When Sydney Academy drama teacher, Maynard Morrison, talks about the show he is mounting this month at the high school, even he sounds daunted by the sheer size of the production.
Morrison describes “Welcome To The Room” as a “theatre/concert hybrid” with a cast and crew of eighty that includes both teachers and students with help from the school’s music and art departments. And as big as that sounds, Morrison is mostly impressed with their plans to convert one half of the school’s gym into an amphitheater.
“We’re bringing in risers from Centre 200 as well as using the gym’s existing bleachers to create seating around the thrust stage. It should hold about 400 audience members,” Morrison says, describing the design, “We’re also using the sound baffles they had for the showcases at the Armouries during the recent East Coast Music Awards.”
Morrison hopes that if the gym proves a viable venue for this “big little event” then it can be developed for use for other events.
For the content of the show there will be scenes and skits written by the Academy Dramagroup and the Drama 12 course. Two bands will provide music, local alternative band, Gilttrip, and a house band led by Eric Burke. Morrison is also enthusiastic about Guerline MacLeod, whom he describes as a “brilliant, brilliant singer”.
Morrison says that, if anything, the idea of “the room” ties the various bits together. “Guerline sings Cream’s ‘White Room’,” Morrison says, “There’s an ER (emergency room) sketch and an interrogation room scene and some poets use the room as a metaphor for the mind. We also threw in the MacBeth witches to stir up trouble and develop some tension around the scenes.”
Public performances for “Welcome To The Room” are on Wednesday, May 24th, and Thursday, May 25th, at 8 pm and admission is $5.00.