Encore: Celebrating 35 Years of the Theatre Arts Centre

Past students Emily Wilkes, Amanda Huxtable and Simone La Macchia

The Theatre shaped my time at Santa Maria!

Alexa’s sentiment was shared by so many who attended Encore, a celebration of 35 Years of the Theatre Arts Centre. The event included a special performance of the 2021 College production Ask Any Girl, an exhibition and a cocktail celebration.

The significance of the 35 years commemorates the establishment of our current Theatre Arts Centre, which opened on 4 May 1986. Prior to this, Hal Davies, Head of Theatre Arts at the time, directed the yearly College production in the McDonald Building. Before that, in a smaller hall behind the McAuley Building, which has since been demolished.

Some of the cast from Ask Any Girl

During Encore, guests were treated to live performances around the McAuley Building from past Drama students. Courtney Withers (2017) performed as Helena from The Women of Troy (2015). Ella Jones (2020) performed as Kate Keller from The Miracle Worker (1997), a part originally played by Amanda Huxtable, Head of Drama (currently on maternity leave). Year 9 dancers performed a number from Grease (2011).

Courtney Withers in the role of Helena from The Women of Troy

The exhibition showcased costumes, programs and other memorabilia from each production. It was a delight to see so many past students and staff interacting with the displays. Many left notes of thanks for the ‘trip down memory lane’ on our memory wall. 

The professional level of drama productions at Santa Maria have been commonplace since 1971, when Hal started here 50 years ago. The Theatre was a wonderful investment into performing arts at the College, but it’s the wonderful staff who continue on the high level of performances we’ve become accustomed to.

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