Showing talents and learning teamwork

L-R: Olive, Eamon and Violet. Picture: DONGYUN KWON

By Dongyun Kwon

Chum Creek Primary School (PS) students unveil their production of Peter Pan to the audience on Wednesday 24 Apri at the Healesville High School Performing Arts Centre.

All students were involved on stage in some way with costumes and props made by the students and their families.

Chum Creek PS student captains Violet and Eamon said the storyline had to be reimagined to get all students involved in it.

“We have changed some of their dreams, so there’s gummy land and flamenco dance now,” they said.

“We put more Peter Pans and Tinker Bells in but they’re in different scenes so that everyone gets a little bit of a talking line.”

The students prepared for the production from the end of last year.

“We started like the day after we finished our last play because we don’t simply copy words but we make our own script,” the two captains said.

“So a lot of our Grade 6 students read books and articles about it to write our own script.

“We’ve been practising all our lines through term 1.”

Students chose Peter Pan for this year’s play by themselves.

“The story is good and suitable for all the kids because it’s not scary and everyone knows about the story,” Eamon said.

Violet said the preparation went smoothly.

“The only difficult thing was finding songs,” she said.

“But, I’m really happy that we actually have two plays [matinee and evening show] this year.”

Chum Creek PS senior class teacher Kate Bilton said everybody in the school community took part in to play to make it a spectacular show.

“Every student in the school was involved in the production and all teachers helped. Parents helped out too with set design and props,” she said.

Chum Creek PS principal Michael Corr said the school has put on productions every year for the past four years.

“Every production was sold out,” he said.

“We feel we punch above our weight as far as student participation and enjoyment, and having programs that are student-focused.”

The profit from the tickets goes back to the school.

“We usually hand it over to the students and it’s really students’ choice how that money is spent to make Chum Creek a better school,” Ms Bilton said.

The two student captains said they learnt teamwork and collaboration while they were working on the play.

“We learnt how to work together and we felt really good about bringing our community together,” they said.

“We also learnt resilience because even when stuff goes wrong, we just have to keep on going with everything.’

The production was presented twice at 1pm and 6pm thanks to the venue support from Healesville High School.

“We have to say big thank you to Healesville High School because what the students all agree on is the most special part about the play is that we get to do it in a real theatre where we have a real light and sound technician who really brings the kids dreams to life on the stage,” Ms Bilton said.

“Healesville High School has supported us four years in a row now.”

Healesville High School principal Allan Rennick said his school loves to share its facilities with local primary schools.

“We are happy to offer this opportunity for free of charge to small schools that don’t have such a facility and money to hire a big space,” he said.

“I love seeing the little kids showing their talents here.”