Singing can be heard from the dirt track leading to Mt Evelyn Recreational Camp at the foot of the Dandenong Ranges. It’s not rehearsal, but the dinner queue in the pine-lined dining room. More than 100 students from Ringwood Secondary College, a production team of 10 staff and two ex-students are into the second evening of a three-day camp. In three weeks Cole Porter’s Kiss Me Kate will open on the school stage for eight performances.
Director of Performing Arts, Benjamin Moody is munching on fish ‘n’ chips. While his first involvement was in 2000 as a ring-in, this is his sixth camp as a production team member, and the first as director.
‘Unless you come away for three days, you don’t get an uninterrupted run through. The rehearsal hours for the chorus [on camp] are as many as we can get over the entire Tuesday night rehearsal period,’ he explains. ‘From my point-of-view, the distance we’ve come in the last 24 hours is quite phenomenal, and we still have two full runs to go.’
Year 12 student Shaun Dickson agrees. ‘At school we get a few hours a week, but at camp we have three days straight. There are no distractions, and there’s no going home. You wake up and you just do it. There’s nothing else. Everyone is here to do production. Everyone has their head in the zone.’ Continue reading
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