New 570 seat theatre opens to showcase ASPIRE

The show must go on! From devastating fire to 'Factory' fireworks - St Pius X High School, Adamstown opens 570 seat theatre to showcase the inaugural ASPIRE performance.

A 570 seat theatre, believed to be the largest of any school in the Hunter, will be opened this Thursday at St Pius X High School, Adamstown to celebrate the inaugural performance of ASPIRE, the Catholic Schools' creative and performing arts program.

Still in its first year, ASPIRE is an ongoing initiative of the Catholic Schools Office which provides an opportunity for students talented in the performing arts, to extend their learning and be challenged in a creative environment amongst peers.

Featuring significant talent from some of the Hunter's 55 Catholic Schools, the inaugural performance will unite 80 students from the four ensembles of Voice, Drama, Instrumental and Dance offered by ASPIRE, and culminates in an integrated production called 'This is Me'.

ASPIRE Executive Officer Lisa Little said, 'This is me' is a showcase performance with a difference.

"This Is Me takes identity as its starting point and uses a mix of original and familiar material to tell a story which explores the question, 'What makes each of us unique?'," Ms Little said. "Integrated into the script are songs by Adele, Abba and Jessie J to name a few and some musical theatre numbers including items from Wicked and Snoopy.

"The students, ranging from Years 5 to 12, come from Catholic schools all across the diocese and have been fantastic to work with, giving 110% every week. They've really thrown themselves into it and we are so impressed with the level of talent we have in our Catholic schools. This is our benchmark offering to students in our schools to extend their learning and grow in a field they're passionate about and I'm excited for the community to see all their hard work come together for the show."

The performance is open to the whole community with parents, young people and anyone looking for a great night out, invited to come along. "It's also a fantastic opportunity to see the new state of the art theatre for the first time too," Ms Little said.

A fire which caused considerable damage to St Pius X in the last school holidays, came close to threatening the future of the theatre, known as "The Factory" initially, but thanks to the effort of local fire-fighters, was contained and didn't affect the school's new buildings or theatre.

Principal Bob Emery said staff and students are excited about showcasing their new theatre and that, despite the fire, the "show must go on!"

"It's been a tough term for our school but we're really thrilled, not only to be opening the theatre to the people of the Hunter, but hosting a top-class performance showcasing students from Catholic Schools across the region," Mr Emery said.