First Rehearsals in New Norcia Drama Studio

Unspeakable Shenanigans Week 1 Autumn

After a well deserved break, the cast and crew of An Unspeakable Triumph of Supreme Brilliance returned to school refreshed and ready to launch into production term. It was with much excitement that we kicked off our first rehearsal in the brand new New Norcia Drama Studio and the students (and staff) energy was at an all time high. We will now begin to work with sets and costumes earlier than ever before as students begin the process of character development and building.

From a technical perspective, our lighting and sound rigs are now in-house and our technical crew will be undergoing orientation next week in the workings of the lighting and sound system. The stage will also be bumped in next week, giving us 8 weeks of rehearsals on stage, something which we have never seen before.

The Senior Drama students will also be undergoing intensive in class rehearsals as part of the Year 10, 11 and 12 courses and will participating in up to 5 rehearsals each week to make this the slickest and most impressive production HCC has produced!

Mr Chris McRae
Production Director

Unspeakable Shenanigans Week 9

Coming off the back of another successful vocal workshop last week, the cast went straight into blocking the madness which is Act 2. The unique thing about the second half of 'Unspeakable Triumph' is that it basically flows as one extended scene with no stopping and high levels of energy. The cast have stepped up to the challenge and are starting to develop the frenetic nature of the scenes involved with this and as a result, rehearsals are proving to be a lot of fun for both students and staff.

Next week marks the end of an era for Holy Cross Productions, with our final rehearsal in Victoria Square before moving into the new New Norcia Performing Arts facilities. This space has seen six productions and countless hours of rehearsals. It has been a challenging space to work in at times but has allowed us to perform and build a production culture at the College of which we are particularly proud.

Next term will see the production begin to really take shape as we move to up to 5 rehearsals per week as part of the Senior Drama curriculum. Students in cast and crew roles will be busy preparing for four performances in Week 9 next term.

Until next week!

Mr Chris McRae
Production Director

Vocal Workshop #2


Julia Moody from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts worked with our Senior Production students once again yesterday in the second of three vocal workshops in which cast members are learning to master the Minnesotan accent. We were particularly excited to learn that Julia had previously trained James Millar, who is currently performing as Miss Trunchbull in 'Matilda The Musical'. The students are picking it up quickly and learning the importance of the American 'r' and 'l' sounds. They were soon put to work by presenting the opening scenes of the play to Julia and receiving character specific feedback. Julia worked with the idea of speaking with intention and motivation and students were able to bring this into their characterisation. We look forward to Julia returning for the final workshop which will be held in the week prior to the first performance!


Students, staff and members of the community were lucky enough to get a first look at the nearly completed New Norcia performing Arts spaces as part of Open Day yesterday. Several production students who were running tours were particularly excited to see the performance space and studios for the first time. Mr McRae and Mr Jackson ran the tours in conjunction with Mrs Sanders and we have to thank the builders for giving us this exciting sneak peek. The building is set to be completed in early April and be ready for use in Week 1 next term.


Mr McRae will be visiting WA Polystyrene this week who will be working on designing our collapsing set. Props and other set pieces are now beginning to trickle in with the assistance of staff and students.


It will soon be the end of an era at HCC with only two rehearsals remaining in Victoria Square. We have performed six productions in this space as well as countless rehearsals and as much as we are excited to move into our new spaces, it will be with a lot of nostalgia as the production culture has been built in this space over the past six years!

Mr Chris McRae
Production Director

Unspeakable Shenanigans Week 6l

We have reached the end of Act 1 with the final, frenetic scene of the first half of the show being the focus for this week. Student Assistant Director Zoe Paluszak took the reigns for this particular scene and enjoyed the opportunity to block the scene and work with the cast regarding their artistic and characterisation choices. This week was particularly energetic with lots of enthusiasm being shown from all and rehearsal having a particularly positive vibe.

Maria Bravo Echevarria and Michelle Karuga were on hand and ran individual cast interviews in order to get a sense of exactly what they wanted for their character's costume, allowing them to develop a sense of ownership around the costume and character.

Next week, we begin Act 2. The unique part of the second half of the show is that it is technically one large scene with no transitions and no breaks. This will be a great challenge for the students as they look to maintain high energy all the way through to the end of the show. 

Unspeakable Shenanigans Week 5


This week was the first chance our cast had to begin working what they had learnt in last week's accent workshop into their rehearsals. All cast members attempted the accent and they are working hard to be able to maintain the accent through rehearsals.

The focus now is creating 'characters within characters'. Students are being called on to develop verbal and physical choices and traits for two characters and will need to work hard in order to move in and out of characters throughout the action.


The building of the New Norcia Performing Arts facility  is rapidly approaching completion with the estimated date at the end of Week 9. This means that rehearsals will commence in the new spaces in Week 1 next term. This is set to be a state of the art facility with some very exciting features and will give students the opportunity to work and perform in some fantastic dedicated spaces.


Our official poster was revealed earlier in the week and will start being seen around the school and online soon. Ticket details will be included on the poster and tickets will go on sale mid next term for the shows in Week 9.

Mr Chris McRae
Production Director

New Norcia Performing Arts Building Sneak Peek

We are only 4-5 weeks away from having access to our amazing new Performing Arts Facilities. The New Norcia building will be ready for operation at the start of next term and Mr McRae, Mr Murphy and Mr Collins were lucky enough to have a walk through last week. Below are some images of what will be our production performance space and also learning spaces for Drama and Dance classes. We are very lucky to have such amazing facilities and staff and students are very excited to be able to start using these very soon!!

Official Poster Reveal

After a lot of thought and a very difficult decision, we are pleased to reveal the winning design which will act as the official poster for the 2017 Senior Production of 'An Unspeakable Triumph of Supreme Brilliance'. Congratulations to Mya Ubalde (Year 10) who has won a $50 iTunes voucher for her efforts. This will be presented at the end of term assembly. Thank you to all students who enterered. There were some amazing designs and we were spoilt for choice!

Unspeakable Shenanigans Week 4


The question on everyone's lips this week was 'Are You Minnesota Enough?'. Special guest Julia Moody from the Acting department at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts conducted the first of three vocal accent workshops which will allow students to master and perform in the Minnesotan accent. She began with distinguishing the differences between the students' native accent and that of General American before a game of pass the clap using stereotypical Minnesotan phrases such as 'Oh Ya', "Aw Geez' and 'You Betcha'.

The students soon began to pick up the differences and enjoyed the process immensely. They will now conduct their own research around developing their own version of the accent for their individual characters. Below is a look into what they got up to with Julia.


The production poster competition is now closed and all entries are being carefully considered. The winning design will be revealed next week and will begin to be advertised around the College and local community in the coming weeks.

Small props and pieces of set are now in the planning stages and will start to come together before the end of this term.

Mr McRae will be lucky enough to have a walkthrough of the new New Norcia Performing Arts spaces tomorrow which is where the Senior Production will be performed. If all goes to schedule, the facilities will be available for use from the beginning of next term!

See you next week!

Mr Chris McRae
Production Director

Unspeakable Shenanigans Week 3

The opening scene which introduces our audience to the Moss River players is now fully blocked and character is now the focus for our Senior Students. The cast took part in character workshops with the girls doing some character work with Assistant Director Miss Collender and Production Assistant Miss Goodwin whilst the boys participated in some character improvisation with Mr McRae and Mr Jackson. Scene One then took shape with some excellent interpretation and helpful feedback from the production team. 


Our focus now shifts to the first of our three Voice Workshops with Julia Moody next Wednesday in which the students will be working on mastering the Minnesotan accent. Some information about Julia's background is included below. She is currently working as the Head of Voice in the Acting department at WAAPA. This is set to be an amazing experience for the senior cast.

Julia Moody has a Bachelor of Arts from Curtin University (Perth), a Graduate Diploma in Voice Studies from NIDA (Sydney), is a fully accredited Associate teacher of Fitzmaurice Voicework, and did her actor training at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School in the United Kingdom. Julia has performed as an actor in Theatre, Film, TV, and Radio with companies right across Australia. She has worked as a Voice trainer and Consultant in the professional media with SBS TV and Radio since 1994, and with various other companies such as Channel 10,Open Channel, Public Radio News, 5UV and 6PR. She has run specially designed voice training sessions for professional speakers in all domains: the corporate arena; education; Theatre and Film; medical professionals and many others.
Julia has lectured in Voice at the Victorian College of the Arts School of Drama, the University of Ballarat Academy of Performing Arts, and is currently Head of Voice in the Acting Department of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts at Edith Cowan University.


A visit to WA Polystyrene this week will see the set planning begin with collapsible walls, falling doors and crumpling set pieces all in the pipeline. Stay tuned!

See you next week for more Unspeakable Shenanigans!

Mr Chris McRae
Production Director
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