Casey Grammar School has been announced as the 2021 winner of The Age ‘Schools that...
Creating a School Musical
You enter a big, dark theatre. You take a seat. People are filling up the leftover seats. There is buzz and excitement which radiates from the foyer.
You sit, faced with a stage that’s empty, dark and mysterious. You wait in anticipation for something to happen. Then the lights turn on, the chattering of the outside world turns into silence and you watch the stage that was once lifeless spring into life. Pulled into a world of fantasy, drama and music, you can forget all your worries for a moment and dwell in the life story of another.
While Casey Grammar’s musical, High School Musical, is on hiatus due to current restrictions, staff and students look forward to presenting the show in the near future.
Spoorthy Bhat, Communications Captain, interviewed Mr Peake, one of the many individuals who dedicated their time and effort to make this musical into a reality, to explore the intricate details of how such a musical comes to be.
How does it all begin? What is the starting process?
The first process would be finding a production that everyone would agree upon, a year prior to its showcasing. This comes with its own struggles as it is important to find a show that everyone is passionate about; a show that will represent the school. After filtering through numerous scripts and selecting one, the team must get approval from the school and approval from the company that has given out the rights, to then finally announce it to the school.
As Casey Grammar School is full of talented individuals, the casting process is a very important stage to allow the various talents to shine as casting is the first step towards the right direction. The finalised cast gather together for a script read to feel the chemistry and unity of the group. The musical continues to be developed from there, embellished with unique visions and ideas.
How was High School Musical chosen?
High School Musical was an idea that was floated every year. Every year, students have tried to guess what the school production will be and High School Musical was on many students’ wish list. We received an enthusiastic response from students when we made the announcement, which meant we knew we made the right choice! Even though High School Musical seems to have a simple storyline, it is anything but simple to put together. However, once everything comes together, it is a rewarding experience.
How do you deal with any issues or problems that might come up?
It can be difficult and organisation is key. You have to have the mindset of pulling through and forging on. As they say, ‘The show must go on!’ One of the big issues is that we always feel like we never have enough time! But somehow it all comes together - of course only because of the dedicated work of the production team, cast, band and crew!
How does it feel being director for the first time?
It has definitely been very different. I’ve choreographed productions in the past and that gave me the opportunity to work with the whole cast more often, whereas being a director requires more focus on the main cast. Choreography requires a loud voice booming over an ensemble of around 80 students whereas directing requires a different approach – there are lots of little decisions to be made while juggling various other tasks. It has been a lot of work, however it is a very gratifying experience.
I’m very proud of everyone! The students have worked so hard to get where they are - singing, dancing, acting, playing instruments - they have all done an amazing job! It has been a rewarding, worthwhile experience.
Though we, as the audience, cannot yet experience the show, we can still appreciate the endeavour that over 90 students, the band and a team of teachers put in to make it a reality. We wait in hope for a time when we’ll be able to sit in the crowd and dive into the world of Casey Grammar’s High School Musical"