A New Twist on An Old Classic

In 2015, Amanda Huxtable, Head of Dance & Drama at Santa Maria College and a former student of playwright Andy Fraser, proposed an ambitious theatrical endeavour. Drawing inspiration from Andy’s stage combat workshops with her students, she imagined a dynamic adaptation of The Three Musketeers for the College stage. Recognising the potential for innovation, Amanda suggested flipping the characters and casting female actors as the iconic Musketeers. By 2019, Amanda’s determination to push boundaries led her to suggest a gender-flipped adaptation, with female actors portraying the Musketeers. Andy was inspired by Amanda’s confidence and embarked on the challenge, fuelled by discussions about framing the adaptation to challenge gender norms while retaining the essence of Dumas’ characters.

As the adaptation evolved, Andy strived to preserve the original Musketeers’ core traits while infusing the narrative with contemporary perspectives. Each character’s backstory was carefully crafted to mirror themes from Dumas’ classic, with a special focus on D’Artagnan’s youthful vigour and idealism, inspired by Andy’s daughter, Lucy. Through Lucy’s embodiment of truth and honour, the adaptation became a heartfelt tribute to their father-daughter bond, encapsulating their shared values and dreams. Amidst intricate human relationships and societal dynamics, The Three Musketeers adaptation emerged as a celebration of youth, resilience, and the enduring strength of family ties.

The script underwent a workshop process in 2020 with the Santa Maria Drama students, providing crucial feedback and authenticity to the characters. Despite setbacks caused by Covid and personal obligations, the project was revitalised this year, thanks to the collaborative efforts of Amanda, Andy, and the talented 2024 Drama students, finally bringing the adaptation to the stage this week.

From the Director

We are thrilled to have been able to present the Santa Maria College Production of The Three Musketeers. It has been a labour of love, friendship, and growth for our students.

Bringing the script to life in an outdoor setting brought with it a unique set of challenges, which is why it is vital to have a great team collaborating on such a task. A huge thank you our set designer, Molly Werner for transforming our space. A very big shout out to our Stage Manager, Olivia Taliangis (Class of 2022) and Alice Leavy and Kaylee Benson (Class of 2023). Thank you for coming back to support the show and mentor our cast. We would not have a production without the incredible Dance and Drama team, thank you all. To our remarkable cast, your courage and dedication have made this production possible. The journey of rehearsals, challenges, and camaraderie mirrors that of the Musketeers themselves, fostering personal growth and lasting memories for all involved.

From the Playwright

“The production preview was amazing because that script has been rolling around in my head, or on a laptop, for a long time and to see it on its feet, to hear young women speaking those words was absolutely thrilling. I heard lines being said differently from how I imagined them in my head, and it was really exciting to hear that different take on things. To see things, I remember writing and at the time thinking this would upset any director – I’m setting a bit of a challenge there. It was so good to watch to see what Amanda, Kat and Jess have done to solve those problems.”

From the Cast

School Productions are one of those experiences that can be scary and overwhelming when you first start, but when you’re finished, you want to do it over and over again. The friends you make and the things you learn through the production are always the highlight of my year. Annie Nichols (Ensemble)

Production has been such a journey from the very first rehearsals all the way to our first performance. We have grown as performers and formed so many close connections that we never could have anticipated. We are so grateful for this opportunity and couldn’t recommend it enough to the younger Santa Maria students. Lily Sprigg and Tess Hooker (Lemaire and Lapointe)

 The Three Musketeers has been such a nurturing and welcoming experience, and I speak for the whole cast when I say we are going to miss it very much! Our cast has become our family. From Years 8-12, all of us have come together to create something we are all passionate about, and I am so grateful to have gotten to know girls in friendships I wouldn’t have normally experienced! We have created so many memories, and I couldn’t think of a better group of people and teachers to experience it with. We were also privileged to be the Premier performance of Andy Fraser’s ‘The Three Musketeers’ in Australia – being the first time it has ever been performed! To bring his vision to life, we had constant interactions with Andy over Facetime, discussing what our characters and the production meant to us in contemporary society. It was so important to learn about the values of curiosity, strength and kindness to a young woman exploring herself as well as lessons in teamwork and independence. ‘The Three Musketeers’ is known for its swordplay and we had Nastassja Kruger from Stage Combat Perth train us as our fight director and sharpen our skills – and our swords! This experience taught us about pushing ourselves outside our comfort zones as well as the intricate works of stage combat. Over the process of 10 weeks of rehearsal, we worked together to create a thrilling experience for the audience which has become one of our favourite parts of the show!

Overall, this experience has been one of the most joyful and exciting I’ve ever had, and even though our weekly rehearsals won’t be there anymore, I know our memories and friendships will be.
Rainy Guimbeau, 2024 Performing Arts Captain (Athos)

All for one, and one for all!

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