FORMER Taree High School students and a former St Clare’s High School student let their drama talent shine at OnStage in Sydney.
OnStage features the most outstanding drama performances from the 2016 Higher School Certificate.
Jamie-Lee Carter, Shania Winkley, Gregg Andrews, Mikaela Beckett and Ciahn Pertzel of Taree High School presented a piece on the stigmas and stereotypes associated with public versus private schools.
St Clare’s student Nick Smith performed a monologue as the character Charles Bronson.
They performed six times to large crowds, including students and teachers from the Manning Valley who had travelled down for the show.
“Having my school and drama teacher Callam Howard attend one of my performances meant a great deal to me,” Nick said.
Nick practised his monologue as much he could, even when he was “working, walking and cleaning”.
The group performers faced the challenge of moving away from home and each other, with the group now living in Sydney, Newcastle and the Central Coast.
“We didn't have much time to rehearse as we were so busy with preparing for the next phase of our lives,” Gregg said.
“We had to quickly rehearse as much as we could and polish everything within a few days, it was a bit rushed but we knew the performance so well that we weren't too worried.
“Everyone was really supportive and told us they enjoyed it. A lot of people told us that our performance was very accurate which meant that our message was coming across. It was so amazing to hear such positive feedback but the best part was meeting the other performers. We made such fantastic friends so quickly is was incredible.”
Nick said: “Everyone I met at Onstage were such incredibly talented performers, it was an experience in itself getting to act alongside them”.
“I was lucky to meet a lot of teachers and students from the audience after shows, and it was incredibly rewarding to be told exactly what elements of Bronson's character appealed to different people,” he said.
Both described giving their last performance as a “bittersweet experience”.
“Performing the piece on the final show was a bittersweet experience,” Nick said.
“I definitely considered it the best run of the program, but it was a shame to finish after such an incredible week. I'm glad I got the opportunity to say goodbye to Bronson's character in such a spectacular way.”
“It was so sad to say goodbye to our performance and the whole OnStage experience,” Gregg said.
“We formed such an amazing bond between us and with the other performers.”