The CYS Performing Arts Centre truly lived up to its name last term as we proudly premiered the musical ‘Yeti Hunt’ over three performances and several packed houses.
The show was a testament to the skill, determination, teamwork and abilities of all our students and the adults who supported them.
‘Yeti Hunt’ was set in the mid 1850s when the tallest mountain in the world was the mighty Kanchenjunga in east Nepal, when teams from India’s Great Trigonometric Survey were finishing the massive undertaking that was the mapping of India and when conquering distant summits was an international pastime.
To those historical facts we added Nepalese folklore and festivals, a sprinkling of magic and a large dose of playful imagination.
Leading by example
Our four leads – Taylor (Yami Tamang), Nicholas (Himal Bhandari), Kira (Baroness Berhmut) and Steph (The Sham-an) are to be congratulated for learning their lines so quickly, putting in countless hours of practice and performing so capably and confidently on stage.
Not to be out done were our four Year 2 ‘baby yetis’ – Caitlyn, Jemima, Julian and Isabelle – who gave their tiny characters such huge personalities.
In fact, every class can boats talented students who took their roles – no matter how small or large – and shaped them into their unique portrayal. And as this was the world premiere, we can confidently say you were all ‘First, First, First’!
It was also terrific to have the Point Pearce and Kindy students performing with us (another premiere!) along with the staff. In fact, we had quite a few staff appearing at different times, including the wonderful Val McLean who not only painted the backdrop but organised the backstage crew, Mrs Bubner and Miss Clift (class teachers) and of course Mr Keleher in the yeti costume
I’m very proud of our tech crew and must mention our student operators Maireade , Annabelle, Elizabeth and Will and our audio technician, SSO Angas McEvoy.
It’ll be right on the night
Rehearsals can be demanding on young and old, and with a busy term of schoolwork and sport to boot, it was no wonder we lost a few cast members along the way. Thank you to all those – young and old – who stepped in to fill the gaps, both on stage and backstage and often at just a few minutes notice.
I’d like to particularly thank Molly who took over as the Blacksmith and Ruby who made twin mayors into just the one! Thanks also go to Sarah Townsend who suddenly found herself running all the shows many sound FX!
A community endeavour
We started our ‘Yeti Hunt’ back in June when the primary classes ‘Climbed Kanchenjunga’ as a fundraiser for a Nepalese Orphanage. Their sense of being part of a wider international community was evident in their involvement and their questions and comments after. Our production was also a community event, with staff, students, families, friends and the Maitland township all doing their part.
I’d like to particularly thank Di Bourne here (as always!) for the visual feast that our costumes provide. It’s is a true testament to her creative talents and abilities to enthuse others in a project that included mountaineers in three nationalities, Nepalese villagers, mystic lamas, Sherpas, yetis, shamans, a Baroness and two squads of Prussian Guards.
The Performing Arts give students the chance to explore alternative worlds, alternative characters and alternative realities.
It also gives students opportunities to express themselves in unique ways and perhaps show the world a different side of themselves. As Di said in the show program,:
“As the weeks of rehearsals go by it has, once again, been very obvious to see the pure enjoyment and excitement by all the students from Kindy to year 10 as the back drops, costumes and lighting effects appear…
It has been a delight and very rewarding to be involved with the students and the school community…
The productions are a fantastic opportunity for all students to be able to have a theatrical experience and are a wonderful show case to the wider community of what can be achieved at CYS by so many wonderfully talented students both on and off stage.”