Dayne Spencer and Maree Cronin have been working together for about 10 weeks – one as a Prep teacher, the other teaching Dance in the Senior School. While some members of staff may go years without having the opportunity to work with colleagues on another campus, these relatively new members of the CGGS teaching team are collaborating as choreographers in the School’s production of Wicked.
In the Junior School, Dayne has made his mark and students are keen to learn more from him about Performing Arts. With three Year 6 students cast in the chorus of Wicked (Ropafadzo Murwisi, Callie Beare and Sophie Frost, pictured above), word is out about his love of musical theatre.
“A lot of the children are aware now that it’s ‘my thing’ and it’s what I love to do,” says Dayne.
“I think it’s really lovely to hear them talk and know that it’s OK to be involved in this, and to dance and to act and to be a little bit silly. I think it’s a really important part of their development – not just as young children, but as girls.”
Working alongside a seasoned choreographer and dance teacher has also delivered Dayne with the opportunity develop his own skills. During rehearsals he pays keen attention to the way Maree works with the students to tighten up the routines and bring ‘polish’ to the performance.
“I’ve been doing a lot of choreography for school musicals, especially over the last three years,” says Maree. While she is used to productions with similar size casts, she is excited about the added element of live music provided by the orchestra and the performance being on home-turf.
“I’ve worked on productions before and taken kids out to theatres, so it’s really nice to be able to do that onsite at the school and for the school to be able to provide those facilities.”
What is she most looking forward to?
“The final rehearsals leading up to opening night are a really hyped atmosphere and the students get really excited on top of their nerves,” she says.
“And then show week is another ball-game because the energy they give, and the happiness and joy they give - not only just to their performances but as a team putting on a show - it just makes everything worth it and that’s all everyone remembers about the show. They forget all the blood, sweat and tears and just enjoy the final product.”
Dayne says while there are only a handful of Junior School students in the production, it is important to have them represented.
“I think it’s really valuable that they share this experience with the other girls so hopefully in years to come, others will have heard great things…I think in coming years, there will be a lot more Junior School students wanting to be involved in big productions like Wicked.”
Tickets are still available for all four shows with the Early Bird rate ending Sunday, 14 April. Don’t miss your chance to be part of this memorable Canberra Girls Grammar experience. Click here to book now.