The Lorax: A Cautionary Tale

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The Lorax: A Cautionary Tale

This year the School Drama production brought to life a colourful and collaborative performance of Dr Seuss’ The Lorax’ – a cautionary tale of a man who inadvertently destroys the environment in his quest for financial gain. This topical environmental theme was explored through the use of a range of vibrant props, conveying the colourful world of the Once-ler and its imminent destruction.

The School was very fortunate to access the skills and talents of a number of past students now studying Theatre and Drama at tertiary institutions. A design team was formed, consisting of Hannah and Georgia Metternick Jones (10), Tiffany Blight (12) and Sarah Pantlin (11), currently studying at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts, and Lilli Chester (11), studying lighting design at Ballarat University in Victoria. Joined by 2013 graduates Bailey Cumbers and Jaimi Wright, the team was responsible for the initial designs and mock-ups for the costumes and the radiant truffula trees.

Further to the experience of past cast members, the entire musical score accompanying the production was composed by Year 12 Music student, Michael Hooper. The score ebbed and flowed with thematic brilliance, cataloguing the moment of wonder when the Once-ler discovers the first truffula tree, through to the haunting realisation of the epilogue when the last tree falls. This was a massive effort by Michael and his contribution significantly added to the atmosphere of the Production as a whole.

The show consisted of a small cast of mainly younger students performing in their first Production, who quickly and effortlessly established a beautiful rapport and working relationship. This show in particular felt as if it was owned by everyone, created by a group united and not controlled by a single person; the experience leaving many with a wider appreciation of the value of the process as well as that of the end product.

The benefits of involvement in the arts as part of schooling are well known. Students learn that ‘practice makes perfect’. They learn how to conduct themselves in public, and to manage performance anxiety. Practice and performance can provide pleasure and a change of focus or attention to manage stress. Artistic development promotes creative and quick thinking. Perhaps most importantly, it promotes the development of a rounded and interesting personality, and relationships within and outside of the School environment.