Talented drama students from Catherine McAuley Westmead posing
Back row - (L:R) Maxinne P., Amelia L., Ashmitha S., Taashya, Johanna O., Calista S., Amelia C.
Middle row - Siya P., Saadhana K., Adut K., Charlotte P.
Front row - Keira Santa M., Adriana M., Christi S.

A troupe of talented drama students from Catherine McAuley Westmead recently competed in the Western Sydney Regional Shakespeare Carnival Finals, hosted by Penrith Selective High School, with one group making it through to the State Finals in June!

The students are all members of the After School Drama Ensemble, part of CSPD's creative and performing arts program CAPTIVATE, which meets every Thursday afternoon at Parramatta Marist High School.

Led by Christopher Tomkinson from the Sport for Jove Theatre Company, the Carnival started with an energetic warm-up led by the two industry professional judges.

It then kicked into action with presentations and performances in the Physical Theatre, Duologue, Ensemble, Self-Devised and Short Film categories.

Maxinne P., Keira Santa M., Amelia L., Ashmitha S., Christi S. and Adriana M. took out the top spot in the Self-Devised category with their Romeo & Juliet-inspired piece ‘TWO HOUSEHOLDS IN…WHERE?', booking a place in the Shakespeare Carnival State Final at the Seymour Centre on 2 June.

CAPTIVATE students from McAuley Westmead posing with Tim Martin (CAPTIVATE)
The winning Self-Devised category cast - (L:R) Maxinne P., Keira Santa M., Amelia L., Ashmitha S., Christi S., Adriana M. and Tim Martin (CAPTIVATE)

The scenes were devised and rehearsed with the assistance of their CAPTIVATE tutors, Tim Martin and Lucinda Armour.

Year 10 student Amelia L. found the “atmosphere awesome and everyone so supportive. I loved every single performance”.

The Ensemble group presented a piece from A Midsummer Night's Dream and, up against fierce competition, came second in their category.

“The experience has given me exposure to Shakespearean language, acting and plays; seeing the different ways Shakespeare's plays can be interpreted,” said Year 9 student Saddhana K. While Charlotte P. (Year 10) “really loved being a part of this; making new friends, perfecting our scene. It was nerve-racking but I loved it!”

Tim Martin (pictured with the winning Self-Devised group) said: “Both casts worked so hard on their pieces, even coming in over the holidays to rehearse and fine-tune their performances. We could not be more proud of them and their hard efforts paid off. We thank everyone at Catherine McAuley for their support and encouragement.”

While his CAPTIVATE colleague Lucinda Armour said: “The standard of performance this year really soared. Every single presentation was a serious contender.”

We wish CAPTIVATE and Catherine McAuley the best of luck at the State Finals!

Find out more about our amazing CAPTIVATE program


Written By

Catholic Schools Parramatta Diocese

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