Excellence in Direction Award for Drama Class

We are very excited to announce that one of our Year 9 Drama classes is the joint winner of the Excellence in Direction Award at the 2022 Bell Shakespeare Shorts Festival. The group were just one of 11 finalists, with the girls being the only finalist from Western Australia.

Bell Shakespeare is Australia’s national theatre company that specialises in works of Shakespeare. The festival is open to students from primary and secondary schools across Australia. This competition allows students to retell and reimagine Shakespeare in their own way.

Year 9 Director Aeva Veitch tells us about their film ‘Murder in Thy Dark’.

‘Murder in Thy Dark’ is our modern Shakespeare short that follows a Year 9 class at their Shakespeare-themed drama camp. When one girl disappears, it’s up to the class to solve the mystery and find the murderer in their midst. Our class worked in collaboration to write, act and film. Victoria Lawrence and I edited the piece together to produce the final film.

This short film is mainly an original story; however, some aspects of the storyline were inspired by Shakespeare’s plays, as this was the theme of the film.

We were inspired by the tragedy, romance and mystery of Shakespeare’s works and included those themes in a more modern setting of a high school.

Throughout the course of the film, two characters fall in love, but their romance isn’t approved by their friend. This was inspired by Romeo and Juliet, as well as the idea of two families (in our film, it was two groups) fighting over different opinions.

We were also inspired by the drama game Wink Murder, also called Murder in the Dark. In this game, a group of people must find the murderer before too many people are killed. Not only did this game inspire our film title, but we also took inspiration from the game to create the plot of ‘Murder in Thy Dark’. The rest of the storyline we created ourselves as a class.

The girls really enjoyed the process of making the film. Co-director Victoria Lawrence tells us why.

Having the opportunity to work with girls I hadn’t worked with before and create something with our own ideas was a wonderful experience. The idea for our film originated from the very beginning when we were brainstorming ideas about how to incorporate aspects of Shakespeare’s original texts and language into a short film that reflected our community’s qualities. The self-guided nature of the project was my favourite part, as we could work at our own pace, and everyone got a chance to be in control. I loved having the experience of co-directing and editing with Aeva to bring this film to life and having the opportunity to work in collaboration with the other girls in our class.

Incorporating Shakespearean features and skills into our movie, as well as adding a modern twist to a classic Shakespeare theme, was a really fun experience. Creating this film was the highlight of Drama this year for me.

The girls involved in the short film were: 

Katarina Anastasakis
Jade Bain
Parie Barzanji
Destiny Boulton
Megan Button
Amelia Clarke
Tess Hooker

Victoria Lawrence
Emma Loughnan
Alice O’Neill
Amy Sellers
Aeva Veitch
Lily Venables-Redfern
Chance Wallace

Congratulations to the girls, and thank you to Drama Teacher Kathy La Brooy for giving the girls this opportunity.

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