Four St Clare's High School drama students have impressed HSC markers with their talent and skill to receive perfect marks and earn themselves a nomination for OnStage.
The showcase, held at The Seymour Centre in Sydney each February, features the most exceptional student performances in NSW for HSC Drama.
To receive a nomination is a rarity as it reflects a student has received perfect marks for their practical exam.
Ryan Young, Clare Chapman, Sophie Johnston and Luke Earley have submitted their works to be reviewed in the coming weeks and will be notified of their possible inclusion in the show at the conclusion of their final HSC exam.
Only 10 students around NSW are selected each year.
Clare Chapman, who adapted Samuel Beckett's best-known work, Waiting for Godot, said it's every drama student's goal to perform in OnStage.
"I remember watching my brother Kyle perform in the show two years ago and how proud I was to see him up their making an audience of over eight hundred people laugh.
"That really pushed me to work on honing my expressive skills and create a monologue that could also be nominated."
Clare used conventions of clowning and circus work, spending eight months learning how to juggle and manipulate bowler hats, mastering several tricks that she seamlessly integrated into her performance.
These stunts created much of the comedy in her show and aided the satirical elements that Beckett is known for as the character continues every day to wait for a guest named Godot who never arrives.
Ryan Young tailored the character of Clov from another of Samuel Beckett's absurdist works, Endgame.
Clov is played as a decrepit servant who fulfills the same orders of his master every day.
However, Ryan modified the character to play off his own strengths in physicality, using a myriad of flips and acrobatics to complete the tasks ordered of him.
"Every year we go down to OnStage we see some excellent performances, so it is pretty amazing to be nominated for that," said Ryan.
"(Our teacher) Mr Howard has had heaps of students achieve in drama and he helped me to develop my monologue to get the most out of my physical skills."
Luke Earley performed The Boggin's Commode acting as a crooked antiques dealer who is always after the next big bargain.
Luke's strength lied in his boundless energy on stage, and this assisted him to bring life to a character who went about the countryside manipulating people to sell him their priceless furniture for a meagre fee, only to get his just desserts in the final moments.
Sophie Johnston saw the potential in Edgar Allen Poe's classic short story The Tell-Tale Heart.
The story tells of an unnamed narrator setting out to murder the old man she lives with.
Using her exceptional skills in dance and movement, Sophie stylised the tale with dynamic physicality.
She also added a range of sound effects that immersed the audience in the gruesome deed.
St Clare's students often present performances that are highly theatrical and play to their strengths, resulting in more than 40 students being nominated in the past decade for group and individual pieces.
The Taree school has been recognised for producing excellent performances with six students previously making it into the final OnStage program over the last three years, which is unheard of for a small rural school to be amongst the small percent who are chosen.
St Clare's drama teacher Callam Howard said he was extremely proud of this year's group, not just the students who got nominated, but the whole class.
"Drama classes always develop a sense of family, and the support our students displayed for each other was incredible.
"I'm very hopeful that one or more of our nominated students will be invited to perform at OnStage.
"It's a fantastic opportunity for them, and a credit to St Clare's support of its students and the work they produce.
"I couldn't ask for more dedicated and passionate kids and there is nothing more rewarding than making that phone call to them to tell them they have been nominated," he said.
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