Top Class Success

Well, it’s a rare moment when a Drama teacher is left almost speechless!

The past few days have brought me great joy as I discovered some of my 2005 Year 12 Drama students received a letter in the mail they were eagerly hoping to receive.

Each year, the Victorian Curriculum Assessment Authority (VCAA) has a Season of Excellence, showcasing the cream of the crop from the previous academic year’s best works in the visual and performing arts. In the subject of Drama, a select group of students who receive very high grades for their Solo Performance Examination are invited to audition the piece again before a panel to be a part of Top Class. Unfortunately, the majority miss out on a place in the program, as only a few make it through.

To be honest, I was blown away to have three girls in a small class of nine receive invitations to audition for this year’s Top Class. I witnessed a great sense of collegiality amongst the three, as they nervously motivated each other for their auditions, each wishing the other two the best of good fortune and success. As their teacher, I was already immensely proud of them for obtaining high A+s for their performance exam and receiving audition invitations. In the back of my mind, it was fine with me if none of them had got into Top Class. Secretly, I would have been over the moon for one of the three to make it through.

But what was about to follow just blew us all away. All three girls got into Top Class and will perform in two separate programs on the 7th and 22nd April this year. They can’t believe it. I can’t believe it. Our friends can’t believe it. I even rang the VCAA to double check it was true! It’s not that I didn’t think the girls were capable of getting in, it’s just that three students in the Top Class program from the same class is uncommon.

I hope no one views this blog as egotistical, because as this blog is about Drama teaching, then I intend to share the good and the bad with you. Sure, I have had students get into Top Class before, but never one-third of my class!

It was only half way through the school year in 2005 when I had already made up my mind that this class was the hardest working group of students I had ever taught. For that, I thanked them with a double pass to the movies each, because I was stunned by their commitment to Drama. From the weakest in the class to the strongest, there were private personal successes happening behind the scenes almost every week of the year. Just quietly, I finished the year saying to my colleagues in the Drama department, that I don’t think I had ever worked harder with a Year 12 Drama class, either.

So this moment has to be one of the proudest in my career and I know, without a shadow of a doubt, it is definitely one of the proudest moments for Georgie, Amelia and Grace, too. Well done girls! I’m proud of you. Your family and friends are proud of you. Your school is proud of you. And most importantly, you should be proud of yourself.

Look out Top Class …… here we come!

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7 Responses

  1. Anonymous says:

    Hey,
    Well done to all concerned, both from Cashy’s class and Wonthaggi!
    I’m pretty chuffed myself as our school had a couple get in, too. We have a Drama guy in doing his Pride and one of my Theatre Studies guys doing his Messenger from The Bacchae. Looking forward to seeing them all perform. It’s always an interesting experience at Top Class seeing the different ways students have managed to come at the tasks, not to mention the ridiculous standard of the work.
    Chris @ Xavier

  2. Anonymous says:

    Is anyone else freaking out big time? I can’t believe the concerts are only 2 weeks away!!! ahhhhh!!! I know it’s going to be a really fun day though, seeing all of the different solos… Just have to start rehearsing again… Audible sigh…Yay for drama!!!

    Will

  3. Rory says:

    Hey there,

    Looking forward to seeing all of your students perform at Top Class. Im the PRIDE from Wonthaggi Secondary with the extremely large (so large its ridiculous) prop, wearing lace… Yep, thats right lace. Can’t wait to see everyones interpretations and meet others. Its gonna be great. I’m on the 7th at 1 and will be gonna along to watch and support everyone at the other concerts. Now I just gotta get my piece back up to scratch.

    Rory

  4. Anonymous says:

    Hey Will!!

    My name is Grace, the CWA girl in Cash’s class. If you want to see how I portrayed the cwa character, im performing on the 22nd of April at 11.
    I’m pretty hard to miss with my walking frame and lipstick teeth. (haha)

    Make sure you come say hey 🙂

    Grace

  5. Anonymous says:

    That was a quick reply… Our 3 performances are split over the two concerts on the Friday… Our Pride is at the 1pm concert, and the Precious and Puck at the 4pm concert… We’re from Wonthaggi Secondary College down in the country, near Phillip Island (public schools rock!)… Our teacher is absolutely ecstatic… I can’t wait to see the way your CWA member interpreted the Prescribed Structure… We had a CWA member and we thought it would be an A+ for sure but the examiners mustn’t have seen what we saw… I’m kind of dreading starting to go through the rehearsal process again but I don’t want to look like a fool on the stage and have people walking away saying “that was not A+ material…” Good luck… Catch…

    Will

  6. Cashy says:

    Congratulations to you Will! Well done. Whoa! There’s two school’s out there with three from the same class! I’m sure your performance is every bit as good as the quality of last year’s Top Class performances, Will. It’s just that you probably can’t judge it objectively because you’re part of it all. And, like my students, sick of your solo by now because you’ve rehearsed and performed it so many times! What school are you guys from again? BTW we have a Security Guard, a Country Women’s Association Member and a Beauty Queen (Helena Ruenstein). The character choices over the two Drama programs should be pretty well spread as it is a hidden criteria in their selection process. According to VCAA, our Security Guard is on the 7th and CWA Member and Beauty Queen on the 22nd. So I’ve booked a bunch of tickets for myself and my Year 11 and 12 Drama classes on both dates. Good luck for the 7th Will!

  7. Anonymous says:

    That’s an amazing outcome!!! 3 from my class also made it into Top Class this year too… There must have been something in the water in 1987… I know when I opened my letter it was a moment of pure shock… I’m still overwhelmed and cannot believe the outcome after 7 days… When I think about the standard of last year’s Top Class performances, I know that my performance is nowhere near that level!!! I just cannot wait to see the way everyone interpreted each character… I know I’m sick of doing my solo so I can’t wait to see others… I wonder what the character ratio will be like this year… We have a Pride, a Precious and Puck… Just wondering what your student’s characters are Cashy? Good luck to everyone and we’ll see you on Friday the 7th!!!

    Will

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