Byron Bay High School graduates Anoushka Blake-Cadou, Finn MacPherson, Kaia Shearer and Isabella Stephens were selected for the prestigious OnSTAGE drama showcase for the stage production they created for their 2019 HSC.
Byron Bay High School graduates Anoushka Blake-Cadou, Finn MacPherson, Kaia Shearer and Isabella Stephens were selected for the prestigious OnSTAGE drama showcase for the stage production they created for their 2019 HSC.

Students take the limelight for HSC drama showcase

GETTING through your HSC is one great achievement.

Being picked for one of the state’s cream-of-the-crop creative showcases is a huge bonus for a select group of school-leavers.

Four students from Byron Bay High School were among a group of less than 60 selected for the OnSTAGE showcase, held at the Seymour Centre in Sydney in February.

They were chosen from a cohort of more than 4000 drama students.

The troupe included Anoushka Blake-Cadou, Finn MacPherson, Kaia Shearer and Isabella Stephens.

Finn said the group had been tasked with creating a drama piece, based of a stilumus sentence, for the HSC.

They worked together to create a dark but funny piece that’s essentially the tale of one man trying to buy a hat and three women with sales pitches hinging off its “extraordinary qualities”.

In the end, the man wants to buy it, but he’s found unworthy and the women bring about his demise.

It was before their final marks were even released they knew they had been nominated for OnSTAGE.

Finn, having gone to live in Japan for a short time in the interim, said he’d been nervous about the piece coming together for the six days of live shows in Sydney.

But the troupe made it work

“With the actual performance, I feel there was something so rewarding doing it every day in front of a heap of people,” Anoushka said.

“It was really cool to do it.

“It felt like real theatre; we’re just going out there and having fun.”

Kaia said the energy in the room was “amazing”.

Anoushka said while it’s challenging to pursue acting as a career, it’s a passion the group is likely to keep in their lives in some form.

Isabella, currently studying design and production at the Victorian College of the Arts, said she was “extremely surprised” when they were selected for OnSTAGE.

The group agrees their piece might have been polished off a little later than they’d hoped, but it seems the bond between the four friends and their shared love of performing arts saw it come together in fine form.

“We were so lucky, our drama teacher is out of this world,” Isabella said.

“She supported us so much throughout the whole process, even when we weren’t really on top of things.”

The group’s drama teacher, Simone Museth, and the current Year 12 drama cohort also travelled for the showcase.

Many of the others selected were from dedicated performing arts schools.

NSW Education Standards Authority CEO Paul Martin said OnSTAGE was a highlight of the dedication and creativity of NSW arts students.

“It is impressive to see how students reflect on their personal and community values in these performances and I am so glad that both the public and future students have a chance to see them displayed,” Mr Martin said.

He said the showcases, which also include the dance event Callback, was “testament to the commitment of students and their teachers as well as the quality of the NSW Drama and Dance curriculum”.

Halle Clark from Lismore’s Trinity Catholic College performed a piece related to relief and joy of rain after the hardship of drought in the Callback dance showcase.


BORDER MAYHEM: Huge traffic jams as people flock to QLD

Premium Content BORDER MAYHEM: Huge traffic jams as people flock to QLD

IT’S 11 hours since the QLD border bubble officially extended

‘No simple, immediate solution’ to severe beach erosion

Premium Content ‘No simple, immediate solution’ to severe beach erosion

WORK to manage the issue is continuing, but it’s a waiting game for sand to return...

Major sports tournament announced for Lismore

Premium Content Major sports tournament announced for Lismore

A MAJOR baseball tournament will be returning to Lismore next year.