Students from Christian College’s Bellarine campus will be challenging us to confront ours fears and question our priorities as part of their interactive show at this year’s Geelong After Dark.
Now You See Me is a collaboration of the college’s Year 9 Drama and Guerilla Arts students in which a combination of theatre styles and installation artworks will tell a story of what happens when we take our senses for granted.
Drama teacher Victoria Kent said the theatrical component of the work – titled Super Senses - mixes several drama styles including melodrama and Greek theatre to deliver a moral story of what happens if super heroes with super senses don’t appreciate those senses.
“We have another character come in who takes those senses away. The super heroes then need to navigate through the artworks without those senses. Once they learn they shouldn’t be taking their senses for granted, they get the senses back.”
“In creating the piece, the students hope people realise that not everyone is blessed to have all their senses … It’s not easy when you don’t have them at all. A lot of people take them for granted.”
Guerilla Arts teacher Lori Ruplal said the installation artworks sit side-by-side of the performance taking their cue from Geelong After Dark’s 2019 theme, Heighten Your Senses.
“It’s like a little avenue of oddities that the audience get to take part in. It’s meant to be interactive with each artwork. For example, some students have created boxes you have to put your hand in and you’re not sure what you are going to get.”
“They have gone with the ideas of what if you couldn’t see or hear or what if you lost your sense of touch.”
In a style reminiscent of Edwardian carnival sideshows, the work is designed to elicit feelings of wonderment and fear by also using glow in the dark pictures and culminating in a video that will be projected on muslin.
“It is all about fear and what fear can create through noise and a very creepy video they’ve created,” said Lori.
“Through the artworks, it is that real focus on disruption. Wanting to disrupt people and see how people respond to being disrupted.”
“It’s about the fact the world is different for each person and how each person interacts with this world we’ve created in this space. Is it going to be a positive experience for you or will it be a challenge for you?”
For the 20 boys and six girls involved in the project, the challenge of creating the piece has been one they have relished.
Victoria said Geelong After Dark offered an experience to the students beyond what was available from the classroom.
“We can talk about being able to make a difference and make an impact through your art but this gives the students opportunity to test that and see the rewards … It’s amazing. They’re blown away by what they’re able to put together and the confidence they have.”
This is the third time Christian College (Bellarine) has taken part in Geelong After Dark and Lori said many students choose Drama and Guerilla Arts as their Year 9 electives with the hope of being part of the festival.
“Because it’s our third year running, these guys chose the subjects knowing they had the chance of being part of Geelong After Dark and they were excited about that opportunity. They started talking about it in October last year.”
The College is one of four Geelong region schools involved in this year’s festival. Newcomb Secondary College is also presenting installation work, Botanical Lobotomy, to highlight how we connect with a changing world while Barwon Heads Primary School and Barwon Valley School have both been working with ACT Natimuk on an aerial dance, animation projection and shadow puppetry performance titled Galaxias: A View Beneath the Surface from the Sky.
Says Kaz Paton, Manager, Arts & Culture
“Engaging with the arts to inform and transform are key elements for audiences at Geelong After Dark. We are thrilled that Year 9 students from Christian College (Bellarine Campus) have once again embraced Geelong After Dark. Their project will engage audiences, make them think and we hope be transformed by the experience. We are also delighted to be able to offer emerging artists a platform to test their ideas in public – another essential part of Geelong After Dark.”
At Christian College, where there is a strong focus on giving back to the community, Victoria said it was important younger generations continued to be involved in local events.
“The students really appreciate the opportunity to be part of something real and put together something for a purpose.”
You will find Now You See Me in Aitchinson Place off Little Malop Street (next to the Geelong Performing Arts Centre). Several performances will be held throughout the evening on Friday, 3 May.