Over 90 students from 26 Catholic schools in the region will come together to perform a contemporary version of William Shakespeare’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream as A Night in the Forest comes to the Civic Theatre next week.
The production is the culmination of many months of preparation by students who participate in ASPIRE, the flagship performing arts group within the Diocese of Maitland-Newcastle.
ASPIRE Director, Anna Kerrigan said consulting widely with drama students and teachers from across the Diocese was key in establishing this year’s theme:
“A Midsummer Night’s Dream is quite easy for young people to grasp, but complex enough to be interesting. It’s comic, it’s fun, and all those elves and fairies offer plenty of scope to utilise the talents of such a large cast.” Mr Kerrigan said.
A firm believer in the value of live theatre, especially for young people, Ms Kerrigan sees ASPIRE as an opportunity for young people to branch out and try something new:
“Their lives are so caught up in screens – the internet is everywhere, then there’s television, cinema and various “i” devices – but theatre’s right there. It’s so immersive and it’s different every time!
“I really see theatre as a wonderful form of expression, because it allows you to just ‘have a go’. There’s no right or wrong and it’s always a team effort.”
A song competition was a feature of the lead-up to the production with Dominic Moore from St Peter’s Campus, All Saints College, Maitland, taking out the coveted prize. His song, “Let Them Run”, will be performed as part of a trailer before each performance of A Night in the Forest.
Tickets to all ASPIRE performances are available from the Civic Theatre box office or via Ticketek on 4929 1977.
WHAT: ASPIRE presents A Night in the Forest
WHO: Over 90 Catholic school students from the Maitland-Newcastle Diocese
WHERE: Civic Theatre, Hunter Street, Newcastle
WHEN: Performances are being held on Thursday 24 July 11am, Friday 25 July 11am and 7pm, Saturday 26 July 7pm.
To arrange a photo or interview with students or teachers taking part in ASPIRE 2014, please contact Communications Manager Kate Bennett, on 0419 263 901.