, Evie M, Heather G, Joshua C, Lara L, Louisa G, Macayla L, Michael T, Ryan C, Izabel A

Joan Hume Memorial Award

My aunt Joan was an incredible woman who became a quadriplegic after a car accident at the age of 23. After her injury, Joan became an advocate for disability rights in Australia. 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 loved acting. The Joan Hume Memorial Award is for a student who demonstrates commitment to speech and drama, and to using their voice for leadership. This year’s recipient of the award is an admired, creative member of our community, a role model for younger students and a passionate speaker.

Joan Hume Memorial Award: Roisin C

Congratulations to our 2020 award winners. The teachers and I hope many other students feel inspired by the courage, commitment and personal growth these students have demonstrated this year.

Thank you for spending 2020 with us and we look forward to seeing everyone back in a theatre in 2021! (Fingers crossed!)