Take the Lead: Picnic at Hanging Rock

Picnic at Hanging Rock, St Anthony's Catholic College
Taneil Mitchell, Hannah Corken and Ashleigh Dodson in St Anthony's Catholic College's 'Picnic at Hanging Rock' IMAGE: Timothy Greensill

Students at St Anthony’s Catholic College will continue the school’s tradition of performing their annual play under the stars, when they present Tom Wright’s stage adaptation of Picnic at Hanging Rock on the school grounds this week. The rugged surrounds of the school are sure to provide the perfect setting for this classic Aussie tale that follows the disappearance of a group of school girls and their teacher, and the mysterious events that follow.

Amber Harrison, who will play Edith, is looking forward to her third production with the school.

“Upon auditioning, I obtained some background knowledge of Picnic at Hanging Rock and immediately fell in love with the mysterious story and the kooky characters such as Edith.

“Edith is a spoiled, catty little fat girl (‘type-cast’ according to my mother) who the audience is supposed to hate and playing this character is challenging and very enjoyable at the same time. I have to scream, gossip and hold a grumpy face for most parts when I am on stage. This is so much fun.”

While Amber is enjoying the experience, she said performing was not without its hard work.

“I have learned that there is a lot of commitment involved in participating in any play. This includes line learning, always turning up to rehearsals as needed and making sure other commitments do not clash with rehearsal times.”

Amber is looking forward to performing al fresco again.

“It’s always hit with our performers and audience. This year will be no different, however, the dark story of this play requires some extra special lighting with Mr Barty, Mrs Arnold (our wonderful Arts Coordinator) and Mr. Knibb (our Music and Technical director) organising a lighting crew – and I think the elements of dark and light will enhance the play’s mystery. The Australian Gothic soundscape that Mr. Knibb and his team are creating will also add to the atmosphere. Having the play set outside correlates with the theme of a picnic at Hanging Rock, while another interesting aspect of the play is the fact that the ending does not exist and therefore the mystery remains unsolved.

“I hope coming up with clever ways of how the story might have ended will create a buzz within the audience.

Catch Picnic at Hanging Rock at St Anthony’s Catholic College from 6-8 June, with tickets available on the gate.

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