On Friday 29 April, our Year 10 Drama, Music, Visual Arts and Year 11 Entertainment students were involved in a collaborative performance of a play written and adapted by Michael Rulli from Peter FitzSimons’ book Gallipoli. The play consisted of Year 10 Drama students performing excerpts from actual historical correspondence and research on the atrocities and experience of the landing on the Gallipoli Peninsula and the events that occurred during this time.
The Music students created the sound effects as well as haunting renditions of Waltzing Matilda and The Band Played Waltzing Matilda. In the background, our Visual Arts students were busy creating the set by drawing the scenes, crosses and poppies on blackboards with chalk. At each performance throughout the day, the set continued to build and it was completed by the final performance. Four students also painted canvases to commemorate key figures including General John Monash, Simpson’s Donkey and the performers in situ.
The final performance in the Byrne Theatre was on the Friday evening to the parents and the author Peter FitzSimons attended as well. He treated the audience and students with further stories from his research. The students and audience were moved by the experience and commented on the value of such an authentic learning opportunity to commemorate the Anzacs at this time of the year.