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Queensland Theatre Company inspires CQUni and high school drama students in Mackay

Published:18 August 2020

CQUni’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) hosted a number of Queensland Theatre (QT) workshops for Bachelor of Theatre and Mackay high school students recently. (Photo 1) CQUni students at Saturday physical theatre workshop led by Ellen Bailey. (Photo 2) PIC 2: “Wisdom” performed by (L to R) Elyse Phelan, Abdul Salman, Jackson McGovern, Ellen Bailey. (Photo 3) All participants on stage at CQ Conservatorium Theatre, Ooralea and (Photo 4) CQUni Bachelor of Theatre students perform with students from Mirana State High School.

CQUni’s Central Queensland Conservatorium of Music (CQCM) hosted a number of Queensland Theatre (QT) workshops for Bachelor of Theatre and Mackay high school students recently.

The Queensland Theatre (QT) were in Mackay for just two days with The Scene Project, an interactive drama program for regional secondary drama students across Queensland.

Amidst the COVID-19 social distancing and shut down restrictions the QT found a way to deliver the program online and to take parts of the program to schools in regional locations.

QT actors Ellen Bailey, Jackson McGovern, Elyse Phelan, Abdul Salman visited the CQCM theatre at CQUni’s Ooralea campus with stage manager Natalie Callaghan and the Scene Project Managers Travis Dowling and Emma Funnell. QT Director, Education, Youth, Regional and Engagement, Laurel Collins also participated.

Under the direction of Michelle Miall, QT actor, Ellen Bailey led an interactive physical theatre workshop for 11 students studying the Bachelor of Theatre degree at CQUni Mackay.

On Monday 17 August, senior drama students from Mirani and Mackay Northern Beaches high schools visited CQCM at CQU’s Ooralea campus. They participated in practical drama workshops with CQUni students, led by Trevor Dowling, and watched the QT actors perform ’Wisdom’ by David Burton, which was written especially for Queensland Theatre’s Scene Project.

QT actor, Jackson McGovern was impressed at “how quickly the students could incorporate the directions on the script into their workshop scenes.”

Northern Beaches drama teacher, Kirrillie Ewald was thrilled with the enthusiasm and progress of students saying, “what the students have achieved in two hours is supremely impressive. Working in an unfamiliar space, with people and a script you don’t know so well, it’s amazing!”

“It was great to watch the CQUni Theatre students working with the secondary drama students.”

In his first year of the Bachelor of Theatre degree, Riley Watt said he “felt the power of protest established by the secondary students in their devised scene”.

Head of Course of the Bachelor of Theatre Dr Linda Lorenza said all the students, both secondary and tertiary, relished the collaborative creative process enabled by Queensland Theatre’s Scene Project.

“COVID-19 ground Australia’s entire arts industry to a halt in March. We are very fortunate to be in a regional area with large spaces at CQUni in which we could host the Scene Project.”

The QT Scene Project is supported by the Tim Fairfax Foundation and RACQ.